Soccer  > General Soccer  > Mexican women aiming for qualifying final
October 14, 2010, 02:16 PM
Home games are usually an aid. Mexican women's national team coach Leonardo Cuellar hopes that's so when the CONCACAF Women's World Cup Qualifying tournament begins later this month in Cancun.

"It does imply an extra amount of pressure, but I also think that we will have the support of our fans," Cuellar said. "I think that the team is a combination of experienced players alongside ones that have stood out amongst the group that had a good Under-20 World Cup in Germany.

"I believe we have a balanced group although we are always up against the obstacle of not being able to count on players the amount of time that we'd like as they are in school or abroad."

Cuellar will take his charges to South Korea for a three-game friendly tour, its final preparations before the October 28-November 8 CONCACAF championship.

"We are working hard and the girls are fully committed as the tournament is just around the corner," Cuellar said. "Everyone has the desire to return to the World Cup with the senior team."

Cuellar will be taking to South Korea several additions to his roster that have been missing from recent friendlies. Maribel Dominguez and Kenti Robles arrived Tuesday and will be available for matches against Australia, Taiwan and either South Korea, New Zealand or England.

"It's a team that's focused on achieving a direct berth as there are only two-and-a-half available," Cuellar said. "Being at home forces us be one of the finalists, as the third-place team will face the fifth-place team in Europe, which is now between Switzerland, Denmark and the Ukraine."

The ability to count on a mix of youth and experience gives the female Tricolor a better chance, at least in the mind of Cuellar, who said that the team's strength is based on its attack, even if it may not have 18-year-old Charlyn Corral, who led Mexico's U-20 team to this past year's World Cup.

"From the midfield forward we have a team that's dynamic and able to create goal scoring opportunities," Cuellar said. "We haven't had the opportunity to work with our entire defensive line as the majority of them are in school and therefore that's the only thing we have to figure out.

"Therefore we've invited Alina Garciamendez and Natalie Garcia. who were the central defenders that played with the U-20 team in Germany. In the attack we have Maribel Dominguez, Dinor Garza, Evelyn Lopez, Monica Ocampo, Tania Morales and Stephany Mayor who had a great U-20 World Cup. We also have the ability to call up Corral as she hasn't been able to practice with us due to school, although we do have her in mind."

Cuellar accepts that women's soccer in Mexico hasn't developed as fast as in other countries, but he's confident that the results will help change a culture that often doesn't value female players.

He's convinced that the upcoming World Cup qualifying tournament in Canc??n will be extremely important to take the next step in the development of women's soccer in Mexico.


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