It began from the team's late appearance in Dallas, as there was a delay of four days, in them securing the necessary funds to pay for visa applications for team members. It was only with the release from the TTFA of TT$40,000 that they were able to travel to the United States. The team's lack of funds and equipment left their coach, American-born Randy Waldrum no choice but to take to twitter for an open appeal for help.
He released three separate tweets after the team's arrived with a mere US$500 dollars and no accommodations, food or travel plans secured. Immediately the word spread throughout the world and in mere hours the soccer community started to come through.
Expansion of the World Cup from 16 to 24 teams has given the CONCACAF region an extra automatic qualifying spot, and with hosts and top 10-ranked Canada not needing to qualify, Waldrum believes T&T chances at reaching next year’s World Cup is a real possibility.
“Eight teams and 3 1/2 qualifying spots, I think that’s the best opportunity in the next ten years to qualify,“ Waldrum said. And he should know, having been a US women’s under-23 national coach only two years ago.
The team’s late arrival in the USA leaves coach Randy Waldrum little time to integrate the local-based players with the foreign-based members of his squad. If the Soca Princesses do qualify for a first FIFA Women’s World Cup, as some anticipate, it will be a tough road travelled.
Waldrum will also have to guess about the fitness level of his US-based players, ahead of their opening match of the series next Sunday against the USA, rated the No.1 women’s team in the world.
The Soca Princesses also play matches against Caribbean Championship third-placed team, Haiti, as well as Guatemala, who have never beaten T&T. With the top two teams advancing to the knockout rounds, the top three teams will automatically earn a World Cup spot and the fourth place team will face Ecuador in a playoff.
MLS team FC Dallas also reached out and held a fundraising game between ECNL All-stars and the TTWNT on October 9, which #socaprincess won. The team will continue to train at the Toyota Soccer Center home to FC Dallas.
T&T's matches will be October 15th-20th in Sporting Park, Toyota Park(Chicago) & RFK Stadium. Schedule of the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championships