By RON FANFAIR
The national women’s Under-20 soccer squad is in Florida preparing for next month’s Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Associations of Football (CONCACAF) championship.
National women’s coach Caroline Morace is running the 10-day camp in Boca Raton that ends on December 20.
Canada is in Group “A” with Costa Rica, Guatemala and Cuba while Group “B” comprises the United States, Mexico, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago for the eight-team regional series that starts on January 20 in Guatemala.
The national team will oppose Costa Rica on the opening day and Cuba two days later before meeting the host country on January 24. The semi-finals take place on January 28 and the championship game two days later.
The finalists and the third-place team will qualify for next year’s World Cup in Germany from July 13 to August 1.
Japan, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Korea Republic, England, Switzerland, Sweden, France and host country Germany have already qualified for the 16-team tournament. The USA won the last tournament in Chile in 2008.
Canada finished runner-up to the Americans in the first tournament in Canada seven years ago.
Meantime, the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) has approved its 2010 budget and the principal of the new governance framework that will provide the association with greater efficiency and accountability.
The CSA also released its 2010 schedule.
The women’s Under-17 team will take part in a four-nation competition in Trinidad from February 22 to March 2 prior to the CONCACAF Under-17 tournament in Costa Rica from March 9 to 20. The senior women and men’s teams will take part in international friendlies in the spring and in September respectively and our Under-17 girls will participate in the FIFA World Cup in Trinidad in September. The women’s senior team will play in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in October at a venue to be named.