US Soccer confirmed on Wednesday that the US Women’s Team friendly against Trinidad and Tobago will go ahead, the Rivard Report reported. The match was under some threat after the same encounter in Hawaii was cancelled due to poor pitch conditions, leaving many in San Antonio, familiar with the poor condition of the Alamodome turf anxious that the same fate would befall the Alamodome match.
The turf has previously had problems with a women’s international friendly, with two injuries coming in the last USWNT match here. Australia’s Kyah Simon tore her ACL, almost ending her international career, while Alex Morgan also suffered an injury in that match.
This match proves a vital part of preparation for the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying which will take place in Texas in February. Only two teams will advance to the Olympic Games from that tournament and as such it will be a cut throat tournament, with this match proving vital to Trinidad and Tobago’s preparation especially.
There will be one notable player missing from the USA squad in this match as Megan Rapinoe will be absent. Rapinoe tore her ACL in her right knee in training in Honolulu which was one of the reasons for canceling the match at Aloha Stadium.
Also missing for the world champions will be Christie Rampone, who also has a knee injury and will likely miss all the remaining matches. Rampone could be available for the match in New Orleans, which will prove Abby Wambach’s last match.
After retirements and the two mentioned absences, the US Women’s Team have added eight players to the squad who did not travel to the World Cup. The most notable is Crystal Dunn, who showed why selecting her should have been the decision by winning the NWSL MVP award, being cut from the squad at the last moment.
There are two players who could well make their debuts in the match on Thursday with Danielle Colaprico, NWSL Rookie of the year and Rose Lavelle, a junior at Wisnconsin receiving a call up. Colaprico started every NWSL game in the season, while Lavelle recently played at the CONCACAF Under 20 tournament, winning the MVP award.
On the Trinidad and Tobago side there is a heavy connection with Texas, with the visiting side being coached by Randy Waldrum. Waldrum coaches Houston Dash, meaning he’ll be matching himself against his club player, Carli Lloyd.
There are a few Trinidad and Tobago players with connections in the United States, with Kenya Cordner, and Danielle Blair both having played in the United States. Ahkeela Mollon will be a key player for the United States to watch out for, playing for European side, Kvarnsvedens IK.
Two key players could be missing for Trinidad and Tobago with Mariah Shade and Patrice Superville under an injury cloud. They will need all the players they can as the USA will be quite a match for Trinidad and Tobago but the Socca Warriors will come in with some confidence after only falling 1-0 at the 2014 CONCACAF Championships against a strong USWNT side.
Only penalties stopped Trinidad and Tobago from advancing to the 2014 Championship final and a berth in the World Cup, before an extra-time loss was what kept them out of the World Cup. Trinidad and Tobago are a stronger side than what most USWNT fans believe, and will give the hosts a fight but this should still be a comfortable win for the United States.