The United States women’s national team has been drawn into Group A for the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, set to battle Guatemala, Haiti and Trinidad & Tobago. Group B consists of Mexico, Jamaica, Costa Rica and Martinique.
Spanning from Oct. 15-26, the tournament has eight countries divided into two groups, and each group’s top two finishers will move on to the semifinals. The victors of the third-place match and semifinal contests will qualify for 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, while the fourth-place finisher will have to overcome a two-game playoff against South America’s third place squad for an inclusion to the WC in Canada.
On Oct. 15 in Kansas City, the U.S. will take on Trinidad & Tobago at 7:30 p.m. CT to open the competition. The next match will take place in Chicago in hopes of defeating Guatemala on Oct. 17 at 8 p.m. CT. Then, the squad will head to Washington D.C. for it’s last group stage contest against Haiti on Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
“An opponent at this point is an opponent standing between us and the World Cup,” U.S. head coach Jill 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.”
The United States snagged first in four CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying tournaments–1991, 1994, 2002 and 2006–but succumbed to a loss to Mexico in the 2010 semifinal. Therefore, the U.S. was forced to win the third-place match and defeat Italy in a two-game playoff to grab a spot at the World Cup in Germany.