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Canada place 6th at prestigious Toulon tournament in France

Posted on 7 June 2018 in ↳ Men's U-23 Team (Olympic)

Mathieu Choinière notched his first youth international goal on Thursday as Canada finished in sixth place at the prestigious Festival International Espoirs Provence after a 1:2 loss to host France. Canada were a formidable group throughout the competition and undefeated in the group phase, t More

Canada remains undefeated with yet another big result at the Toulon tournament

Posted on 3 June 2018 in ↳ Men's U-23 Team (Olympic)

Canada 1:1 Japan More

Undefeated Canada takes command of first place with spirited 1:0 victory

Posted on 31 May 2018 in ↳ Men's U-23 Team (Olympic)

Canada 1:0 Turkey More

Canada pulls together significant 0-0 draw against heavyweights Portugal

Posted on 28 May 2018 in ↳ Men's U-23 Team (Olympic)

Canada have quickly pulled together a significant result against one of the tournament favourites at the 2018 Festival International Espoirs Provence. After just a handful of days together, Canada have drawn 0-0 with Portugal at the Stade Jules Ladoumègue in Vitrolles. Canada and Portugal are More

Canada’s young stars to face Portugal, Turkey, and Japan in France

Posted on 25 May 2018 in ↳ Men's U-23 Team (Olympic)

The 46th edition of the Festival International Espoirs Provence kicks off this weekend and Canada have their sights set on their opening Monday match against Portugal. Canada are one of 12 nations competing in the 2018 tournament with matches to be played from 26 May to 9 June in France.Throughout t More

Canada Soccer brings together talented youth for international tournament

Posted on 17 May 2018 in ↳ Men's U-23 Team (Olympic)

Canada Soccer has brought together a promising group of 20 young players for the upcoming Festival International Espoirs Provence from 26 May to 9 June in France. The squad will face a series of tough opponents as the players continue their international development towards contributing to the futur More

Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Youth Program to participate in International Tournament

Posted on 5 February 2018 in ↳ Men's U-23 Team (Olympic)

Canada Soccer have confirmed their participation in the upcoming Festival International Espoirs Provence, a 12-nation tournament featuring top men’s national youth programs from around the world. Canada are the seventh nation confirmed for the 2018 edition which runs 26 May to 9 June in Proven More

Canada perfect with second straight win in Qatar U-23 series with 2:0 victory over Qatar

Posted on 28 March 2017 in ↳ Men's U-23 Team (Olympic)

Canada 2:0 Qatar More

Canada looks for second win at Qatar U-23 series

Posted on 27 March 2017 in ↳ Men's U-23 Team (Olympic)

The Men’s National U-23 Team will face host Qatar in their second match at a U-23 series in Doha on 28 March 2017 More

Canada earns gritty 1:0 win over Uzbekistan in U-23 series

Posted on 25 March 2017 in ↳ Men's U-23 Team (Olympic)

Canada 1:0 Uzbekistan More

Canada kicks off U-23 Tournament against Uzbekistan

Posted on 24 March 2017 in ↳ Men's U-23 Team (Olympic)

Canada will face Uzbekistan and host Qatar in a Three Nations U-23 Tournament this Saturday 25 March and Tuesday 28 March More

Canada to compete in Aspire U-23 Tournament

Posted on 19 January 2017 in ↳ Men's U-23 Team (Olympic)

Canada v Uzbekistan and Qatar More

Canada MNT cap Austria trip with victory

Posted on 7 June 2016 in ↳ Men's U-23 Team (Olympic)

Canada 2:1 Uzbekistan More

Canada m23 wins again on Caribbean tour

Posted on 19 May 2016 in ↳ Men's U-23 Team (Olympic)

Canada 3:0 Grenada More

Canada m23 defeat Guyana as part of Jubilee celebration

Posted on 16 May 2016 in ↳ Men's U-23 Team (Olympic)

