Published on Thursday, 09 January 2014 08:50
January 9 - The CONCACAF Women's Under 20 Championship kicks off toady in the Cayman Islands with a double headed opener with Guatemala taking on Jamaica, followed by two-time defending champion United States against Costa Rica.
The three top teams from the CONCACAF region will advance to the FIFA World Cup Finals to be played in Canada later this year.
The eight-team tournament will be played from January 9-19 at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex, George Town, Grand Cayman.
Group A and will consist of Jamaica, Guatemala, Costa Rica and the United States; while hosts Cayman Islands will compete in Group B with Caribbean counterparts Trinidad & Tobago, as well as Honduras and Mexico, a rapidly improving nation in the women's game.
The US and Mexico start as pre-tournament favourites, though the Caribbean challenge should not be under-estimated with both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands having completed pre-tournament training camps in Florida.
According to Vin Blaine the technical co-ordinator for the Jamaica Women's Football Program, the young Reggae Girlz are looking forward to the challenge and are ready to cause an upset. "We are drawn in a difficult group. However, the girls are mentally and physically prepared to get the job done. Our aim is to make it to the semi-finals and take it from there," he said.
Jamaica beat Trinidad & Tobago, 1-0, in the final of the 2013 Caribbean Football Women's Under-20 Tournament. This will be Guatemala's third appearance in the U20 Women's finals.
The United States will look to extend its record 10-game CWU20 winning streak against Costa Rica, who returns after missing out on the 2012 competition.
This is the second CONCACAF championship tournament hosted in the Cayman Islands, following on from the success of the inaugural U15 boys tournament hosted last August.
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