Champions League kicks-off July 31
The fifth CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) kicks-off Tuesday, July 31, when two-time defending champion Monterrey (Mexico) hosts Chorrillo FC (Panama) in the first of two games that evening. In the nightcap, Herediano (Costa Rica) welcomes 2010-11 runner-up Real Salt Lake (USA) to the Estadio Nacional in San Jose.
On Wednesday, Aguila (El Salvador) travels north to make its tournament debut against Toronto FC (Canada), while visiting Tigres UANL (Mexico) takes-on Real Esteli (Nicaragua) and Isidro Metapan (El Salvador) entertains the Puerto Rico Islanders (Puerto Rico) in a rematch of last year's Preliminary Round pairing.
The first week of CCL action concludes with a Thursday triple-header: W Connection (Trinidad & Tobago) v Xelaju (Guatemala); Olimpia (Honduras) v FAS (El Salvador) in San Pedro Sula; and the Seattle Sounders (USA) v Caledonia AIA (Trinidad & Tobago).
After a nearly three-week break, the second week of CCL play will take place August 21-23.
For the complete schedule please click here.
Mexico and Honduras to open Olympic campaign on Thursday
CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying champion Mexico and runner-up Honduras will open their 2012 Olympic campaigns on Thursday. The Tricolores face Korea Republic in Newcastle, England, and the Catrachos meet Morocco in Glasgow, Scotland.
Three days later Mexico will play Gabon in Coventry, England, while Honduras squares-off against Spain in Newcastle. Mexico will close out the first round against Switzerland in Cardiff, Wales, on August 1, and Honduras plays Japan in Coventry that same day.
The Hondurans completed their pre-tournament friendly schedule with a 1-0 win over Egypt on Thursday in Amiens, France. Maynor Figueroa (32') netted the game's only goal, lifting the Central American side to its third-consecutive victory.
On Sunday, in Nottingham, England, Marco Fabian (38') scored Mexico's only goal in its 2-1 loss to Japan. On Thursday, Mexico fell 1-0 to host Spain in Cadiz. Geiger to referee Spain-Japan match
U.S. referee Mark Geiger will work the opening-day Olympics men's match Thursday between Spain and Japan, assisted by fellow American Mark Hurd and Canadian Joe Fletcher with Mexico's Roberto Garcia as the fourth official.
U.S and Canada to open Olympic participation on Wednesday
The United States kicks-off pursuit of a fourth Olympic gold medal against France on Wednesday at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland. In 16 international games this year, the U.S. is 14-1-1, including five wins on its run to the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying tournament title in January. Also, on Wednesday, Canada will open its Olympic campaign against Japan in Coventry, England.
The U.S. will complete Group G play with matches against Colombia and Korea DPR on Saturday and next Tuesday, respectively.
Canada, which is making its second-straight appearance at the Olympic Games, will square-off against South Africa (Saturday) and Sweden (Tuesday) in its other two Group F games. Seitz to officiate Olympic opener
U.S. referee Kari Seitz will officiate the Olympic women's opener between host Great Britain and New Zealand. She will be joined for Wednesday's game by assistants and fellow Americans Veronica Perez and Marlene Duffy. Mexico's Quetzalli Alvarado will be the fourth official. It is the first time in women's football history that an entire CONCACAF crew officiate has earned this assignment.
A second CONCACAF crew consisting of referee Carol Anne Chenard and Canadian compatriot Marie Charbonneau and Stacy Greyson of Jamaica as assistants will officiate the Colombia-North Korea women's match later Wednesday.
Nicaragua qualifies for first CONCACAF U-20 tournament; Costa Rica reaches Puebla as well
Nicaragua qualified for the 2013 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship finals for the first time in its history, beating host Honduras 1-0 on Saturday. Eighteen-year-old forward Carlos Chavarria (24') scored for the Pinoleros, who secured second place in Central American Group 1 with three points.
With a 3-2 win over Nicaragua on Tuesday (Jose Sosa scored two goals) and a 0-0 draw with Honduras two days later, Costa Rica captured the top spot in the group and place in the CONCACAF finals. UNCAF U-20 Qualifiers continue this week in Guatemala
Group 2 of the UNCAF U-20 Qualifiers will kick-off on Wednesday in Coatepeque, Guatemala, when the host faces El Salvador. Two days later, Panama takes-on the Cuscatlecos, before the group finishes on Sunday with an encounter between Guatemala and the Panamanians.
The top two teams from the group will advance to the CONCACAF U-20 Championship finals (Feb. 18-Mar. 2, 2013, in Puebla, Mexico), joining host Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and automatic North American qualifiers Canada and the United States in the 12-team finals. CFU U-20 Qualifiers to open Wednesday in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico will host Barbados immediately after Bermuda faces Haiti on Wednesday to open Caribbean qualifying for the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship. Match schedules for three of the four groups have Group 3 in Mayaguez concluding on July 29 with Puerto Rico facing Haiti.
Group 2 will be played July 26-30 in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, with Cuba, Aruba and St. Kitts & Nevis. Group 4 will be contested August 8-12 in Kingstown, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, with Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and Suriname. Group 1 is comprised of host Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada, Curacao and Dominica.
The four group winners along with the best runner-up will advance to a final round of qualifying with host Jamaica November 3-11. Five of the six teams from the final round of Caribbean qualifying will advance to the CONCACAF championship in Puebla, Mexico, February 18-March 2.
For Caribbean Under-20 qualifying match schedules, click here. Mexico reaches Milk Cup final
The Mexican Under-20 team will be aiming for its second-ever Milk Cup title (and first since 2001) , when it faces Denmark in the final on Thursday. The Tricolores advanced after posting a 5-0 win over Turkey on Saturday and playing host Northern Ireland to a scoreless draw on Monday.
Also, on Thursday, the United States will meet Chile for third place. The Americans defeated Turkey 1-0 on Monday, following a 1-0 loss to Denmark two days earlier.
Caribbean U-17 resumes on Wednesday
Trinidad & Tobago will host the British Virgin Islands, Guyana and Suriname beginning on Tuesday as Group 4 of the Caribbean Under-17 qualifying gets underway. Group 5 will be played in St. Kitts & Nevis' Warner Park with the host, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Grenada and Barbados facing off from Sunday through the following Thursday.
For both schedules please click here.
The top team from each group will advance to the next round and meet Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti. Additionally, the best second-place team of the five groups will also advance.
The 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Championship will be played in Panama City, Panama.
Jamaica launches U-15 women's league
The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), in partnership with FIFA, launched its first-ever Under-15 women's league on July 14. Donations from FIFA included footballs, boots, clothing, bibs, goalkeeping gloves and bags to each team, as well as a US$20,000 for additional assistance.
The 16 participating teams were divided into four confederations, with the winner of each confederation progressing to the league semi-finals. The two victors will vie for the JFF U-15 Girls Challenge Cup in the Sept. 1 championship match. Female referee course held in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Football Federation organized a female referee course July 13-15 featuring 25 young referees at the federation's Goal Project headquarters.
The course was led by Swiss referee Jaquellin Merette and coincided with a visit from FIFA Development officials, including former Costa Rica national team coach Rodrigo Kenton.