21 Feb 2010
- Written by T&T Newsday
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Jamaal Shabazz, coach of the national Under-20 women’s football team, is contented with the growth of the squad during last month’s Concacaf Under-20 Women’s Championship in Guatemala.
The Trinidad and Tobago U-20 women’s team lost their first two matches– 2-1 to Mexico and 4-0 to the United States, before earning a consolation 1-0 win over Jamaica. Mexico, the United States and Costa Rica were the three Concacaf teams to book spots at the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany from July 13 to August 1.
In a recent interview, Shabazz said, “the Mexico game in particular, we took the lead as early as the fifth minute (through striker Natasha St Louis).
“We tried desperately to hold on but it’s just their quality as they overcome us,” he continued. “Against the US, I thought we let in ‘soft’ goals but we defended well. “Again, 4-0 may look like, for people who don’t know women’s football, a drubbing.
But the United States usually beat the Caribbean teams (by) six, seven, eight, nine and ten goals.” There were five members of the national team— Keri Myers (goalkeeper), Camille Borneo (defender), Kayla Taylor, Victoria Swift (midfielders) and Jo-Marie Lewis (striker)– who will be part of the TT Under-17 squad preparing for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, scheduled to take place here from September 5 to 25. But Shabazz highlighted some aspects of the team’s performance which needs addressing if they are to closer bridge the gap with the stronger Concacaf teams.
“Fitness is definitely a criteria but, to add to that, I think we need some more warm-up matches,” he admitted.
Team captain Mariah Shade pointed out: “From an individual standpoint, I think the girls showed a great level of discipline and everything. The team has really been improving well.”