Because this is a Women’s World Cup year, I have decided to countdown to the tournament by providing a short soccer/fitness related preview of each of the 24 participating nations. In this instalment, I will look at Costa Rica, who are making their first ever appearance at the Women’s World Cup. Costa Rica have been drawn in Group E, along with Brazil, Korea Republic, and Spain. They will play their first match against Spain on Tuesday, June 9th, 2015.
The Costa Ricans have benefited greatly from the fact that this year’s tournament is being held in CONCACAF nation Canada, as it has opened up a 3rd qualification place that normally would have gone to one of the big three teams in the region (Canada, Mexico, and the United States). There have been several other factors in the nation’s soccer development that have also contributed to this success, however. For one, more Costa Rican players are playing abroad in major European leagues, than ever before. The country also benefited greatly from hosting the most recent FIFA Women’s U17 World Cup in 2014, in which they got out of their group. They followed that performance up with qualification for the first time ever to the Women’s U20 World Cup 2014 (also held in Canada). It must also be noted that, in 2014, the Costa Rican Men’s National Team had their most successful World Cup campaign by far, beating Uruguay and Italy in the group stages and getting all the way to the Quarter-finals, before eventually losing to the Netherlands in a penalty shoot-out. Taken together, the results from the Costa Rican Men’s and Women’s National Teams in the past 12 months have represented the most successful period in Costa Rican soccer history. It remains to be seen if the Women’s Team can build upon that success in this year’s Women’s World Cup. We will have to wait and see what happens in 1 month’s time.
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