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U.S. Women’s Team Begins World Cup Qualifying vs. Trinidad & Tobago

U.S. Women’s Team Begins World Cup Qualifying vs. Trinidad & Tobago

Posted by Shanelle Weir on September 05, 2014

The U.S. women’s national soccer team will begin the quest for a berth in the 2015 World Cup against Trinidad & Tobago on Oct. 15 at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.

In a qualifying draw conducted by CONCACAF in Miami on Friday, the Americans were placed in Group A with Guatemala, Haiti and T&T. After facing the Caribbean champions, the U.S. squad will meet Guatemala on Oct. 17 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., and Haiti three days later at RFK Stadium in Washington.

Mexico heads Group B with Costa Rica, Jamaica and Martinique.

The semifinals, third-place match and final are set for Oct. 24-26 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. All tournament match days are doubleheaders.

Three teams will qualify for next summer’s 24-nation tournament in Canada. A fourth side will enter a playoff against South America’s third-place team.

As World Cup host, Canada, the second-best team in CONCACAF behind the United States, does not have to qualify.

Martinique is not a full member of FIFA and not eligible to qualify for the World Cup. (The qualifying tournament is, in fact, the CONCACAF championship, for which Martinique qualified through Caribbean competition.) If Martinique advances to the semifinals, the fifth-place team will remain in contention for a World Cup berth.

All matches will appear on various Fox TV and online platforms.

The Americans, top-ranked in the world, should not encounter much trouble advancing to the 2015 competition. They have a 20-1-0 record in World Cup qualifiers, the only loss coming four years ago to host Mexico in the semifinals. Because of that defeat, the U.S. squad had to beat Costa Rica for third place and then overcome Italy in a two-game playoff. At that time, however, CONCACAF had only two automatic berths.

With an additional slot available, Canada not involved and the tournament taking place on home soil, the Americans are expected to breeze to a berth. The United States has not lost a home game in any competition in almost 10 years and is 12-0-0 all-time against the group opponents.

Jill Ellis‘s squad will tune up for the qualifying tournament with friendlies against Mexico on Sept. 13 in Sandy, Utah, and Sept. 18 in Rochester, N.Y.

An opponent at this point is an opponent standing between us and the World Cup,” Ellis said. “We will prepare for every team with the same respect, resolve and planning while making sure our focus is on our performance. We will approach every game with the intent of maximizing our points and getting to the semifinal.”

CONCACAF qualifying schedule

(All times are Eastern)

Oct. 15 in Kansas City, Kan.: Guatemala vs. Haiti, 6 p.m.; United States vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 8:30 p.m.

Oct. 16 in Kansas City: Costa Rica vs. Mexico, 6; Jamaica vs. Martinique, 8:30

Oct. 17 in Bridgview, Ill.: Haiti vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 6:30; United States vs. Guatemala, 9

Oct. 18 in Bridgeview: Martinique vs. Mexico, 4; Costa Rica vs. Jamaica, 6:30

Oct. 20: in Washington: Trinidad & Tobago vs. Guatemala at 5; United States vs. Haiti at 7:30

Oct. 21 in Washington: Mexico vs. Jamaica at 5; Costa Rica vs. Martinique at 7:30

Oct. 24 in Chester, Pa.: semifinals, 4:30 and 7:30

Oct. 26 in Chester: third-place game, 3 p.m.; final, 6 p.m.

 

 

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