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UPCOMING OLYMPIC GAMES

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T&T’s Soca Princesses will be looking to make it three wins in a row when they meet Costa Rica in the semi-finals of the Concacaf Women’s Championship in Chester, Pennsylvania, on Friday.  “Coming into this tournament we knew all we needed was two wins to get out the group. Those two wins have now seen us into the semi finals where we hope to make it three wins in a row,” said captain Maylee Attin-Johnson following T&T’s 2-1 victory over Guatemala on Monday night which sealed this country’s place in the semi-finals. The squad was scheduled to arrive in Chester around 3 pm yesterday.

T&T also defeated Haiti but lost to the United States. “We knew US was going to be challenging. But we always believed we were a class above Haiti and Guatemala,” she continued. About her penalty strike which turned out to be the winner after Guatemala pulled a goal back later on, Attin-Johnson added: “It definitely boosted my confidence. I haven't been playing my usual game but I think this game I came into my own on the offensive side of things which is a plus for the team.”

Admitting that the build up to the tournament had its challenges for the T&T team, Attin-Johnson credited the TTFA for being able to negotiate to have Randy Waldrum take over the reigns of the team prior to the Caribbean Finals which followed a training camp in Houston earlier this year. He is assisted by his son Ben and goalkeeper coach Lincoln Phillips. “I definitely want to give credit to the Association (TTFA) for bringing in Randy. It's a fantastic feeling seeing that all the hardwork is finally coming to fruition. We have a world class coaching staff that prepares us well. Once we execute the game plan, it's going to be difficult to beat us and we hope that on Friday we go out there and do so,” she said.

Attin-Johnson said the team is eager to turn the tables on Costa Rica after they defeated the T&T Under 20 Women in their final World Cup qualifying match in January. “We haven't played to our full potential thus far and we haven't fielded our full team throughout this tournament due to injuries, so we hope that the three days rest will do well for the injured ones. We are very anxious for this game and we want to avenge the Under 20 loss to them.” If T&T loses on Friday, they will have a further chance for a World Cup spot at the third place match on Sunday and a possible home and away playoff with Ecuador looms in November.

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