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T&T’s Under-20 Soca Princesses arrived in Guatemala City yesterday ahead of the upcoming Concacaf Final Qualifying round towards the Fifa Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany later this year.

The team, under coach Jamaal Shabazz checked in at the luxurious Hotel Tikal Futura and had welcomed news in the return of Canadian-born utility player Arin King from injury. She is back to full fitness and is likely to contest for a place the squad.

Assistant coach Marlon Charles commented on King’s return saying: “Arin is a special player and she opens up options for us to use her in midfield or defence this is very good news for the team.”

T&T open their campaign against Mexico on Friday before coming up against Caribbean Football Union rivals Jamaica and USA and Shabazz feels the team should peak in time for the crucial qualifiers following their timely two warm-up games against Costa Rica which they drew 0-0 on Thursday and lost 2-1 on Friday.


U-20 Women settle in Guatemala.
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).


Trinidad and Tobago’s National Under 20 team arrived in Guatemala City on Saturday following their 2-1 defeat to Costa Rica the previous day ahead of the upcoming Concacaf Final Qualifying round towards the FIF Under 20 Women’s World Cup in Germany.

The team, under head coach Jamaal Shabazz checked in at the luxurious Hotel Tikal Futura and had welcomed news in the return of Canadian-born utility player Arin King from injury. She is back to full fitness and is likely to contest for a place the squad.

Assistant coach Marlon Charles commented on King’s return saying: “Arin is a special player and she opens up options for us to use her in midfield or defence this is very good news for the team.”

T&T open their campaign against Mexico on Friday before coming up against Jamaica and United States and  Shabazz feels the team should be in top shape in time for the crucial qualifiers following their timely two warm up games against Costa Rica which they drew 0-0 and lost 2-1.

From the two groups of four teams each, the top two will advance to the semi finals with the two subsequent finalists and a third place playoff winner advancing to the Under 20 World Cup in July.

“We know that for us to get any results in this CONCACAF tournament we have to be able to defend for long periods and make use of the few counterattacks that we will get against the likes of Mexico and the USA. The two games in Costa Rica was an very interesting learning experience for the players,” Shabazz told TTF Media

"Costa Rica had 14 World Cup players in their squad and we were able to defend from deep and still create scoring chances on the counter. What was even more interesting is that when we employed pressing tactics at various intervals the girls did a good job of restricting a team that in all reality was stronger than us in almost all departments,” added Shabazz.

Director of Women’s Football Even Pellerud will travel to Guatemala this week to witness the matches and Shabazz added that currently six National Under 17 players are pressing for first team selection on the National Under 20 team which is good news for Pellerud as he prepares a T&T team for the FIFA Under 17 Women’s World Cup in September.

"We have six U-17 players in this squad and where you hear the players talk about their eagerness to meet Mexico it challenges you as a staff. Because they are looking at Mexico like a canary watching an owl and thinking we are more pretty than the owl. But they forget owls eat small birds.

"So it’s a thin line encouraging their confidence that yes we can compete but reinforcing the reality that we must play disciplined and be prepared to take pressure and defend for long periods in the match.”