Women’s Olympic Qualifying Begins Tonight

The next event on the CONCACAF competition calendar in 2004 is the Women’s Olympic Final Round Qualification, begins tonight in Costa Rica. The tournament will take place at the Estadios Nacional and Eladio Rosabal Cordero in San José and Herédia. Canada’s first match is against Jamaica tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. CT – LIVE on Rogers Sportsnet Pacific (please check your local listings).



Since the inception of the women’s football competition at the Summer Games eight years ago, CONCACAF has sent one qualifier to each of the last two Olympics (1996, 2000), in both cases the USA. In 2004, CONCACAF will qualify two teams to Athens, Greece as the Confederation stages its first-ever Final Round Qualification.

The next event on the CONCACAF competition calendar in 2004 is the Women’s Olympic Final Round Qualification, begins tonight in Costa Rica. The tournament will take place at the Estadios Nacional and Eladio Rosabal Cordero in San José and Herédia. Canada’s first match is against Jamaica tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. CT – LIVE on Rogers Sportsnet Pacific (please check your local listings).



Since the inception of the women’s football competition at the Summer Games eight years ago, CONCACAF has sent one qualifier to each of the last two Olympics (1996, 2000), in both cases the USA. In 2004, CONCACAF will qualify two teams to Athens, Greece as the Confederation stages its first-ever Final Round Qualification.



The CONCACAF Women’s tournament (25 February – 5 March 2004) will feature two groups of four teams with Canada, Jamaica, Panama and Costa Rica in Group A, while Group B is composed of Haiti, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago and the USA.



The event kicks off on February 25th and will have six consecutive first round doubleheaders (three each in Groups A and B) until Sunday, March 1st.



The semifinal matches are scheduled for March 3rd at the Estadio Nacional in San José, Costa Rica at 12:00 and 14:30 respectively.



Two days later (March 5th) the tournament concludes at Herédia’s Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero with the third-place game at 18:00, while the Final is set for 20:00. The finalists will also earn the two CONCACAF berths for the 2004 Olympics.



Scouting the teams…



Canada

One of three nations earning a bye into the 2004 Final Round Qualification … Under Head Coach Even Pellerud, Canada has recently placed fourth at the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup and achieved second place at the 2002 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup … Canada has qualified to the last three Women’s World Cups (1995, 1999, 2003) … Canada’s Senior women’s team made their international debut in 1986 and won their first international honor in 1999, capturing the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.



Costa Rica

Advanced into the Women’s Olympic Final Round as the host … Missed out on a 2003 FIFA World Cup Playoff against Asia after finishing fourth at the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup falling to Mexico in the third-place match … The ticas claimed the gold medal at the 2001 Juegos Centroamericanos in Guatemala … Ricardo Rodriguez has been at Costa Rica’s helm since 2001.



Haiti

Led by Sonche Pierre, Haiti qualified for the Pre-Olympic tournament after eliminating the host Dominican Republic in a two-game series 10:2 on aggregate score … The haitians are competing in their second consecutive CONCACAF event, after reaching the 2002 Gold Cup … Haiti captured the inaugural Caribbean Football Union Women’s Championship in 2000.



Jamaica

One of three teams from the Caribbean Zone, Jamaica advanced into the Final Round after defeating the host Cayman Islands in a pair of qualifying matches 4:0 on aggregate … Under technical director Christopher Bender, the reggae girlz qualified to the 2002 Women’s Gold Cup … Jamaica reached the semifinals in the inaugural Caribbean Football Union Championship two years earlier.



Mexico

Mexico has become one of the top teams in the region, becoming the first Spanish speaking nation to qualify for a FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1999 … The tricolor missed out on their second consecutive berth to the FIFA event in 2003, losing a playoff to Japan … Advanced to the Pre-Olympic tournament after eliminating Nicaragua and the host Honduras in a triangular preliminary … Leonardo Cuellar is in charge of Mexico.



Panama

Panama earned the final berth to the Pre-Olympic tournament after the suspension imposed on Guatemala by FIFA and CONCACAF … Under technical director Ezequiel Fernandez, the canaleras had finished tied for first place in the triangular preliminary but originally lost out to the host, Guatemala on goal differential (+18 to +13) … Reached the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup for the first time in history in 2002.



Trinidad & Tobago

One of only two countries to participate in every CONCACAF women’s championship (along with Canada) … Trinidad & Tobago eliminated Suriname in a two-game qualifying series 6:2 on aggregate to earn a berth into the Olympic Final Round … The soca princessess highest finish in a CONCACAF women’s competition was third-place at the inaugural Confederation championship, which doubled as the qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup in 1991. Jamaal Shabazz is in charge of Trinidad & Tobago.



USA

Captured the two FIFA Women’s World Cups (1991, 1999) and the inaugural gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games … One of three teams to earn a bye into the CONCACAF Pre-Olympic Tournament … Under technical director April Heinrichs, the stars & stripes have claimed two consecutive CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cups (2000, 2002), along with a silver medal at the Olympics (2000) and a third-place finish at the FIFA World Cup (2003) … The USA will be putting a 14-game unbeaten streak, against CONCACAF teams, on the line … The last time the stars & stripes lost to a regional opponent was a 3:0 defeat at the hands of Canada back in March 2001.

Schedule & Results

Check out Canada Soccer’s Schedule & Results page where you can find upcoming match schedules and past results leading to highlights, photos, match data, and more.