Canada Soccer Women’s U20 team prepare to face USA and Australia in a three nations tournament
Posted on 5 July 2017 in ↳ Women's EXCEL U-14 to U-23
Canada Soccer’s National EXCEL program’s U20 team will take part in a three nations tournament in Canberra, Australia, with matches against USA on 6 July and Australia 8 July.
“The USA in their nature always give teams a real test, but that is exactly what we are looking for,” said Canada Soccer National EXCEL Director Bev Priestman. “This first match will really provide players with an opportunity to step up and demonstrate what they can bring. The USA are an aggressive team that like to hunt the ball, so this is a great opportununity to apply the different strategies players have learned in the National EXCEL system to enable us to play the way we want to play against the sorts of teams we will face in the future at key events.”
Canada has less experience against Australia’s youth side, who have failed to qualify for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup since 2006, but with qualifiers for the highly competitive Asian conferderation coming up, Priestman expects the home team will put it all out on the pitch.
“We certainly know less about Australia than the USA in terms of historical games, but we do know they reguarly face FIFA Women’s Youth World Cup winners in Asia. We expect them to also be aggressive like the Matildas, that Canada faced at the Olympic games with some Matildas players present at this tournament,” said Priestman. “They will be using this tournament to sharpen their tools for qualification, so we expect another good test in game two, with both teams requiring us to bring alive our Canadian grit while applying our style of play and attacking qualities.”
A key touchpoint prior to CONCACAF qualification for the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup France 2019, the tournament in Canberra, Australia will provide Canada Soccer’s technical staff with an opportunity to assess the group and better understand the curriculum needs going in to 2018’s major events as well as the development needs of individuals in their journey towards the Women’s National Team..
“This is a great opportunity to test where the group is at as a team but also to take a look at individual players with the Women’s National Team positional needs in mind for 2019 and beyond.” said Priestman. “We have a good mix of players, some of who have had experience with the Women’s National Team within the National Excel program including Gabby Carle, Sarah Stratigakis, and Jordyn Huitema, and we have identified and brought in some new faces to the program that we believe can bring something to this group. It’s always important to leave that door open for young players to emerge, and I think selections for this competition have proven that.”
Retired Women’s National Team players Carmelina Moscato and Rhian Wilkinson to gain experience leading the series games as co-coaches
Retired Women’s National Team players Moscato and Wilkinson will both gain invaluable experience as co-coaches for the Australia tour. Members of Canada Soccer’s Elite Player to Elite Coach program, Moscato and Wilkinson have already both served as assistant coaches, but will a lead role for the first time in July.
“Both Rhian and Carm have experienced many, many games and tournaments as elite players and have previously seen game time as assistant coaches for our EXCEL teams, but this tour will provide them with an opportunity to get hands on experience leading the group,” said Priestman. “As part of their journey in the Elite Player Elite Coach Program, Canada Soccer targeted this tour as an excellent opportunity to give them opportunity at the helm, knowing this experience will give them key knowledge to draw from as they continue their coaching journey.”
Canada Soccer Women’s National EXCEL Program brings together the best with the best at the national youth level. Operating across the U-14 to U-20 age groups, the program is designed to deliver an aligned talent structure and system that progresses more top players to Canada’s Women’s National Team.
Roster substitution: Olivia Sheppard, 19, from Delta, BC (Princeton University) has replaced Kennedy Faulknor due to injury.