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The Week in Women's Football: CONCACAF Regional Championship - Group play review

This week, we review the last two rounds of group games in the six CONCACAF groups to qualify for the Regional W Championship this summer in Monterrey, Mexico, which doubles as the regional 2023 Women's World Cup Qualifiers. As we have done in the past, we look at key matches and players and team rosters when available.



CONCACAF Regional W Championship—Group Play Completed

The U.S. and Canada, as top seeds in the region, advanced directly to the Finals this summer, which will be held in Monterrey, Mexico. They were joined by the six Group Winners from the regional qualifiers: Costa Rica, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago. In the end the group winners were not unexpected as all six teams were the top seeds in their respective groups, though Dominican Republic pushed Jamaica hard (Group C) and El Salvador did the same with Panama (Group D) until the end, while Guyana will rue their surprising day three draw at home to Nicaragua, which prevented them from moving on to Mexico, as two more points in that match, combined with their 2-2 draw in Tobago, would have given them the group title on goal difference. As it was, they lost out on a spot due to an injury-time goal from T&T that salvaged a point and ensured advancement for the Soca Warriors.

Yessenia Flores of Nicaragua (who scored six goals in a 19-0 win effort against Turks and Caicos Islands in February) and Roselord Borgella of Haiti (see more below on both) tied for the Tournament's Gold Boot title with 11 goals each from their respective four Group games, with Kadija Shaw of Jamaica and Manchester City of the WSL third with nine goals. Yeranis Lee (23) of Cuba and Batcheba Louis (24) of Haiti and Issy of France were tied for fourth on seven goals.



Group A

On April 6, host side Antigua and Barbuda edged near neighbor (about 100 miles distance) Anguilla 1-0 on midfielder Kai Jacobs (26) goal in the 27th minute. In a friendly match, Anguilla warmed up for their last two qualifiers with a 2-1 win away to St. Maarten on March 27.

On April 8, Nikolette Driesse (27), who played five NWSL games with the Orlando Pride and Sky Blue FC in 2017 and 2018 and spent time with ZNK Split in Croatia, scored in the 17th minute for Puerto Rico against Surinam at home. She played at Florida State and Penn State Universities and with U.S. national youth teams before joining P.R. in 2021. Jillienne Aguilera, who is with the Chicago Red Stars for 2022, scored the second goal of the game in the 66th to secure the 2-0 win and keep PR undefeated entering the crucial last match against regional power Mexico in Toluca.

On April 9, Mexico blasted Aguilla 11-0 with a hat-trick from Alicia Cervantes and second half braces by Diana Ordonez and Katty Martinez, with one from the penalty spot for the latter.

On April 12, Suriname defeated Antigua and Barbuda 5-1 in Paramaribo, with five different players getting on the scoresheet for the winners.

On April 12, Mexico needed only a tie as they had a sizeable goal differential over Puerto Rico (+27 to +15) after three games each; Mexico defeated Puerto Rico 6-0 in high level Toluca (outside of Mexico City), with a brace from Tigres' Lizbeth Ovalle (22).

In Group A, which saw no deadlocks at all, Mexico finished with 12 points, Puerto Rico with 9, Suriname with 6, Antigua and Barbuda on 3 points and Anguilla with 0 points, not having scored at all while allowing 26 goals.

Mexico named 24 players to face Anguila and Puerto Rico. Casandra Montero of Club Guadalajara and Diana Ordoñez of the NC Courage joined the Mexican National Team for the first time. Montero was called in 2013 to be part of Mexico's U-20 Women's national team; meanwhile, Ordonez switched allegiance through FIFA after appearing for the U.S. at the youth team level. At the University of Virginia, she is ranked tied for third for the most goals in program history with 45.

The squad consists of 13 players with Liga MX Femenile clubs, 6 who are currently playing in the U.S. (two with colleges), two in Spain and one each in France, the Netherlands and Portugal.

