Women’s tourney kicks-off

| 09/01/2014

(CNS): The Women’s U20 CONCACAF world cup qualifying tournament got underway Thursday as Guatemala faced off against Jamaica in the opening match, which ended in a no score draw. That was followed by a match between USA and Costa Rica, in which the current champions, the USA, won 6-0. The Cayman team takes to the pitch on Friday night against Mexico. More than a football tournament for Cayman, the contest represents another step in the goal of developing sports tourism. Cayman’s own Jeffrey Webb, CIFA and CONCACAF president, launched the tournament Thursday morning in which eight teams will be battling for one of three places up for grabs in the 2014 world cup competition in Canada. (Left: Cayman Islands team captain Brianna Hydes)

While the women’s game gets nothing like the recognition given to the men’s game around the world, Webb said women’s football has long been a source of pride for CONCACAF, especially as the United States has created a global model for success. On Thursday Webb confirmed the confederation’s continued commitment to women’s football, as he noted the consistently strong programmes also established by Canada and Mexico. Webb believes that the sport can continue to grow in the Caribbean and Central America.

“We must raise standards so that we keep challenging teams in women’s football,” he said. “This is how we progress and provide sustainability of programmes.”

Jamaica has demonstrated robust progress, hosting and finishing fourth at the 2013 CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship. Many of the standouts from that team are on the Reggae Girlz’s current under-20 roster that kicked off the tournament at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex. Guatemala will participate in its third straight under-20 CONCACAF finals, a Central American record.

“The objective is to build exposure to women’s football in this region, so that a legacy remains,” Webb continued.  “That’s why these competitions are so important.”

The United States is the only CONCACAF nation to qualify for every FIFA U-19/20 Women’s World Cup, but the FIFA vice president is confident that others can replicate that path.

“We have to invest in the game, particularly in the long term development of women’s football,” Webb added.

The CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship, which runs January 9-19, will see the top three teams automatically qualify for the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada.

It presents a great opportunity for Cayman’s players because football scouts are on islands but the country will also benefit as the games will be televised across the countries involved in the tournament. More than 300 people, including players, coaches, officials, administrators, supporters and CONCACAF staff, are in Cayman for the contest, boosting the local economy. The Marriott, the Comfort Suites and the new Holiday Inn are housing the teams and associated delegates.

The tournament comes just a few months after Cayman hosted a truly successful U-15 Boys development tournament in August, in which more than 20 teams visited and took part.

With high hopes that Cayman’s women can make the semi-finals, getting a shot at one of the qualifying spots, organisers are urging everyone to go out and support the home team.

The TV schedule for the tournament is as follows but all games are at the Truman Bodden Sports Compex and entrance is free.

See CONCACAF website for details of all eight teams here and the full schedule and results here. TBSC will televise Thursday’s matches Guatemala v. Jamaica at 5pm and USA v. Costa Rica at 7:30pm and on Friday Honduras v Trinidad at 5pm and Cayman Islands v. Mexico at 7:30pm.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I don't think it's live streaming, but I do know that Fox Soccer Channel Plus (FSC+) is re-broadcasting the games.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Should be a wonderful tournament.Would love to be there ,,but can't. Perhaps I can watch it on line if someone can post a link for online streaming.URGENT!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Goodluck to Brianna and her team!