Soccer  > General Soccer  > Chacon focuses Costa Rica on World Cup berth
October 26, 2010, 12:55 PM
Costa Rica's under-17 women's team qualified for the World Cup in 2008. Their U-20 sisters followed this past year.

Now Randall Chacon will try for a triple by taking the senior "Las Ticas" to the Women's World Cup for the first time.

In the CONCACAF Women's World Cup Qualifying, set for October 28- November 8 in Cancun, Mexico, Costa Rica will rely on midfielder Shirley Cruz as its main weapon.

Cruz plays for Olympique Lyon in France, and leads a new generation of women's players in Costa Rica that will face the United States, Guatemala and Haiti in the first round.

Chacon spoke to CONCACAF.com about his expectations for the tournament that begins Thursday.

The coach stressed, among other comments, the primary objective is to reach the tournament final and win one of the two guaranteed berths in next year's World Cup in Germany, and is relying on the team's experience in international competition to reach that goal.

How have the preparations gone prior to the tournament?

We have to fight against a lot obstacles. We can't deny that. We are playing against strong reams that have matches every month and we do not.

Can you analyze your opponents?

They are three national teams that are different but are all still dangerous. The United States, we all know what and who they are. They are a world power that has been a World Cup champion.

Haiti is a Caribbean team that has always been tough for Costa Rica due to their strong and quick play.

Guatemala will look to us, like we look to the United States. They want to beat us and we want to beat the United States. They will work extra hard and give all that they have in order to beat us.

Due to the format of competition, how do you assess your chances?

We are looking to win one of the two direct berths. If not, we will focus on the third place to reach the playoff.

How much experience does this team have?

It's a team that already has a lot international matches under its belt. There aren't any new players who will be affected by nerves or have never played in a World Cup qualifying tournament. We have the ability to count on six players who just competed at the U-20 World Cup in Germany and that gives the group an edge.

Furthermore we have Shirley Cruz as who has an impressive amount of international experience.In summary, we can't complain about a lack of experience.

How important is Shirley Cruz to Costa Rica?

Shirley is main reference point for women's soccer in Costa Rica.

Who are some of the other key players?

We have Katherine Alvarado who has been the captain of the recent U-17 and U-20 sides. We also have Raquel Rodriguez Cedeno, who at a young age is very experienced. We also can look to Wendy Acosta, andMonica Malavassi, players who have international experience.

First the U-17 World Cup, then the U-20. Would reaching the senior World Cup cap a successful run in the last two years?

It would be a fitting end to a short and long process, if I explain myself correctly. Costa Rica in women's soccer is new and just recently at a FIFA level. That said, it's already qualified for two World Cups. Finishing off this period by reaching a World Cup with this group would be very important for women's soccer in Costa Rica.

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