• Wednesday Oct 29, 2014

    Waldrum: Trinidad women are “on the cusp”

    Head coach Randy Waldrum (pictured) led Trinidad & Tobago to a fourth-place finish in the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship. (Photo: Mexsport)

    CHESTER, Pennsylvania -- Moments after the final whistle of a 4-2 extra time loss to Mexico in the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship’s (CWC) match for third place, Trinidad & Tobago head coach Randy Waldrum congratulated his counterpart, Leonardo Cuellar.

    Beyond sharing handshakes, the Mexican manager offered the Caribbean champion an opportunity to train in the high altitude of Mexico City to prepare for the first leg of its playoff series on November 8 at Ecuador in Quito.  The return match is in Trinidad on December 2.  The winner will book a spot in next year’s 2015 Women's World Cup (WWC).

    Waldrum called it "a gracious offer" from a "dear friend."

    The coaches go back many years, when Waldrum was leading the University of Notre Dame women's program and the Mexico national team trained with and played against his team.

    "My hope would be that we can find a way,” Waldrum said.  “We need eight days at altitude to 10 days to prepare.  Then you need three or four days to get out of the altitude at sea level to get your legs again to prepare.”

    Cuellar said he had started to prepare for Ecuador in case his team did not obtain one of CONCACAF’s three automatic spots.

    "The information we were already gathering about Ecuador because you never know, so we will pass it on to him," he said.

    So Trinidad still has a chance to become the first Caribbean team to qualify for the WWC and Waldrum was optimistic it could reach Canada 2015.

    "I think we can beat Ecuador and make a decent showing in the World Cup," the 58-year-old commented.

    A drained T&T squad wound up playing 240 minutes of CWC semifinal and third place football in 48 hours.

    "It’s amazing," Waldrum noted, adding that his team's performance "was a real good example of seeing a group of young women that just fought to the end.  We were so close the last two games.  It’s right on the cusp.”

    The Soca Princesses demonstrated a never-say-die attitude.

    "They still showed the nation the fight, the resiliency, the willpower this team has," finished Waldrum, who is also the head coach of the Houston Dash in the National Women’s Soccer League.  “We can do a lot with this team if we can get the resources and the funding on the things that we need to train them properly."

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