Costa Rica’s Marin appreciates CU15G experience
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Costa Rica's Carmen Marin (pictured) has been one of the standout players at the 2016 CONCACAF U-15 Girls' Championship in Orlando, Florida.

ORLANDO, Florida – At the end of the day, the CONCACAF U-15 Girls’ Championship (CU15G) is all about player development, giving young women an opportunity to see what they need to do in order to reach the next level.

The tournament exposes them to what football offers on and off the field, providing an up-close glimpse of everything that goes into organizing an international event.

Count Carmen Marin, the excellent midfielder for Costa Rica, as one of those appreciating the experience of competing in the CU15G, which concludes Sunday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.

Even after a 5-0 loss to the United States in Friday’s semifinals, she was able to express why the tournament has been so impactful.

“It is important for CONCACAF to run U-15 tournaments because it is the future of soccer,” Marin told CONCACAF.com. “If we don’t get the experience now, then we’ll never know what it’s like. We wouldn’t have this development. We have to see who we’ll be playing against in future tournaments because the goal is to get to a World Cup.

“The tournament has given me a lot of experience and it gave everyone a lot of experience as to what it’s like to play at the international level. It will prepare us for future U-17 tournaments and, hopefully, future World Cups.”

If Costa Rica is to qualify for future FIFA events, it will most likely be meeting the U.S. along the way in CONCACAF qualifying competitions. On Friday, against the Americans, the Ticas fell behind 1-0 on a goal after 40 seconds. Rather than surrender, the Central Americans made the decision to battle to the very end, knowing that the encounter represented the beginning of a process, not an end.

“It was a tough game,” commented Marin. “The U.S. has been training a lot. They have really good teams there. They have a lot of strong players. It was difficult, but we managed to organize our team.

“It’s the difference between a team that gives up and a team that keeps working until the end. The U.S. could have scored more against us, but they didn’t because we organized our team, got our shape and picked ourselves up even if we were losing.

With the third place match against Mexico slated for Sunday, Marin’s expecting another tough game.

But that’s OK, because, as she finished, “To us, it’s always 0-0.”

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