POMPANO BEACH, Florida—With the CONCACAF Women’s Championship (CWC) looming on the horizon, Guatemala completed an extended training camp Sunday in south Florida.
The 12-day gathering was deemed a success on multiple levels, which was crucial considering that the Group A opener against Haiti is set for Wednesday at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas.
"Practicing twice a day, having time to share videos of our opponents with the players, it's the first time we have the opportunity to do it,” said head coach Benjamin Monterroso. “Now, we need to give our best effort to make the dream to be in the World Cup a reality for the country.”
The Chapinas won each of its four friendlies against local sides, topping Broward College (11-0), Pinecrest Academy (5-1), South Kendall Sunblazer SC (10-0) and West Pines United FC U-18 (6-0).
Ana Lucia Martinez (8 goals) and Melany Cayetano (5 goals) combined to score 13 of the 32 goals.
"We are pleased with all the work, especially having the players who live and study in United States because we build a fantastic chemistry that is necessary in order to have a success,” Monterroso expressed.
Monterroso, who played for Municipal and is a former men’s national team manager, believes that Guatemala has its best chance of qualifying for a FIFA World Cup since 2015 World Cup host Canada is not participating in the CWC.
The two finalists and the winner of the match for third place earn automatic World Cup berths, while the fourth-place team will face Ecuador in a playoff for another spot.
"For us is very important to start by winning the first game,” the 62-year-old stressed. “A positive result will give confidence to the team. In tournaments like this, it is very important have a good start.”
After the encounter with Haiti, Guatemala will square off against the United States (October 17 in Bridgeview, Illinois) and Trinidad & Tobago (October 20 in Washington, D.C.).