OUTSTANDING goalkeeper Saundra Baron is among eight players of Trinidad and Tobago parentage who have joined the "Soca Princesses", the T&T national Under-17 squad who are preparing to host the 2010 FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup.
Of five foreign-based players who have represented Trinidad and Tobago before, Baron and Canada-born central midfielder Sidonia Hoareau have both returned after playing in T&T's colours in 2008 when the Soca Princesses missed out on qualifying for the first FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
American Shakira Salandy is also very interested, but is injured, while Jessica De Leon and Danielle McPhun are also eligible, but there is no word on their status.
Several other foreign-based players have contacted the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) seeking to join the team and after coming to Trinidad for a trial under Evan Pellarud, the Norwegian technical director of the TTFF women's programme, three have already been selected.
They are Annette Mims, younger sister of right back Taylor Mims, who played on the 2008 squad and is still eligible to join the current line-up; Malory Archer of Toronto; and Kira John of New Jersey, USA.
Also on trial with a bid to join the national team are New York-based Leanne Hinds, cousin of former national goalie Lisa Joe Ramkisoon; and the Atlanta pair of Rianne Rice and Jasmine Sampson.
"The trials are held in Trinidad. These people contacted us and made the sacrifice to bring their kids here and have a chance to join the national team to play in a World Cup," said team manager Jinelle James. "They came here on trial and the coach was very impressed with what he saw."
And the Under-17s continued their preparations for next year's FIFA tournament on Wednesday night, but conceded a goal from a corner-kick to fall 1-0 to a much older Real Dimension squad in a Women's League Football (WOLF) match at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya.
Defending league champions Real Dimension exacted some revenge on the national girls, who defeated them 7-0 at the start of the season.
Contacted yesterday, Pellarud was not perturbed by his team suffering a second loss of the season after also falling 1-0 to unbeaten Tobago United a few weeks ago.
The Norwegian said that playing regular football against older teams was very good for the development of his players, some of whom are just 15 years old and are playing against grown women in some cases.
WEDNESDAY'S WOLF RESULTS:
Real Dimension 1 v T&T U-17s 0
San Juan Jabloteh 1 v United Petrotrin 1
Defence Force 3 v Mayaro 0