CONCACAF women's soccer on the rise

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Mexico is the third CONCACAF country to gain entry to USA '99

CONCACAF women's soccer is making significant strides, and the future looks promising indeed.

Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación, A.C. Mexico became the third CONCACAF country advancing to USA '99, the FIFA Women's World Cup, with an impressive victory on the road against CONMEBOL's runner up, Argentina, 3-2, advancing by a 6-3 aggregate. The Mexican team, under new coach Leonardo Cuellar, overcame a 1-2 halftime deficit.

Mexico joins CONCACAF Tournament winners Canada, and host the USA, winners of the inaugural World Cup in 1991.

There is much to look ahead:

* On February 14, the USA, the 1996 Olympic Champions, meet a FIFA All-Stars team at San Jose, California. The draw for the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup will be conducted at halftime. Two CONCACAF players have been chosen to play for the FIFA All-Stars side: Charmaine Hooper of Canada and Laurie Hill of Mexico.

* Starting on June 19, the USA will stage the third edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup, the first time this tournament has been hosted by CONCACAF.

* On July 7 and 8th, FIFA and the Women's Football World Cup Organizing Committee will host a Symposium on Women's Football. The symposium, to be held in the USA, will be attended by top administrative and technical officials from many CONCACAF members as well as other distinguished international guests.

Among the suggested topics of discussion: Female soccer in the developing world as a tool for academic mobility; Career counseling for female soccer students-athletes; The psychology of female athletes in developing countries; Prevention and treatment of soccer injuries that are peculiar to women.

CONCACAF is working aggressively to further promote women soccer throughout the Confederation. Reflecting the growing passion for women soccer, Trinidad & Tobago has already started to prepare for the 2003 Women's World Cup qualifying, which is approximately two years away.

Last weekend, the T&T national team got together for the first time since their participation in the CONCACAF Women's Tournament earlier this year, and played two matches against regional competition.