GUYANA will open their CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship campaign against Nicaragua tonight from 19:00hrs, at the Estadio Olímpico Félix Sánchez in the Dominican Republic, as the ‘Lady Jags’ begin their hunt for a place at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.The Guyanese women are placed in Group D alongside Nicaragua, Mexico and Puerto Rico.Following their clash with Nicaragua, Guyana will return to action on Tuesday, February 25 against Puerto Rico at 16:00 hrs. They will then wrap up their group stage matches against CONCACAF powerhouse Mexico, on Thursday, February 27, at 19:00hrs.Dr Ivan Joseph’s roster includes several debutants – goalkeeper Raven Edwards-Dowdall, midfielder Shanice Alfred, forward Makayla Rudder and defender Anaya Johnson – all joining a contingent of players who helped Guyana qualify for the U-20 CONCACAF Championship for the first time in Guyana’s history.Siacy Adams (Foxy Ladies), Shamaya Daniels (Fruta Conquerors) and Tiandi Smith (Fruta Conquerors) are the only local-based players on the squad which is made up of players who are predominantly from USA and Canadian collegiates.“It is our hope that we will make our country and all our fans proud of our effort and commitment on the field. Mexico, Nicaragua, and Puerto Rico are all formidable opponents in our opening Group D round-robin pool,” Dr Joseph said prior to the team’s first game.The Canada-based Lady Jags head coach further noted that “all three teams are ranked ahead of us in our pool with Mexico leading the way as the number two-ranked team in the tournament. We will need to play at our very best and hope to get a bounce or two in our direction to advance to the next round.”Following confirmation from FIFA that Costa Rica and Panama will co-host the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, in August of 2020, and that CONCACAF has been awarded one additional slot (four in total), the Confederation announced changes to its World Cup Qualifying tournament, to be hosted in the Dominican Republic between February 22 and March 8, 2020.The CONCACAF Council had determined that Costa Rica and Panama, as host countries of the World Cup, will automatically qualify for the World Cup and will no longer participate in the Championship.For the group stage of the 2020 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship, to be played at the Felix Sanchez Stadium and Panamericano Stadium, in Santo Domingo and San Cristobal, respectively, Guyana (top-ranked team in qualifying Group A) and Saint Kitts & Nevis (top-ranked team in qualifying Group B) will be replacing Costa Rica and Panama for the group stage of the final championship.In Group C, the United States, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Cuba will go head-to-head, while Group E is set with Canada, Jamaica, Guatemala and El Salvador. Group F comprises Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Kitts & Nevis and Cayman Islands.For the Round-of-16, Bermuda (third-place finishers in qualifying Group A) and Barbados (third-place finishers in qualifying Group B) will occupy the positions vacated by Guyana and Saint Kitts &Nevis.All knockout-round matches (round of 16, quarter-final, semi-final and final) will be played in a single match elimination format, with the finalists qualifying for the FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup 2020.THE SQUAD: Goalkeepers – Raven Edwards-Dowdall and Aneesa O’Brien. Defenders – Brianne Desa, Jade Vyfhuis, Jessica Myers, Sydney Puddiecombe, Hailey David and Anaya Johnson. Midfielders – Siacy Adams, Kiana Khedoo, Serena McDonald, Jenea Knight, Audrey Narine, Tori DeNobrega, Shamaya Daniels and Samantha Banfield. Forwards – Nailah Rowe, Tiandi Smith, Shanice Alfred and Makayla Rudder.