A year to the day after they met on a fateful evening in Couva, the USA faces Trinidad & Tobago again in a World Cup qualifier.
This time it's the USA against Trinidad & Tobago in
the Concacaf Women's Championship. Like then, the USA will be favored. Only this time there will be no upset. Trust us.
The USA carries a 23-game unbeaten streak into Wednesday's match in
Cary, having opened the Concacaf Women's Championship with 6-0 and 5-0 wins over Mexico and Panama, respectively. T&T, on the other hand, lost to the same teams, 4-1 and 3-0. The USA is through to
the semifinals, while T&T has no chance of advancing.
Four years ago, Kimika Forbes
played the game of her life, making nine saves as T&T, then coached by American Randy
, lost to the USA by only 1-0 en route to fourth place in Concacaf qualifying. It was the closest the Soca Princesses have come to getting a result against the USA in 10 meetings.
The Soca Princesses came within a goal of qualifying for the 2015 Women's World Cup, losing to Ecuador, 1-0, in a two-game playoff series. Since then, the situation has deteriorated in T&T for
the women's national team program -- and other programs.
Trinidad & Tobago breezed through Caribbean qualifying, finishing with a 6-1-1 record and scoring 39 goals, but the lack of
preparations soon caught up with the team.
The start of the final training camp before the Concacaf Women's Championship was delayed while the Trinidad & Tobago Football Association
awaited for funding for the team from T&T's Ministry of Sport. No coach was confirmed, no plane tickets had been purchased and just players trained at the Ato Boldon Stadium -- yes, the site of
the 2017 T&T-USA men's qualifier in Couva. Shawn Cooper
was confirmed as head coach on Sept. 28 and the team left for North Carolina the next day, four days later than
scheduled but without payments for the players for their bonuses for Caribbean qualifying. T&T Roster: GOALKEEPERS
20-Saundra Baron (Unattached), 1-Kimika Forbes (Santa Fe, COL). DEFENDERS (9):
4-Rhea Belgrave (Real Dimension WFC), 7-Jonelle Cato (Trincity Nationals), 13-Jenelle Cunningham
(Real Dimension WFC), 9-Liana Hinds (Unattached), 17-Lauryn Hutchinson (Unattached), 5-Arin King (Unattached), 2-Ayana Russell (QPCC), 16-Cecily Stoute (University of Georgia), 8-Patrice Superville
(QPCC). MIDFIELDERS (5):
11-Janine Francois (Real Dimension WFC), 14-Karyn Forbes (Real Dimension WFC), 18-Naomie Guerra (St. Augustine FC), 15-Shenelle Henry (Unattached), 12-Kayla
Taylor (Petrotrin). FORWARDS (4):
19-Kennya Cordner (Il Sandiviken, NOR), 3-Mariah Shade (Petrotrin), 10-Tasha St. Louis (Real Dimension WFC), 6-Nastasha St. Louis (MIC St. Ann's