NEW YORK -- Starting Wednesday, 31 countries will participate in three women's international football competitions across the globe…a remarkable 10 of those teams come from CONCACAF. They will be in action at the Central American Games in Costa Rica, the Algarve Cup in Portugal and the Cyprus Women's Cup in Cyprus.
The Central American Games, which run through March 14 in San Jose, open with three encounters: Guatemala-Panama, Nicaragua-El Salvador and Costa Rica-Belize. Honduras is also entered and will start play on Friday against Panama.
In Portugal, the United States will kick-off Algarve Women's Cup play against Iceland in Group B, while Mexico will take-on Hungary in Group C. The 12-team tournament will be played March 6-13, with each nation playing four matches.
At the Cyprus Women's Cup, Canada will open the tournament against Switzerland in Group A. Similar to the Algarve Cup, each of the 12 squads will play four games through March 13.
Over the next three years, teams from around the globe will be preparing for the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015, with an expansion to 24 spots available to the 209 member associations.
In addition to host Canada, at least three teams from the CONCACAF region will qualify for the 2015 tournament; a potential fifth CONCACAF spot can be secured through an inter-continental playoff against the third-best team from South America.
The final rounds of FIFA Women's World Cup Qualifying will take place next year.