2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship runner-up Costa Rica (pictured) is planning an extensive preparation program for next year's FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada. (Photo: Mexsport)
CHESTER, Pennsylvania -- As much as Costa Rica women’s football has improved over the last several years, national team head coach Garabet Avedissian realizes there still a ways to go for his side to reach the next level.
After finishing as runner-up at the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship (CWC) and securing a berth in the next FIFA Women's World Cup, the Ticas are targeting additional improvement as in preparation for Canada 2015.
"It’s clear, the differences are obvious," Avedissian said after a 6-0 loss to the United States in the CWC final on Sunday. "There is no way that we can claim that there are [no] differences and fix them all in one clear stroke. We have to continue to prepare for the World Cup and maybe the preparation for the World Cup is a little different than the preparation for this CONCACAF tournament. Idoesn't mean we haven't prepared properly here, but for a World Cup when you're choosing your friendly matches, you need to choose matches that are at the level of the World Cup, maybe a little higher level."
To do so, the Central American side will go on tour and plans to play a series of matches against some of the best international teams.
"We have to have a high-level tour in terms of the friendlies that we play," he said. "We know we have to keep working. We have to keep working for the long term as well because these distances are not closed in one day. They are closed day-by-day.
"If you look at the differences, the gap between us and Mexico has closed. You can see it’s closed. So, day by day we hope to close this gap with the USA."
Costa Rica defeated Mexico in its Group B opener, 1-0.
Midfielder Shirley Cruz of France’s Paris Saint-Germain is the lone squad member to play professionally abroad, so getting top-flight international matches is essential.
"For the World Cup for what you really need is high-level friendlies," Avedissian finished. "We're going to play five or six of them at the level of the World Cup. We're going to play teams from Europe or teams that have qualified for the World Cup. You experience a little bit of a different rhythm or competition."