The competing nations in the CONCACAF Under 20 Women’s Championship have arrived and will have their first official visits to the Ato Boldon Stadium today prior to tomorrow’s opening of matches in the tournament.
There will be no practice sessions before TT faces Haiti at 6.30pm and Canada clashes with Costa Rica from 4pm tomorrow. Instead, all the teams will have a walk through of the playing field and will take part in press conferences at the stadium today.
Yesterday, TT head coach Jamaal Shabazz put his players through their paces at the Hasely Crawford Stadium training grounds as they prepare to do battle with Haiti.
Midfielder Megan Rampersad, a US-born player with TT parentage, is among those who will be looking to guide the hosts into the semi-finals by securing one of the two spots in Group A. Once through, TT will seek qualification by going all the way to the championship match on January 28 or at least secure the third place finish. Rampersad has also represented TT in basketball and is now hoping for success at the international level with TT football.
“It is a honour to be selected for the Trinidad and Tobago football team as it has been a dream of mine since I was a kid,” Rampersad told TTFA Media. “I grew up in Miramar, Florida but my parents are from Trinidad and Tobago. I’ve been playing soccer since I was four and I’ve loved it ever since so again it’s such a huge honour to play for TT… All my family members are from Trinidad and Tobago and I want to represent them well in this tournament and hopefully help the team go all the way.”
Regarding the team’s preparations, Rampersad noted that there’s been nonstop work on and off the training field by every member of the team.
“We have been preparing really hard and I feel at this point we are ready to face the competing teams later this week. I feel confident about our chances of qualifying for the World Cup. Our team is filled with talented players and we are playing well as a unit. I feel like we have what it takes to get through to the World Cup.
Now we’ll have to prove that on the pitch,” Rampersad added.
Rampersad attends Grandview Prep in Boca Raton, Florida where she is currently a senior and has also committed to playing basketball at Washington University in 2019.
Group A action commences tomorrow while Group B kicks off on Friday with the US meeting Nicaragua and Jamaica taking on Mexico.
Tickets for all Group phase matches cost $40 and are available at all NLCB Lotto Locations. Parking for patrons will be available at the nearby Cycling and Aquatic Velodrome at $20 per vehicle.