The Panama women's national team (pictured) will participate in 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Qualifying, May 20-24, 2014, in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
GUATEAMALA CITY, Guatemala – Panama traveled to Guatemala for the start of 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying with the clear objective of earning one of Central America’s two places at the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
At that event, which is to be played in the United States later this year, the sides to represent the Confederation in Canada will be determined.
Head coach Raiza Gutierrez, a former national team player, has trained the squad for 45 days, focusing on the demands of a competition that will see her team face three opponents in five days.
The Canaleras played several friendlies, including two against Costa Rica that ended in defeat, with the intent of identifying and correcting areas of need in order to implement a proper tactical strategy.
When assembling her final 18-player roster, Gutierrez was emphatic on finding a balance between experience and youth.
"We gave a combination of girls with experience and girls that come from the under-20 and under-17 selections,” said Gutierrez. “God first is what will bear us fruit.”
Panama opens its campaign on Tuesday against the sub-region tournament’s host Guatemala, which advanced to the CONCACAF finals four years ago.
Gutierrez believes that the pressure to perform quickly is something both teams will face.
"It is quite a difficult match," expressed Gutierrez, "but Panama is going to go to Guatemala to make its football and to achieve its objective of qualifying. But for that we will go step by step and Guatemala is a key match."
The Panamanians will complete Group A play with games against Belize (May 22) and Honduras (May 24).
PANAMA WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER
(Central American Women’s World Cup Qualifying: May 20-24, 2014, at Guatemala City, Guatemala)
GOALKEEPERS: Lineth Benis, Farissa Cordoba
DEFENDERS: Karen Chavarria, Mayra de la Rosa, Emily Dow, Phanilka Evans, Candace Johnson, Yadira Pacheco
MIDFIELDERS: Nedelka Catuy, Kendra Chavarria, Marta Cox, Yoraidil Perez, Ruth Romero
FORWARDS: Arianys Argüelles, Amarelis de Mera, Kathiuska Dominguez, Natalia Mills, Josselyn Montilla, Cindy Sotillo