Defending regional Under-17 female soccer champions, Canada, will oppose Jamaica, Panama and host country Guatemala in the opening round of this year’s Confederation of North, Central American & Caribbean Associations of Soccer (CONCACAF) competition in May.
Eight countries will take part in the tournament.
The other group comprises Trinidad & Tobago, the United States, Bahamas and Mexico.
The top two teams from each group will cross over to face each other in the semi-finals on May 10. The two semi-finalists and the third place winner will advance to the 16-team World Cup in Azerbaijan from September 22 to October 13.
Meanwhile, Major League Soccer (MLS) 2011 Player of the Year, Dwayne DeRosario, has agreed to a new contract with D.C. United. The 33-year-old midfielder scored 16 goals and 11 assists in a season in which he also played for Toronto FC and New York Red Bulls.
“It’s nice to be with an organization that has the same goals and ambitions as I,” said DeRosario, who has scored 93 goals in 274 games in 11 MLS seasons. “D.C. United has a very rich history and one that we want to relive in the near future….It’s a great feeling to be associated with the United family.
“Ever since I came here, the organization and the fans have accepted me as part of the family and I want to keep this family growing all across the D.C. area and relive those special moments.”
D.C. United general manager, Dave Kasper, said DeRosario is the centrepiece of their team on and off the field.
“Dwayne proved last year that he is the best player in Major League Soccer and we are pleased to have signed him to a deal that will see his stay in D.C. extended beyond 2012,” he said. “We are thrilled he will be wearing our colours for years to come.”
In addition to last season’s MVP and Golden Boot Award, DeRosario has won four MLS Cups, two MLS Cup MVPs and earned five All-Star nods.
And, Burkina Faso has fired coach Paulo Duarte after the national team lost all three of its matches at the Africa Cup of Nations.
“He failed impose himself as the leader of the group,” said the country’s soccer federation chairman, Zambede Sawadogo.
Duarte, who has coached the team since 2008, accused Burkina Faso’s soccer authorities of undermining his efforts.
Assistant coach, Mocktar Baro, will lead the side in a friendly against Morocco on February 29.
By RON FANFAIR