Tue, Jul

T&T Under-20 women’s footballers, led by co-captains Joe Public’s Aveann Douglas and Maylee Attin-Johnson of Cumberland University in the USA, will begin their quest for qualification to the Fifa Under-20 Women’s World Cup when they meet defending champions Canada.

This will be the opening match in Group A of the Concacaf Final Round Qualification at the Luis Pirata Fuentes Stadium, in Veracruz, Mexico from noon (2 pm TT time).

Host Mexico and Panama will square off in the second match of the day’s double header three hours later.

Group B, consisting of El Salvador, Jamaica, Suriname and USA, will play at the Estadio Rafael Murillo Vidal in Córdoba, Mexico from tomorrow.

In the opening round of matches, El Salvador meets Suriname from 2 pm (TT time) while USA and the Reggae Girls do battle at 4.30 pm.

In addition to Attin-Johnson, there are five other US-based players in the national junior team which is coached by Jamaal Shabazz.

Those players are defenders Katrina Meyer (North Carolina Upper State), Kia Rigsby (Florida International University), Stephanie De Souza (Gulliver High School) and identical twin sisters Maria and Marissa Mohammed, who both attend the University of Tampa, Florida.

Prior to departing for Mexico via the USA last Friday, the national women’s team had a very successful unbeaten four-match tour of Venezuela where they took the opportunity to get accustomed to the conditions which will be similar in Vera Cruz.

In the tournament scouting of the teams, it was stated that the Soca Princesses who have qualified for their consecutive Concacaf Women’s Youth Final Round series under Shabazz, have scored the most qualifying goals on the road to the tournament—54.

The Soca Princesses won the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Group A First Round over Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent & The Grenadines and then took the runners-up spot at the CFU Quadrangular Final behind Jamaica.

Today’s opponent—Canada—is one of the three North Zone teams that progress directly into the Final Round.

The Maple Leafs are yet to lose a qualifying match in their perfect 5-0-0 record, while outscoring their opponents 20-1 and were runners-up at the inaugural Fifia U-19 World Championship in 2002.

At the end of the round-robin group series, the winners and runners-up of each group will earn a place in the semifinals at the Veracruz’s Stadium, on January 25 from which the winners will earn places as two of the region’s representatives in Fifa’s U-20 Women’s World Championship.

T&T squad

Goalkeepers: Kimica Forbes (Stokely Vale), Julie-Ann Mc Dougall (St Clair Coaching School).

Defenders: Ayana Russell (Joe Public), Anastasia Prescott (Real Dimension), Christine Rose (Real Dimension), Patrice Superville (Real Dimension), Kia Rigsby (Florida International University), Katrina Meyer (North Carolina Upper State), Maria Mohammed (University of Tampa), Jemilia Mathlin (Real Dimension).

Midfielders: Dernelle Mascall (Petrotrin), Aveann Douglas (Joe Public), Bianca Walker (St Joseph Convent & Real Dimension), Marissa Mohammed (University of Tampa), Stephanie De Souza (Gulliver HS), Tamar Watson (Real Dimension), Janine Francois (Real Dimensions).

Strikers: Kennya Cordner (St Clair Coaching School), Kermica Alexander (Memphis), Maylee Attin-Johnson (Cumberland University).

Technical staff: Jamaal Shabazz (head coach), Izzler Browne (assistant coach), Marlon Charles (assistant coach), Ricarda Nelson (manager), Jinelle James (assistant manager), Steve Frederick (equipment manager), Nicole Kistow (physiotherapist).