Mexico Squad for the April internationals

Goalkeepers

Godinez Herrera, Alexandria—Monterrey

Alvarado Natividad, Emily—Stade de Reims (FRA)

Gonzalez Rodriguez, Itzel—Sevilla FC (SPA)

Defenders

Bernal Rodriguez, Rebecca—Monterrey

Lopez Fuentes, Jimena—OL Reign (USA)

Robles Salas, Kenti—Real Madrid (Spain)

Espinoza Casas, Greta—Tigres

Ferral Montalván, Cristina—Tigres

Sierra Garcia, Elissa—Tigres

Rodriguez, Karina—Washington Spirit (USA)

Midfielders

Delgado Alvarado, Alexia—Arizona State University (USA)

Jaramillo Quintero, Carolina—Chivas

Montero Rodriguez, Cassandra—Chivas

Sanchez Morales, Maria—Houston Dash (USA)

Garcia Castillo, Diana—Monterrey

Rodriguez Anika, Elia—PSV Eindhoven (NED)

Major Gutierrez, Stephany—Tigres

Ovalle Munoz, Jacqueline—Tigres

Reyes Zárate, Maricarmen—UCLA (USA)

Forwards

Martinez Abad Katty—Club America

Cervantes Herrera Alicia—Chivas

Montoya Rodriguez, Joseline—Chivas

Ordoñez Torres Diana—North Carolina Courage (USA)

Delgadillo Prado, Myra—SC Braga (POR)



Group B

On April 6, Curacao edged U.S.V.I. 1-0 away in Christianstad, on the island of St. Croix, from a 23rd minute goal by midfielder Riesmarly Tokay (19, who plays with SV Hubentut Fortuna in Curacao's First Division League in the town of Seru Fortuna, north of the Curacao capital Willenstad, Netherlands Antilles).

St. Kitts and Nevis defeated Guatemala away on April 8 2-1 for a crucial win, to put themselves in with a remote chance of advancing to the Finals or a decent chance of finishing second in the Group, which would help their FIFA rankings for future tournament draws. Teenagers scored all of the goals as forward Iyania Bailey-Williams (19, who was born in Puerto Rico and plays at Butler University in Indiana) scored the first goal from the penalty spot in the 21st minute for St Kitts. Guatemala tied it with a goal four minutes after the restart by 18-year-old Celsa Cruz, before a tally in the 71st minute by 16-year-old midfielder Jahzara Claxton (Newtown United in St. Kitts and Nevis) gave the Sugar Girlz the victory.

On April 9, Costa Rica won 4-0 over Curacao in Willenstad, with Portland Thorns' influential midfielder Raquel Rodriguez (28) scoring three times and Northern European-based phenom Priscila Chincilla (20) of Glasgow City in Scotland scoring the other goal.

On April 12, St. Kitts defeated the U.S. Virgin Islands at home in Basseterre (6-0) with midfielder Cloey Uddenberg (19—see more below) and forward Phoenetia Browne (27), who has played in Germany with SC Sand for the past two seasons after time in Iceland and Finland, both scoring a brace.

On April 12, Costa Rica clinched a Final's spot with a 5-0 win over Guatemala, with Glasgow City's Priscilla Chinchilla (20) scoring two goals and providing one assist.

Costa Rica finished first in Group B on 12 points (again in a group with no deadlocks), while St Kitts and Nevis finished with 9 points (a very positive result as they entered the competition as a third seed in the Group), Guatemala finished in third with 6 points, Curacao had 3 points and U.S. Virgin Islands had 0 points and scored 0 goals versus 22 goals allowed.

In preparation for the last group matches, St Kitts and Nevis lost at home to Anguilla 2-1 in a friendly (see above). Head Coach Earl Jones leads the Sugar Girlz, who has tried to instill a nice balance between overseas-based and local players, explaining, "The girls understand the system well. We have some intelligent players. We have the likes of Cloey Uddenberg, who has been playing for St. Kitts and Nevis for a very long time." [Uddenburg is from Ontario, Canada and plays at the University of Guelph and for the Simcoe County Rovers in Barrie, Ontario in the League 1 Ontario amateur loop. Canadian men's international Kyle Larin and women's Olympic Gold Medalist Janine Beckie are co-owners in the club, which has men's and women's sides].

In a press announcement, the local football federation said, "The current executive of the St. Kitts Nevis Football has vowed to develop women's football and create opportunities for more women players in the Federation to thrive in the sport. Already, that is beginning to bear fruit. Women's Football on the international level is growing in leaps and bounds, and opportunities exists for players to get scholarships to play for colleges and universities around the world, while pursuing studies. Players like Christie Ann Mills [Oral Roberts University in the U.S.] and Zona Marshall have earned such scholarships and have benefited from these opportunities."

