Costa Rica's Melissa Herrera (right) in action against Trinidad & Tobago in the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Under-20 Championship. (Photo: Mexico)
KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Melissa Herrera wants to help Costa Rica make history at the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
The 18-year old says that the Thursday’s meeting with Mexico at Sporting Park is a crucial first step on the road to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“The match against Mexico is like a final,” Herrera told CONCACAF.com. “It is a great opportunity for this team. There are great teams there, but we are coming to try to qualify.”
Earlier this year, Herrera featured for Costa Rica at both the CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship and the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Although she scored once in each competition, her goal against France in the World Cup was particularly satisfying.
“I’m very thankful to God for the chance,” Herrera expressed. “Even though we lost to France, it was great to score a goal for my country. It is important to represent your country and it is the desire of any player. It was a privilege.”
Now with the senior national team, the Saprissa standout is living a new and gratifying experience.
“It is very different,” she noted. “They are older players, but it is something very nice. You have to work very hard. It is an honor and very special for me. I wear the national team jersey with pride and I get to represent my family. Now it is important to take advantage of the chance,” said Herrera.
Despite the presence of CONCACAF powers United States and Mexico, Herrera maintains that Costa Rica is eager to prove itself and qualify for its first World Cup.
“I expect the best from Costa Rica,” the forward concluded. “We have a good team, we have good players and we are motivated. We want to show that on the field.”