Costa Rica and the U.S. became the first two teams to advance to the semifinals of the 2010 Women’s World Cup qualifiers with their wins Saturday night in Cancun. And it was the night of the Roridriguezes as Amy Rodriguez scored a hat trick for the U.S. and Rachel Rodriguez Cedeno celebrated her 17th birthday with two goals in Costa Rica’s 3-0 win over Haiti. Cedeno, who turned 17 on Oct. 28, was part of the Costa Rica U-20 side that competed in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup this past summer in Germany and the u-17 team that played in the U-17 WWC in New Zealand. Midfielder Shirley Cruz Traña scored Costa Rica’s other goal.
The U.S. dominated from the start in the nightcap of the Group B doubleheader Saturday in Cancun. In addition to Amy Rodriguez’s three goals, Abby Wambach and Megan Rapinoe added two apiece, and Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan scored one each in the 9-0 win. The U.S. plays Costa Rica Nov. 1 to decide the winner of Group B.
In Group A action today, Canada faces Guyana and Mexico takes on Trinidad and Tobago. Wins for Canada and Mexico send both teams to the semifinal round.
Day two of the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifiers in Cancun produced favorable results for the two favorites in Group A, and although it seemed like Canada barely got out alive against Trinidad and Tobago, the Canadians dominated play in its 1-0 victory. Forward Melissa Tancredi, who had two goals disallowed in the fhirst half, scored for Canada. Mexio breezed past Guyana, a team playing in its first-ever Gold Cup. Maiel Domimquez scored four goals to lead Mexico in its 7-2 win over Guyana. The U.S. is back in action today, playing Guatemala at 8 p.m. Haiti takes 0n Costa Rica at 6 p.m. Both teams can advance to the knockout stages with victories.
The first day of the CONCACAF Gold Cup/Women’s World Cup qualifiers produced victories for both the U.S. and Costa Rica. In Group B play, Costa Rica opened the tournament with a 1-0 win over Guatemala. Adriana Venegas scored the game-winner for Costa Rica. Group B continues Saturday and the U.S. can advance to the knockout round if they beat Guatemala and Haiti loses to or draws with Costa Rica. Costa Rica, meanwhile, can advance if they beat Haiti and Guatemala loses to or draws with the U.S. In the U.S. win over Haiti, Abby Wambach scored three goals, Amy Rodriguez scored one as did Rachel Buehler, her first USWNT goal.
Tonight in Group A, Trinidad and Tobago faces Canada at 6 p.m. (ET) followed by Mexico and Guyana at 8 p.m. Guyana reached the Gold Cup by beating Cuba in the Caribbean playoff. This will be Guyana’s Gold Cup debut against a tough Mexican side. To read more about the Lady Jags and how Guyana earned its highest-ever FIFA ranking (85th), read the October issue of Our Game Magazine where we interviewed Guyana Head Coach Chris Brown. Also, learn more about the Haitian team in the July issue of Our Game.
The Football Association of Ireland named Susan Ronan as its new head coach Thursday, Oct. 14. Prior to the announcement, Ronan talked to Our Game about Ireland forward Fiona O’Sullivan, who was featured in the October issue of Our Game Magazine. In July, Ronan was appointed as the team’s interim coach after Noel King left, so she only spent three games in August coaching O’Sullivan during World Cup qualifiers. This is what Ronan had to say about O’Sullivan: “For those 3 games, I found Fiona to be an excellent player and a real hard worker in training. I had previously seen her only from a distance in games, but seeing her at first-hand in training every day, showed me what a really good player she is and what a huge addition to our squad she is. For a big girl, her touch is excellent and so is her speed across the ground. She scored three goals vs. Israel, each one very different. Now that I have been appointed full-time Head Coach, I look forward to getting to know her more and working with her again.” O’Sullivan recently finished up her season with the Swedish club AIK in Dammalsvenskan. She scored two goals in seven games.
In our June issue, we caught up with the Mewis sisters, Kristie and Samantha, teammates on the U-20 U.S. Women’s National Team. Now, three months removed from the U-20 Women’s World Cup, the two are contributing to the success of their respective teams. Kristie, a sophomore midfielder at Boston College, has eight goals and nine assists for the No. 6 Eagles. UCLA-bound Samantha has led Whitman-Hanson High School to the No. 1 spot in Massachusetts. She is third in the state in scoring (22 goals and eight assists). We caught up with Sam after her team won its league title. “After the World Cup, (Kristie and I) were both kind of struggling to get our confidence back because losing (in the U-20 WC) was heart-breaking. I think she’s got back into the swing of things. She’s doing amazing.” Sam also talked about how much she’s looking forward to playing alongside Sydney Leroux full time next fall at UCLA. “It gives me confidence thinking of myself as her teammate. She’s probably the best player I’ve ever played with. I’m so excited. I think I’ll get a lot better playing with players at that level.”
Ali Riley, who was on the cover of and featured in the August 2010 issue of Our Game Magazine, scored two goals Oct. 8 in New Zealand’s 11-0 over Papua New Guinea in the finals of the OFC Women’s Championships. The Football Ferns outscored their opponents, 50-0, in five games. The seven other teams combined to score 28 goals in the tournament. New Zealand now joins Sweden, England, Norway, France, Japan, North Korea, Australia, and host city Germany on the list of teams that have qualified for the 2011 Women’s World Cup.
In the July 2010 issue of Our Game, we featured 20-year-old American, Leah Fortune, who played for the Brazilian U-20 Women’s National Team. A redshirt freshman at the University of Texas, Fortune is second on the team in scoring this fall with four goals and four assists in 13 games. But last Monday, she made a difficult choice. She withdrew from the University of Texas. She did so because she was called up to the Brazilian Women’s National Team to compete at the 2010 Sudamericano Femenino, CONMEBOL’s 2011 World Cup qualifiers. She explains her decision on her blog http://thepearlsprofit.tumblr.com/.