"Others can earn professional contracts or at least an opportunity to tryout to play professional football in places like Europe and the USA. Tarvia Phillip trained in Iceland with FH in 2021, along with Canadian-based St. Kitts and Nevis women's player Brittney Lawrence [who is Canadian-born and had 4 goals in 17 matches for FH in Iceland last season—she played collegiately at Butler and Oral Roberts Universities]. Phillip said about the experience, 'It was my first time so it was like a learning experience. I didn't get a chance to play but the training and how…to actually be a professional player was good. Hopefully I would get a next (opportunity).'

Coach Jones is confident that the foundations set by the SKNFA, and currently being improved, are raising the standard of Women's football in St. Kitts and Nevis, saying: 'This is a lot different because we have a lot of local players getting the opportunity to be a part of the squad and they have been coming out (to training). Yes, we have some players based overseas, and yes, we will see how best we could fit them in, because the group here is good. Once we have a good group, a good group on the island, training together, playing regularly, this can only [drive] the improvement of the players here on the island.'"

Group C

On April 6, Cayman Islands took the lead in St. George, Grenada's national stadium in the 53rd minute with a goal by forward Shayana Windsor (18), who has also played at the U-20 level for the Cayman Islands since 2020, with an assist by midfielder Molly Kehol (17), who also is currently with the U-20's and full national teams. Cayman Islands secured a 2-0 win over Grenada with a goal four minutes from time by midfielder Neesah Godet (25). Kehoe, was the Cayman's top scorer in the qualifying bracket of the 2020 CONCACAF Women's U-17 Championship with eight goals, four in an 81 win over Dominica and four more in a 71 victory over Antigua and Barbuda. The only other player to equal her total in the tournament was Krysan St. Louis of St. Lucia, who now plays at Texas A&M International University.

On April 8, on a day when other group co-leaders were held at home (namely Cuba and Guyana), the Dominican Republic kept pace with Jamaica with a 1-0 win over Bermuda in Santa Domingo, with American-born forward Vanessa Kara (25)—who played four games with Racing Louisville in the NWSL last season after time in Finland with Tikkurilan Palloseura—getting the winner in the 86th minute. She played at Drexel University and the University of Florida.

On April 9, Jamaica defeated the Cayman Islands 9-0 in George Town, with Khadija Shaw (Manchester City, having scored 4 goals in 13 league games in her first WSL season) recording 3 goals and 2 assists against CI and Trudi Carter (Gintra in Lithuania, after a short spell in Italy with Roma in 2018-19 and who played collegiately at Navarro Community College in Texas and the University of South Florida) scoring three goals and adding one assist in the match. The emphatic win reversed the goal difference advantage that DR had after the two matches in February (+13 to +9), with Jamaica now holding the advantage (+18 to +14) as they entered the last match in Kingston between the two group leaders, with both nations tied on 9 points, meaning that Jamaica can tie the Dominican Republic and still advances to the regional Finals.

On April 12, Bermuda defeated Grenada 6-0 in Hamilton with Leilanni Nesbeth (20—who played 5 matches for Brighton and Hove Albion in the English second division in 2017/18 before moving to Florida State University, where she won a College Cup title in 2021) scoring a hat trick and Nia Christopher (20—who plays at Towson University in Maryland) scoring a brace.

Jamaica clinched the Group C group title with a 5-1 win over the Dominican Republic in Kingston on April 12, keeping alive their chance to qualify for a second consecutive Women's World Cup Finals. Khadija Show had two goals and as assist, but the crucial goal came in the 40th minute from Trudi Carter, who gave the Reggae Girlz the lead for good at 2-1 with the assist to Tiffany Cameron (who scored the third goal for Jamaica). Cameron, born in Canada, has played in Canada, Cyprus, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Norway, Sweden and the NWSL. Jody Brown (Florida State University) opened the scoring for the Reggae Girlz in the 15th minute from an assist by Carter, but it was offset by a 24th minute goal by Kathrynn Gonzalez Sosa (21). Sosa is American-born and has played at East Carolina University and Marshall University in West Virginia.

Jamaica finished with 12 points, Dominican Republic was second on 9 points, Bermuda was third on 6 points, Cayman Islands were fourth with 3 points and Grenada had 0 points; Grenada scored once with 23 goals allowed. Again, there were no ties in this group.



Group D

On April 6, visiting Aruba took the lead in the first half over Belize in Belpoman with a goal by Vanessa Susanna (24) from the penalty spot. Susanna was born in the Netherlands and has played for PSV, Anderlecht, London City Lions in the English second tier and then at Verona in Italy last year before joining KAA Gent in Belgium for the 2021-22 season. Belize tied the match 9 minutes later, again from the spot by defender Mikhaila Bowden (the only import on Belize's roster, who played at Boise State University in Idaho, is from California and plays for amateur side at FC Golden State in Pomona), and the game finished 1-1.

On April 8, El Salvador had the game against Barbados wrapped up after less than 20 minutes, following a first minute goal by Yoselyn Lopez (21) and then Barbados defender Alyssa Yard (29) put the ball through her own net in the 16th minute. Yard once played at New Mexico State University, in Las Cruces (near El Paso, Texas) and at Grambling State University in Grambling, Louisiana.

On April 9, Panama dispatched Aruba on the road 9-0 in Belpoman, with midfielder Laurie Baptista (25) of Tauro FC scoring a hat-trick. The 9-goal win allowed Panama to extend their goal differential over El Salvador to (+8: +22 to +14) from only 1 goal after the first two games, meaning Panama just needed a tie in the decider between the two Central American sides.

On April 12, Belize defeated Barbados 3-0 in a match held in San Salvador, El Salvador. Team captain Jayda Brown had 2 second half goals to seal the win.

Also on April 12, Panama won the group with a 2-0 home win over El Salvador, but the goals came late, from defender Yerenis De Leon (27) in the 65th minute and forward Karla Riley (24)—both of whom play with CD Pozoalbense of Spain—thirteen minutes later.

Seventeen-year-old Vitoria Sanchez (#8 in white) turns the corner on her Panamanian defender on April 12 in a CONCACAF W Championship Group decider. Panama won 2-0 to qualify for the finals. Photo Courtesy of CONCACAF.

Panama finished at the top with 12 points, El Salvador was second on 9 points, while Belize (4 points), Barbados (3 points) and Aruba (1 point) were all competitive in their games against each other in the trailing triad.



Group E

On April 6, St. Vincent and the Grenadines won their first game, at home, 5-1 over BVI, with St. Vincent's midfielder Kitanna Richards (System 3 FC in Kingstown, St. Vincent) scoring the final goal for her side as well as BVI's goal via an own goal.

On April 8, Cuba faced Honduras in Santiago de Cuba in extremely hot conditions (the artificial turf looked new but seemed to keep in the heat) and the match ended as a 0-0 tie, with both sides fairly even in time of possession and shots, with Cuba looking more dangerous in the first half and Honduras attacking more effectively in the second half. The tie really hurt Cuba's changes to advance from the group and they can now move on only with a win in Haiti against another stellar defense (both teams have not allowed a goal in three Group E matches) as Haiti's goal differential is +21 after their 21-0 win over BVI in Road Town the next day (see below).

Forward Roselord Borgella (29, with Issy in France) had four goals and one assist in Haiti's 21-0 win over British Virgin Islands. Her club and country teammate Batcheba Louis (24) added four goals. Hat-tricks came from forwards Roseline Eloissaint (23) of second division Nantes in France and Mikerline Saint-Felix (22), who is with Division 2 side Mantauban FC of France, and is in her third season with the club.

On April 12, Honduras followed up their strong effort in Cuba with a 2-1 win at home against St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with Kendra Haylock (22) of FC Motagua of Tegucigalpa, Honduras getting her club going in the right direction with a 26th minute goal.

On April 12, Haiti won the Group (12 points) with a 6-0 win over Cuba as Roselord Borgella scored twice (once from the penalty spot). Cuba started group play so brightly but won only one point in their last two matches and did not score a goal, which allowed Honduras to finish even on points (7) for second place, though Cuba had the advantage in goal difference (+11 to -1). St. Vincent and the Grenadines finished fourth on 3 points and British Virgin Islands had 0 points, scoring only once while allowing 44 goals.


Group F

On April 6, host side Dominica blasted Turks and Caicos 8-1 as 17-year-old midfielder Starr Humphreys (Dublanc FC in Dominica) scored a hat trick and forward Sari Finn (20) scored a brace.

On April 8, besides Cuba's tie at home to Honduras Pinoleras (see Group E above), there was a huge shock in Leonora as Guyana tied Nicaragua 0-0 at home, dropping two points and making their goal difference advantage (+8 goal differential over T&T after two matches) meaningless. Guyana now needs a win in the crucial last Group match away in Tobago.

On April 9, Trinidad took advantage of Guyana's hiccup at home with a 13-0 away win over Turks and Caicos, with a hat-trick from Chelcy Ralph (23), along with braces by Karyn Forbes (30), Maya Matouk (24) and Raenah Campbell 23 (one from the penalty spot).

Guyana thus needed a win in Tobago on April 13—which was not out of the question for this rapidly improving team—as Guyana had 7 points to T&T's 9 points and the latter had a goal differential of +5. In arguably the pinnacle and most exciting game of all the six Group matches played over the past two months, Guyana was holding onto a CONCACAF Finals spot from the 82nd minute on after Racing Louisville's Sydney Cummings scored her second goal of the game on a tame long-range shot, that goalkeeper Kimika Forbes should have covered but let the ball dribble through her legs, to give her side a 2-1 lead. Trinidad and Tobago scored a crucial equalizer in the 91st minute as Lauryn Hutchinson put the ball in from a yard out from the Guyana goal to deadlock the score 2-2 and send T&T onto Mexico. The game was a nervy affair for the home side, with eerie similarities to the T&T's 0-1 loss late in the game to Ecuador in the second home leg late in December 2014 which denied the Soca Warriors a WWC Spot for the 2015 tournament in Canada; arguably the women's team has not been the same since. Hopefully this win will see the Trinidad and Tobago federation increase their funding and organization for the women's side and support head coach Kenwyne Jones and the players to make a strong effort in Monterrey this summer, to at least make the FIFA play-ins to keep alive their hopes for their first ever WWC Finals spot. In order to do that, the federation must stop snafus, like which took place after the game in Turks and Caicos, as reported by the excellent local reporter Lasana Liburd of Wired868.com, in which influential midfielder Asha James (from the island of Tobago and who now plays at a college in Texas) along with a few others had to take a much longer flight itinerary back (and reportedly had an expired visa which a federation should never allow to happen) and didn't arrive at her home island until the morning of the game. James and five others were rested for the Turks and Caicos match, so why weren't they on the most direct flight?

Lauryn Hutchinson (#20) at right, scored the crucial tying goal from a yard out in a 2-2 draw at home with Guyana on April 12, ensuring Trinidad and Tobago a spot in the W Championship. She is joined in her celebrations by Maya Matouk (#17) and Maria-Francis Serrant (#18). (Photo Courtesy of CONCACAF).

As for Guyana, they have definitely turned heads over the past two months with their play and should be applauded for their strong run in the qualification round and for pushing Trinidad and Tobago to the very edge of elimination. The country needs to continue to build around their strong base for future CFU and CONCACAF competitions.

Photo: Guyana captain Kayla De Souza (right) and her sister Briana De Souza together say a tearful goodbye to the 2022 Concacaf W Championship as the Lady Jags were eliminated in Bacolet on 12 April after a 2-2 draw with hosts Trinidad and Tobago.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)


On April 12, Nicaragua played Dominica at home and raced to a 5-0 half time lead in Managua and won 10-0. Yessenia Flores (22) scored four goals with three assists. Midfielder Jaclyn Gilday (21) added one goal and two assists.

Trinidad won the group with 10 points, followed by Guyana on 8 points, Nicaragua was third with 7 points and the third best goal differential of all 30 teams in the group stage at +28 (30 goals for and 2 against), behind only Haiti (+44) and Mexico (+34) and is another team to watch in the future. Dominica finished fourth on 3 points and Turks and Caicos was last with 0 points and the worst goal differential in the qualifiers with -46, from 1 goal scored and 47 allowed.

Guyana celebrates after taking a lead over Trinidad and Tobago on April 12 in their ultimate 2-2 CONCACAF W Championship Group decider. Photo Courtesy of CONCACAF.


Esteemed local football site wired868.com—a go-to site for T&T and CFU footballreported that the Trinidad and Tobago Women's National Senior Team had moved the Guyana match from the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain to the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet (Tobago) before the crucial last game, which was a rarity for Tobagonians to see an international game. The Dwight Yorke Stadium seats roughly 9,000 patrons while the Hasely Crawford venue holds over 20,000.


Photo: Ace Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Asha James (center) skips past Nicaragua defenders Yorcelly Humphreys (right) and Martha Silva in route to scoring her team's opening goal in Concacaf W Championship qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 17 February 2022. Photo courtesy of CONCACAF.


A key absence from the T&T roster for the final two matches again was the country's most prolific goalscorer, Kennya 'Yaya' Cordner, who is currently playing professionally in Turkey with Fenerbahce. Cordner joined Fenerbache this season after three seasons in Norway with Sandviken as well as time in Paraguay, the NWSL, Australia, Sweden and England. Earlier this year, the 33-year-old Cordner, who was the TTFA's 2021 Women's Player of the Year, withdrew from the national team in protest after her teammate Maylee Attin-Johnson (35), who played at Cumberland University in Tennessee and Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta, and coach Kenwyne Jones had a disagreement and Jones did not call her in.

The Women Soca Warriors coach made four changes to his squad for the W Championship qualifiers against the Turks and Caicos Islands and Guyana during this international window. Winger Kaydeen Jack (Grambling State University) and defenders Abishai Guy (Point Fortin in Trinidad and Tobago) and Meyah Romeo (ex-Monroe Community College and Queens College, who now plays with Detroit City FC in the UWS) were all omitted from the team, which defeated Nicaragua and Dominica in February. In their places, Jones called up versatile University of Georgia defender Shadi Cecily Stoute, Portugal-based defender Chelsi Jadoo and promoted national under-20 players Sarah De Gannes (Brewton-Parker College in the U.S.) and Aaliyah Trim (FC Ginga in Trinidad and Tobago). Nine of the squad are with U.S. colleges, six play in Trinidad and Tobago, four are unassigned and one each plays professionally in Greece, Mexico, Portugal and Scotland.

(Trinidad and Tobago team)

Goalkeepers: Kimika Forbes (Unattached), Tenesha Palmer (Police FC), K'lil Keshwar (St Francis College—USA),
Defenders: Victoria Swift (Club Leon—Mexico), Rhea Belgrave (Police FC), Shaunalee Govia (Unattached), Chelsi Jadoo (Valadares Gaia FC—Portugal), Shadi Cecily Stoute (University of Georgia—USA), Liana Hinds (Hibernian—Scotland), Kedie Johnson (FIU—USA),

Midfielders: Lauryn Hutchinson (Unattached), Karyn Forbes (Police FC and team captain), Shani Nakhid-Schuster (Unattached), Amaya Ellis (Johns Hopkins University—USA), Chelcy Ralph (Ball State University—USA), Sarah De Gannes (Brewton-Parker College—USA), Asha James (West Texas A&M University—USA),

Forwards: Raenah Campbell (Avantes Chadlkida FC—Greece), Cayla Mc Farlane (Harvard University—USA), Dennecia Prince (Point Fortin), Maya Matouk (Police FC), Maria-Frances Serrant (Corban University—USA), Aaliyah Trim (FC Ginga).

For Guyana, the Lady Jaguars called in London-born Hannah Baptiste, who played in the States at Columbia College in Missouri and in the UK for the University of Richmond and AFC Wimbledon in the London Area.

Forward Sydney Cummins is with Racing Louisville and was selected in the fourth round with the 42nd pick and is the first alum of the Brown University women's soccer program to be drafted into the NWSL. She also played at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. since her senior season at Brown was canceled due to COVID-19; Cummings transferred to use her final year of eligibility as a grad student in 2021. She started all 22 games for the Georgetown Hoyas, scored a career-high five goals, and helped lead them to 14 wins in 22 games, a BIG EAST Tournament Championship, and into the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.

Brittany Persaud (32) has played for the national team since 2010 and played at the University of Dayton and then Wright State University in Ohio. She then played with Kungsbacka DFF in Sweden and ADO Den Haag and Telstar in Holland, winning the KNVB Women's Cup with the latter. She played for the Dayton Dutch Lions in the WPSL in 2019 and was a national team replacement player last season for the Portland Thorns of the NWSL.

Guyana's midfielder Marian El-Masri (who was born in Canada and played at Seneca College in Peterborough in Ontario and professionally in Denmark and for Warriors FC in Singapore), had three goals in W Qualifying and tied for the team lead with Cummins.

Annalisa Vincent, who played at home with GT Panthers, won a four years scholarship in January 2022 to Graceland University in Iowa, with help from the Guyana Football Federation. Ozzie White, the coach of Graceland University said, "Graceland University Women's Soccer Programme is delighted and excited to continue the relationship with the Guyana Football Federation and announce the signing of Annalisa Vincent to the team. Annalisa is the first female indigenous (Amerindian) footballer to ever receive a four-year scholarship to a college in the United States. She has natural ability and so much undiscovered potential that I can't wait to start working with Annalisa. She will succeed in the classroom and on the pitch."

Note: On January 2 of this year, Guyana Police Force Football Club won the championship of the Women's Super 16 Festival, defeating Vincent's GT Panthers 4-2 at the National Track and Field Facility, Leonora. The first-ever female competition was coordinated by the Guyana Football Federation in partnership with the Guyana National Women's Football Association and was held under the theme, 'We rise against Domestic Violence' to raise awareness on the social ill. In the third-place playoff, Fruta Conquerors tasted success with a 3-2 victory over the Guyana Defence Force.

Grambling State University defender Reece Scott was selected to the Guyana roster, for who Grambling's assistant coach Kevin Sherry will also assist the national side in the qualifiers. Grambling's Kaydeen Jack played for Trinidad and Tobago during the February qualifiers but was omitted from the April roster and was not able to face her college coach and teammate in the Group decider on April 12.

The side's head coach is Dr. Ivan Joseph, who is the vice-President of Student Affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada (see more in: The Week in Women's Football: Women's Africa Cup of Nations results; CONCACAF qualifiers reach halfway point - Tribal Football). Joseph moved to Canada from Guyana at the age of five and he has heavily recruited from the diaspora in North America, primarily in Canada, but also from the U.K. and U.S. Nineteen of Guyana's 23-member squad were born in North America or Britain while the starting team that drew goalless with Nicaragua in Guyana had eight Canada-born players and three from the United States.

Guyana Roster for April CONCACAF Internationals
1. Chante Sandiford—Stjarnan, Iceland—Goalkeeper

2. Natalie Nedd—ex-Graceland College in Iowa—Goalkeeper

3. Raven Edwards Dowdall—plays at Seneca College in Toronto, Ontario, Canada—Goalkeeper

4. Sydney Cummings—Racing Louisville in the NWSL (U.S.)—Defender

5. Kayla De Souza—Ontario Tech University in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada and sister of Briana—Defender

6. Rylee Traicoff—another Canadian-born player, who plays at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario, Canada—Defender

7. Ghilene Joseph—played at Arcadia University in Pennsylvania and with Stirling University in Scotland—Defender

8. Reece Scott—Grambling University—Defender

9. Brittany Persaud—(see above)--Midfield

10. Brianne Desa—another Canadian-born diaspora, she plays at Seneca College in Toronto and in the area League 1 Ontario league—Midfield

11. Briana De Souza—ex-Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and has played in the semi-professional League 1 Ontario and for the Ottawa Fury in the old USL W League)—Midfield

12. Shyla Murray—She plays soccer and lacrosse at the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut—Midfield

13. Tiandi Smith—Foxy Ladies FC in Guyana—Midfield

14. Calaigh Copland—Canadian-born, the 25-year-old veteran played collegiately at Seneca College and Ryerson University in Toronto and has played in League 1 Ontario for years—Midfield

15. Shanice Alfred—MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada—Midfield

16. Mariam El-Masri—(see above)—Midfield

17. Justine Rodrigues—Ontario-born, she played at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania and in League 1 Ontario—Midfield

18. Lakeisha Pearson—Fruta Conquerors in Guyana—Midfield

19. Annalisa Vincent—(see above)—Forward

20. Hannah Baptiste—(see above)—Forward

21. Stefanie Kouzas—The 20-year-old was born in Montreal and played collegiately at Champlain College in St. Lambert, Quebec and has played semiprofessional ball in Quebec leagues and was Miss Teen Quebec in 2017—Forward

22. Neema Liverpool—ex-New Jersey Institute of Technology—Forward

23. Otesha Charles—born in Guyana but moved to England at the age of 7 and has played for London sides Millwall and Leyton Orient—Forward

Note: Next week we will look at the two other CONCACAF teams that were active during this international window, with Canada hosting Nigeria for two matches and the U.S. entertaining Uzbekistan, including the results and rosters for all four teams.



Tim Grainey is a contributor to Tribal Football. His latest book Beyond Bend it Like Beckham on the global game of women's football. Get yours copy today.

Follow Tim on Twitter: @TimGrainey


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