Randy Waldrum has taken over as coach of the Trinidad & Tobago women’s national team just six weeks ahead of the CFU Women’s Caribbean Cup, the final set of CONCACAF sub-qualifying for the 2015 Women’s World Cup.
Waldrum is currently the coach of NWSL expansion side Houston Dash and will coach the Trinidad & Tobago national team a gratis — for free — on the side. T&T will have a one-month training camp in Houston ahead of the CFU Women’s Caribbean Cup from 19-26. Waldrum will remain coach of the Dash.
Four places in the final round of World Cup qualifying are on the line at that August Caribbean tournament, and the hosts are expected to be among the team’s joining the U.S., Mexico, Costa Rica and Guatemala in the final round in August.
Three automatic World berths are on the line in October, with the fourth-place finisher moving into an inter-continental playoff with a South American team.
Marlon Charles was previously the coach of the T&T women until a program review led to the coaching change.
“After one month of program review, concerns raised by players about the direction of the coaching and program, and under the recommendations of a newly installed Technical Development Committee Chairman, the TTFA has decided to relieve Marlon Charles of his present position,” read a statement from the federation.
Waldrum was in Trinidad & Tobago for Sunday’s 5-0 win over Venezuela, and he liked what he saw. Waldrum flew down to the country on Sunday after the Dash’s loss on Saturday, a 4-1 drubbing by the Western New York Flash.
“I fell in love with the country the first time I came and I’ve followed the progress of the football since then,” he told the federation’s website. “The excitement now with this opportunity to try and lead them to a World Cup is something I’m very thankful for and we’re just looking forward to get the team into camp and beginning the campaign.”
T&T and Venezuela meet again on Tuesday.
The Dash’s last NWSL regular season game is on August 17. The playoffs start the following week, but Houston looks unlikely to factor into those as the Dash currently sit in 8th place of nine teams, 10 pts. from the final playoff spot.
Waldrum was a candidate for the U.S. national team job each of the last two times it became available. Jill Ellis was hired in May to replace Tom Sermanni. U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati ruled out Waldrum and Portland Thorns FC coach Paul Riley as candidates before the end of the search process, saying the federation didn’t want its coach doing double duty.