USA Will Travel to Trinidad & Tobago in Attempt to Gain Berth for Canada 2002
CHICAGO (Wednesday, November 7, 2001) - The dates for the final qualifying tournament for the Football Confederation for the inaugural FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship have been set and U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team head coach Tracey Leone now knows that her team will travel to Trinidad & Tobago to compete from May 5-12, 2002, for a berth in the first ever FIFA world championship for youth women.
Eight countries will compete in the final tournament, two from the North American Zone, two from the Central American Zone and four from the Caribbean Zone, including the host country, Trinidad & Tobago. The teams will be divided into two groups, one to play on the island of Trinidad and the other on Tobago, in the new stadiums built for the recently completed FIFA U-17 Boys World Championship.
The USA will compete in Group B which will be contested on the island of Tobago, while Group A will be played on Trinidad, highlighted by host T & T and Mexico. Joining the USA in Group B will be the winners of Group 2 and Group 3 in Caribbean Zone qualifying along with the winner of the qualifying tournament in the Central Zone.
The winner of each group in the final qualifying competition will earn the FC's two berths available for the first-ever FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship to be held in Canada from Aug. 17-Sept. 1, 2002, but will also play a final match to determine the Confederation champion.
As hosts of the inaugural Under-19 Women's Championship, Canada will not have to qualify, leaving Mexico and USA as the two remaining North Zone participants.
"The first of anything is always special," said Leone. "It's extremely exciting that this group of players can be part of such an incredible event and gain this invaluable experience. It's wonderful to see how many teams in our region are pursuing a berth in the world championship. Our team is very focused on earning a berth in Canada, even more so now that we know the path we must take to our goal."
In the Caribbean Zone, twelve countries have announced their intention to play, including Trinidad & Tobago, which will participate in the qualification rounds as a guest team. The teams have been divided into three groups of four teams each. Round-robin matches within the groups will be played at single sites with the group winners advancing to the final tournament. The format for the Central Zone qualifying will be announced at a later date, but it is to be completed no later than March 14, 2002. Following are the groupings for the Caribbean Zone qualifying tournament as well as the groups for the final qualifying competition:
GROUP 1 (Jamaica, December 18-22, 2001): Jamaica, Bahamas, Grenada and
Trinidad & Tobago
GROUP 2 (Antigua, TBD): Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Guyana and Suriname
GROUP 3 (Haiti, January 8-12, 2002): Haiti, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and the U.S. Virgin Islands
CENTRAL ZONE: (To be determined). To be completed by March 14, 2002.
FINAL QUALIFYING COMPETITION (Trinidad & Tobago, May 5-12, 2002)
GROUP A (Trinidad): Trinidad & Tobago (host); Mexico; CARIBBEAN Group 1
Winner; CENTRAL 2nd Place.
GROUP B (Tobago): United States, CARIBBEAN Group 2 Winner, CARIBBEAN Group 3 Winner; CENTRAL Winner.