Action in Group C of the CONCACAF Caribbean Women's World Cup qualifying will kick off in Couva, Trinidad on Saturday with a doubleheader which will see the hosts Trinidad and Tobago take on US Virgin Islands from 6:30 pm following the opening clash between St Kitts and Nevis and Dominica at 4 pm
The T&T Women's team is hoping to replicate their performance from the 2015 qualifying campaign which saw them finish fourth in the CONCACAF Championship before being edged out 1-0 by Ecuador in the Inter-Continental playoff, narrowly missing out on qualification for the FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada.
Experienced midfielder Mariah Shade said it was important that T&T starts on a winning note.
"We are very much excited about this World Cup campaign. We have been training really hard and we are focused on the task at hand. We are committed towards the goal which is to qualify for the World Cup," Shade said.
"The mindset for us is to dominate. We know at this level we usually put a lot of goals. We don't just want to win but we want to dominate the matches as well. It is just to put in the work and hopefully, with the blessing of God, we can achieve this.
"We need to go in there with a mindset in spite of the score, we need to finish off the games strongly," Shade added.
Head coach of US Virgin Islands, Trinidadian Izler Browne, a former Trinidad and Tobago coach and player himself, is wary of her team's opponents but added that her team will not be intimidated by the hosts.
"I had to go in and put things in place for consistency in the Women's game in the USVI," Browne told CONCACAF.com following her appointment as head of women's football in the USVI.
"At the senior team level, we are in a transitional stage. It's a relatively young team with a couple older players. We are trying to ensure the younger players all get a taste of international football in this tournament. We understand the magnitude of the team we are playing against and where they're at as opposed to where we are at as a nation. We want to be able to give a credible performance. We understand that for us we may not play the game in the way we want or the result may not be what we want but it is important for us to ensure that this is something we can build on" Browne said.
Another Trinidadian coach is at the helm of the Dominica team. Rajesh Latchoo is anticipating a decent showing from his outfit.
"We are in the tournament so obviously the mission is to win but our target is also long-term and therefore this tournament is part of our preparations for our overall development programme. We are also focusing on the other levels from Under 15s come right up. We had a bit of a layoff with Hurricane Maria but we now are getting back on track and will be looking to make positive strides," Latchoo told CONCACAF.com on Friday ahead of his team's final training sessions at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
"Going into our first game we know what to expect because we played St Kitts last month in the Challenge Series and we lost 1-0 over there. We know what to expect and we also have improved our chemistry and the players' understanding of their roles and responsibilities," Latchoo added
St Kitts meantime is hoping to reproduce another winning performance from the last outing between the two teams.
St Kitts player Phoenicia Browne is optimistic about her team's chances.
"We have been in team camp for a couple of months now. We were able to get in three good games at the Caribbean Women's Challenge Series last month to prepare for competitive play now," said Browne who is based in France.
"The key to a good performance will be coming out strong and giving everything in the game. We have the talent so we really just need to put our heads together, be strong as a team and take our chances to achieve the results we want," she added.
The final round of Caribbean qualifying will be played July 21-29, among the first-round group winners. The top three finishers of the final round will qualify to the 2018 Concacaf Women's Championship.
The 2018 Concacaf Women's Championship to be hosted in the United States October 4-17 will include a field of eight teams. The United States, as host and defending champion, will participate alongside North American qualifiers Canada and Mexico. The five remaining participants will qualify via the 2018 Concacaf Caribbean Women's Qualifier and 2018 Concacaf Central America Women's Qualifier.