Road to Beijing set for Canadian women

CONCACAF & CSA Canada’s women’s national team have been drawn with Costa Rica and Trinidad & Tobago for this April’s CONCACAF Women's Olympic qualifying tournament in Mexico. Even Pellerud’s side will play in Group B, with the tournament taking place at the Estadio Olimpico Benito Juarez in the Mexican city of Juarez. Canada take on Trinidad & Tobago on April 2 before facing Costa Rica on April 6. Should Canada finish first or second in Group B, then the team faces a crossover semifinal clash with one of three nations in Group A (Jamaica, Mexico, and USA) on April 9. If Canada wins its semifinal, they not only reach the championship final on April 12, but also clinch a berth to the Women's Olympic Football Tournament in Beijing this August. The Canadian women are aiming to qualify for the Olympics for the first time in their history. With Olympic qualifying just over a month away, Canada’s preparations include full-time training in Vancouver, BC, and participation in the Four Nations Tournament in China last month. In early March, Canada head to Europe to play five international games in Cyprus and France. The likes of Japan, Russia, and Scotland will be Canada’s opponents in Cyprus, while Pellerud’s side are sure to face a stiff test when they meet France in the Paris suburb of Meaux on March 14. As of last December, France sat in seventh place in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings. In the lead up to the qualifying tournament, Canadian fans and clubs (from all walks of sport and life) are encouraged to send their support to the Canadian women’s team via mail (Women’s national team, 580-375 Water Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 5C6), fax (778.330.1396) or email ( Clubs are especially encouraged to mail signed team photos or short video messages. 2008 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament Ciudad Juarez, Mexico: Estadio Olimpico Benito Juarez (Kickoffs in local time) Group A April 2: Mexico – Jamaica (19:30) April 4: USA – Jamaica (19:30) April 6: Mexico – USA (13:30) Group B April 2: Trinidad & Tobago – Canada (17:00) April 4: Costa Rica – Trinidad & Tobago (17:00) April 6: Canada – Costa Rica (11:00) Semifinals April 9: Winner Group A – Runner-up Group B (17:00) Winner Group B – Runner-up Group A (19:30) Finals April 12: Third Place (17:00) Championship (19:30)