St. George’s, Grenada — The sunrises early and fast over the Caribbean island of Grenada. With it comes the heat reaching an estimated average of 88º F and humidity at 65% . Under these conditions, playing 90 minutes of soccer is pretty rough, but that is exactly what the young women from Grenada, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Jamaica, Haiti, Canada, and the United States will do during the CONCACAF U17 Women’s Championship.
These young athletes will spend the next five days battling one another in hopes of continuing to the semi-final matches on Friday, March 11th. The two winners will compete for the Championship on Sunday, March 13th at 6pm local. The third place position will be decided that day as well at 3:00 pm local.
There is a lot of excitement in Grenada about this tournament. The local people will support their home team but also want to see some great international play from future stars. One local said, “These young girls are the future of the sport. In a few years they will play college soccer and then move on to professional leagues. After that, the Olympics. We have to support them for their future and they must keep their personal goals in mind.”
Guatemala will play Canada tonight at 5:00 pm local / 4 pm EST. Without at doubt Canadian Coach, Bev Priestman has worked hard to ensure her squad is in the right frame of mind for the first match of the tournament. On the plane to Grenada, I was fortunate enough to sit next to a player. When I asked her if this was her first international CAP, she excitedly answered, “Yes.” After passing through the single room that serves as Immigration and Passport control, my crew and I met up with the Canadian squad while collecting our baggage. Despite it being a long flight, the Canadian squad was full of life and energy. That sentiment sums up what everyone feels about this tournament – the future of women’s soccer is in the hands of the these young and extraordinary athletes who are sending out positive vibrations to everyone.
Yeah mon. Let the play begin.