Venezuela will be making their third FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup appearance at Jordan 2016. La Vinotinto’s debut came at Trinidad and Tobago 2010, where they grabbed their first win and acquitted themselves well without managing to progress beyond the group phase. It was a different story on their second outing, at Costa Rica 2014, where they took everyone by surprise by reaching the semi-finals. Though back-to-back defeats to Japan and Italy then followed, that fourth place is regarded as one of the biggest achievements in the history of Venezuelan football.
Led by the free-scoring Deyna Castellanos, attacking midfielder Daniuska Rodriguez and goalkeeper Nayluisa Caceres, all three of whom are veterans of the successful Costa Rica 2014 campaign, Venezuela arrive at Jordan 2016 as two-time defending South American champions. Their latest continental title came on home soil in a competition in which they won all seven of their games and boasted the best attack, scoring 27 goals (with Paraguay next highest on 17), and the tightest defence, letting in just three (keeping clean sheets in five games and conceding only in their two meetings with the Paraguayans). Castellanos was the tournament’s top scorer with 12 goals, while Rodriguez served up nine assists, more than any other player in the competition.
"The big teams from Asia and the CONCACAF deserve respect, but we want to go and win a World Cup too," commented coach Kenneth Zseremeta, the architect of the country’s three successful world-finals qualification campaigns and two regional titles at U-17 level. The Panamanian, who also guided this group of young players to silver at the Girls’ Youth Olympic Football Tournament Nanjing 2014, believes his charges can achieve glory this time.