Canada to focus on Olympic development at 2015 Pan Am Games
Posted on 11 May 2015 in CONCACAF
As Canada’s Men’s and Women’s National Teams each face daunting summer challenges, another set of up-and-coming players will be just as busy as they take part in the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games.
In the women’s competition, Canada will field an Olympic Developmental U-18/U-23 squad (#canW23). The group will look to gain experience in international competitions as they look to make the transition into more prominent roles at the senior level with the 2016 Olympic Games approaching and more tournaments like the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ on the horizon.
Coached by Canada’s Women’s EXCEL Program U-18/U-23 Director Danny Worthington, the team will play out of Group B with three other countries that will participate in this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™.
They’ll open with a game against Ecuador on Saturday 11 July before further games against Costa Rica (15 July) and Brazil (19 July) as they look to defend the Gold Medal that was won four years ago at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, MEX.
On the men’s side, the Pan American competition is an Olympic Developmental U-22 event and will be a valuable chance for the team (#canM23) to prepare for qualifying for the 2016 Olympics, which should get underway in the fall.
As the tournament runs concurrently with the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the final selection for the Pan American Games will be made based on remaining available players that can also be released from their professional environments.
With Men’s National Team Head Coach Benito Floro otherwise occupied in what will hopefully be a fruitful CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament, assistant coach Antonio Floro will be at the helm of the Pan American Games team so that a similar training structure and tactical environment with the senior team is maintained.
Canada will open Group A play with a mouthwatering fixture against Brazil on Sunday 12 July. Next up will be a game against CONCACAF rivals Panama (16 July) before they wrap up the round robin with a game against Peru (20 July).
The last time Canada took part in a men’s tournament in the Pan American Games was when Canada last hosted the event in Winnipeg in 1999. They finished just outside the medals in fourth after a close 1:2 loss to the United States in the Bronze Medal Game.
That tournament launched the careers of many future Men’s National Team players like Dwayne De Rosario, Patrice Bernier, and Lars Hirschfeld.
All soccer matches will be played at Tim Horton’s Field in Hamilton, ON. It will be renamed the CIBC Hamilton Pan Am Soccer Stadium for the duration of the event.
Canada’s final player selection for both Men’s and Women’s competitions is expected to be submitted and announced in early June.
Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games schedule is available at http://www.toronto2015.org/0/football-soccer-schedule.