Sun, May


T&T's se­nior women's foot­ball team will be joined by three play­ers in the likes of-of cen­tral de­fend­er Rhea Bel­grave, strik­er Kay­la Tay­lor and de­fen­sive mid­field­er Ayana Rus­sell in a day or so, as the team fine tunes its prepa­ra­tions for its open­ing match of the CON­CA­CAF Women's Cham­pi­onships against Pana­ma to­mor­row at the Sahlen's Sta­di­um in Car­ry in Unit­ed States.

The trio is still await­ing their trav­el­ling doc­u­ments. Since the team's ar­rival in the USA on Mon­day morn­ing, it had two train­ing ses­sions that con­sist­ed 15 play­ers each, in­clud­ing yes­ter­day.

The women have en­dured a moun­tain of chal­lenges that in­clud­ed lengthy bat­tles for monies owed to them for salaries, as well as the un­cer­tain­ty of which play­ers would be avail­able for the Cham­pi­onship. Tech­ni­cal Di­rec­tor An­ton Corneal, who is with the team said the girls have placed all these chal­lenges be­hind them and are now fo­cused on the task at hand.

The So­ca War­riors have been drawn in Group A with gi­ants USA, Mex­i­co and the Pana­ma­ni­ans, whom they will face in their open­ing game. Their next match will be against Mex­i­co on Oc­to­ber 7 at the same venue, be­fore a date with the might of the USA on Oc­to­ber 10. Af­ter round-robin play in Cary, NC and Ed­in­burg, TX, the two group win­ners, plus the two sec­ond-place fin­ish­ers will ad­vance to the knock­out round.

The semi­fi­nals, third place match and fi­nal will take place at the Toy­ota Sta­di­um, in Frisco, TX.

The So­ca Princess­es played their Pana­man­ian coun­ter­parts in two in­ter­na­tion­al friend­ly match­es ear­li­er this year, los­ing one and draw­ing the oth­er 1-1. How­ev­er, Corneal is ea­ger to add re­in­force­ment to the team's vul­ner­a­ble ar­eas when the two teams meet again, this time it's for a place in the FI­FA World Cup fi­nals in France next year.

"The spir­it in the camp has been good. There is the un­der­stand­ing that in spite of the chal­lenges faced, and what they con­tin­ue to face, that they have to put all this all aside for the qual­i­fiers. And to be hon­est the women have been through this be­fore, so they are strangers to this sit­u­a­tion," Corneal ex­plained yes­ter­day.

Guardian Me­dia Sports un­der­stands that in ad­di­tion to an al­ready chal­leng­ing sit­u­a­tion, the women foot­ballers are now deal­ing with the death of a play­er's close rel­a­tive.


Thu, 4 Oct- T&T v Pana­ma- Sahlen's Sta­di­um, Cary

Sun, 7 Oct- Mex­i­co v T&T- Sahlen's Sta­di­um, Cary

Wed, 10 Oct- T&T v Unit­ed- Sahlen's Sta­di­um, Cary