Katherine Alvarado (red jersey) is expected to be a key player for Costa Rica in the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship. (Photo: Mexsport)
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - Costa Rica will not leave any detail to chance as it prepares to compete in the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship.
Head coach Garabet Avedissian spoke to CONCACAF.com about the competition, which will run October 15-26 in the United States and will qualify three teams directly to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, while a fourth will contest a playoff against a South American side.
The Ticas were drawn into Group B along with Mexico, Jamaica and Martinique.
"We knew that one way or another we’d bump into Mexico or the United States, which are two of the largest in the area,” said Avedissian, assessing his team’s opposition. “Jamaica has potential and, perhaps, Martinique is the least likely on paper, but football is illogical and there are no favorites once on the field.
"The semifinalists will be decided on the final day of the group."
Costa Rica advanced to the final round after topping Group II in Central American qualifying with wins over El Salvador (4-0) and Nicaragua (3-0) in May. Katherine Alvarado and Raquel Rodriguez Cedeño led the way with two goals each.
Since Canada is hosting the World Cup, it will not participate in the CONCACAF event. This will give the Costa Ricans an increased opportunity to progress, using a squad of players that possess an abundance of international experience. Many on the current roster have already played in FIFA U-17 and U-20 Women’s World Cups, as well previous World Cup Qualifying campaign.
"I think it's a golden opportunity for anyone in CONCACAF,” Avedissian commented, adding, “Canada is one less power.”
The Tricolor trains four times a week and will travel to Spain for friendlies against Sevilla and Albacete on October 8 and 10, respectively. A third match is expected to be added to the schedule.
Costa Rica will open the CONCACAF Women’s Championship against Mexico on October 16 at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas.