Saturday, October 18, 2014

Reggae Girlz Trying To Qualify For 2015 Women's World Cup

While much of the attention in this CONCACAF Women's World Cup Qualifying Tournament has been focused on Group A and the FIFA world  number one ranked USA squad, there is an interesting story developing in Group B worthy of being turned into a movie. 

For various reasons, including the perception that soccer is a man's sport, the Jamaican Football Federation hasn't funded a women's soccer program since it was disbanded in 2008. 

The frustrating part about that decision for women footballers on the island is that the Reggae Girlz were one of the top ranked squads in the Caribbean region. 

Jamaican female players who wanted to pursue their passion to play did so in other nations, but never gave up the dream of one day playing for their national team in a Women's World Cup.

The Reggae Girlz are back, and thanks to raising $200,000 via two crowdfunding campaign, Cedella Marley's enthusiastic support and being the Reggae Girlz international ambassador, the team is on the verge of making its Women's World Cup qualification dream come true. 

If the do so, they would be, like their male counterparts were in 1998, the first ever Caribbean based team to make it to the World Cup and it would do wonders for women's soccer in Jamaica.

Despite not playing any international friendly matches prior to the CFA and CONCACAF tournaments, they opened Group B play with a resounding 6-0 win over Martinique in Kansas City, and have a critical match with Costa Rica today in Chicago before finishing Group B play on October 21 in Washington DC versus Mexico.

The Reggae Girlz will want to #StrikeHard and finish first in Group B so they get the Group A runner up in the knockout round.  That way Jamaica won't have to face a match with FIBA number one ranked Team USA until the CONCACAF title game.

The six goals they scored against Martinique will definitely help them out if it comes down to goal differential to sort out the Group B standings for the knockout round.

Top three squads punch their tickets to Canada for next year's World Cup, while the fourth place team in this CONCACAF qualifying tournament has to play the CONMEBOL third place squad Ecuador in a two leg playoff for another World Cup berth.
Let's hope the Reggae Girlz make history for their nation, they get the funding and corporate backing they need, and we get to see them in Canada next summer at the Women's World Cup..

TransGriot Update: The road to World Cup qualification just got a little bumpier.  Costa Rica beat Jamaica 2-1.

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