SAINT GEORGE'S, Grenada – Guatemala head coach Benjamin Monterroso had good reason to be optimistic after Thursday’s 2016 CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship (CU17W) draw at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort Hotel.
After all, his side avoided a quartet that consists of defending champion Mexico, the United States, Central American-rival Costa Rica and Caribbean champion Jamaica.
Instead, for the March 3-13 event, the Chapinas will be in Group A with host Grenada, Caribbean runner-up Haiti and Canada.
"We are pleased by the group that we’re in and were going to fight hard," said Monterroso, who played for Guatemala in the 1976 Olympic Games.
The 63-year-old’s enthusiasm is well founded, especially with four players – goalkeeper Natalie Schaps, forward Anika Schaps, and defenders Sara Fetzer and Kellyn Mayen – returning from the side that competed in the 2013 edition of the tournament. In fact Mayen, as a 15-year-old, also saw action in one game with the senior squad at the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
"We bring players who participated in World Cup Qualifying and have been strengthened by the work we have developed over the years," Monterroso remarked.
With six weeks to go before the first ball is kicked, the former Municipal standout signaled that the team will continue working hard.
"We have been going through a good process and we have good players," finished Monterroso. "We must improve on physical conditioning primarily.”