CHICAGO (Feb. 5, 2010) – The schedule for the 2010 CONCACAF Under-17 Women's Championship in Costa Rica has been finalized and the United States will open Group B play against Haiti on March 10, followed by the Cayman Islands on March 12 and finish first round play against the hosts on March 14.
The 16-game, 11-day tournament will run from March 10-20 and all the matches will be played at Alejandro Morera Soto Stadium in Alajuela, Costa Rica. Group A will feature Panama, Mexico, Jamaica and Canada.
Like at the CONCACAF U-20 Women's Championship in January, all matches from the U-17 event will be streamed live free of charge at CONCACAF.com. Each game will also be available on-demand shortly after its conclusion.
The group winners and second place finishers will cross over to the all-important semifinals on March 18 with the two semifinal winners earning berths to the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Trinidad & Tobago. As the U-17 Women’s World Cup is being held in the CONCACAF region, and T & T gets an automatic berth as host, the CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship will send just two nations to the U-17 Women’s World Cup, instead of the three that qualified for the inaugural tournament two years ago in New Zealand.
Haiti has confirmed its participation in this second biennial U-17 CONCACAF championship despite the tragedy which, according to some estimates, has killed 200,000 in the country. This is the first time Haiti has qualified for the CONCACAF finals of a women's youth event since the 2002 U-19 tournament.
CONCACAF President Jack Warner visited Haiti on Sunday, committing support and offering encouragement to the Haitian Football Federation.
"Haiti's participation in this tournament under the most difficult circumstances is a testament to the will and commitment of the Haitian Football Federation, their players and coaches and the Haitian people," Warner said. "We applaud their perseverance and look forward to working together to rebuild their football program and country."
The Haitian team has already arrived in Santo Domingo, where the Dominican Football Federation is providing lodging, training facilities and other assistance to help prepare the side for next month's championship.
The U.S. team, led by head coach Kazbek Tambi, is currently in Florida for a training camp that also features three matches against the German U-17s. Following the camp, Tambi will select his roster for the qualifying tournament.
Two years ago, Tambi led the USA to the title at the first CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championships in Trinidad & Tobago, defeating Costa Rica, El Salvador and T & T in group play before earning its berth to New Zealand with a 1-0 victory against Mexico in the semifinal on a late goal from current U.S. Under-20 international Crystal Dunn. The USA then defeated Costa Rica 4-1 to win the championship.
2010 CONCACAF UNDER-17 WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIPS SCHEDULE
(Kickoff times in U.S. Eastern; local times in parentheses)
Wednesday, March 10
Haiti vs. United States, 6 p.m. (5 p.m.)
Costa Rica vs. Cayman Islands, 8:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m.)
Thursday, March 11
Panama vs. Mexico, 6 p.m. (5 p.m.)
Jamaica vs. Canada, 8:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m.)
Friday, March 12
United States vs. Cayman Islands, 6 p.m. (5 p.m.)
Costa Rica vs. Haiti, 8:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m.)
Saturday, March 13
Mexico vs. Jamaica, 6 p.m. (5 p.m.)
Panama vs. Canada, 8:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m.)
Sunday, March 14
Cayman Islands vs. Haiti, 1 p.m. (11 a.m.)
Costa Rica vs. United States, 3:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m.)
Monday, March 15
Jamaica vs. Panama, 7 p.m. (5 p.m.)
Canada vs. Mexico , 9:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m.)
Thursday, March 18
Semifinal 1, 6 p.m. (4 p.m.)
Semifinal 2, 9 p.m. (7 p.m.)
Saturday, March 20
Third-Place, 6 p.m. (4 p.m.)
Championship, 9 p.m. (7 p.m.)