Jamaica U17 women target semifinal berth

Jamaica's Khadija Shaw (#11) is congratulated by her teammates after scoring against Guatemala in the 2012 CONCACAF Under-17 Women's Championship.  Shaw is also on the Reggae Girlz roster for the 2013 edition of the competition. (Photo: Juan Meono)


MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – While his team prepares to host the 2013 CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship, Jamaica head coach Vin Blaine says that the goal is to reach the semifinals of the tournament, which is being held  in Montego Bay, October 30 – November 9.

Blaine realizes that Group A opponents Mexico, El Salvador and Haiti, pose a difficult challenge, but he is confident that advancement to the final four is a genuine possibility.

“We are expecting to come out and make the semi-finals,” he told CONCACAF.com.

Jamaica opens against the Salvador and on Wednesday at the Montego Bay Sports Complex’s Catherine Hall Stadium.  Its 20-player roster includes Khadija Shaw and Jorja Hughes, each of whom participated in the 2012 CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship in Guatemala.

“The core of the team has been in competition before,” Blaine added.  “The girls are assembled and going through their routines and training well.” 

The Reggae Girlz are one of only four teams to participate in each of the competition’s previous three editions.  They have two wins in nine all-time games, including a 3-0 victory over Guatemala in their 2012 opener.

The CONCACAF event is an eight-nation tournament from which the two finalists will qualify for next year’s World Cup in Costa Rica.