Canada m23 5:1 Guyana More

Canada m23 heads to Guyana

Posted on 13 May 2016 in ↳ Men's U-23 Team (Olympic)

Canada v Guyana on 15 May More

Canada announces roster for Caribbean tour

Posted on 9 May 2016 in ↳ Men's U-23 Team (Olympic)

The 10-day camp runs 10-19 May More

Canada adds Grenada match to Caribbean tour

Posted on 19 April 2016 in ↳ Men's U-23 Team (Olympic)

Canada m23 v Grenada "A" on 18 May. More

Men's EXCEL U-23 squad to face Guyana in May

Posted on 7 April 2016 in ↳ Men's U-23 Team (Olympic)

Canada m23 v Guyana "A" on May 15. More

Canada M23 finishes fourth at CONCACAF Olympic Qualifiers

Posted on 14 October 2015 in ↳ Men's U-23 Team (Olympic)

Canada's Men's U-23 side eliminated from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games More

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Mathieu Choinière notched his first youth international goal on Thursday as Canada finished in sixth place at the prestigious Festival International Espoirs Provence after a 1:2 loss to host France. Canada were a formidable group throughout the competition and undefeated in the group phase, turning plenty of heads in the competition and back home.

"We are absolutely proud of what this team has been able to pull together," said John Herdman, Canada’s co-coach along with Mauro Biello for the Toulon tournament in France."It was great to see that they showed that togetherness that we had hoped to see. They showed true team spirit."

Canada were undefeated in the group stage, finishing second in Group C with five points. The team allowed only one goal in three matches in group play. The young Canadians opened the tournament with a 0:0 draw with Portugal last week, then followed that up with a 1:0 victory over Turkey, who went on to win Group C and advance to the Semi-finals. Canada rounded out the group stage with a 1:1 draw against Japan.

In the match for 5th/6th place, France took the lead in the 24th minute on a goal by Axel Bakayoko. Canada came on strong in the second half, getting behind their opponents, finding the gaps and unbalancing the hosts. As the match opened up, though, France scored again, this time in the 72nd minute on a goal by substitute Steve Abri.

Choinière then responded just three minutes later to cut the lead in half with just five minutes remaining.

"We are very proud of what this group achieved," said Biello. "It was great to work with them. They showed a lot of maturity, quality, fight, and belief in Canada. That was the most important quality we wanted."

It was an incredible journey for the Canadian squad, who came together for the first time to compete at this major tournament. Despite having played together for a short amount of time, the young Canadians were able to turn heads at the international level as they adapted to new styles of play against strong competition and fought for results.

The team was captained by Kris Twardek and Derek Cornelius. From the four matches in the competition, Canada's goalscorers were Noah Verhoeven against Turkey, Theo Bair against Japan, and Mathieu Choinière against France. From the opening two matches, Canada posted back-to-back clean sheets against European opponents in the same tournament for the first time in Canadian program history, with Pantemis in goal for the opener and Alessandro Busti in goal for the second match. Émile Legault, Cornelius, Pantemis, and Choinière were Canada's Players of the Match across four international youth matches.

Canada are now looking ahead to the next Men’s National Team matches in 2018-19 Concacaf Nations League. They are also looking ahead to the next Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship which will serve as the qualification route for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019. More than half the squad from this tournament in France are born 1999 or later and are thus eligible for those upcoming U-20 competitions. All players are also eligible for the next Olympic Qualifiers ahead of Tokyo 2020.

The young Canadians remained undefeated with a 1:1 draw against Japan in their final group play match at 2018 Festival International Espoirs Provence thanks to an early goal by Theo Bair. With five points from three matches, Canada finished second in a tough group with Turkey clinching first place by a mere point. 

It was another impressive result for the Canadians on Sunday 3 June, who previously drew 0:0 with Portugal on Monday and took a 1:0 victory against Turkey on Thursday. Canada finished the group stage with a win and two draws, allowing only one goal in three matches. Canada will next face the hosts France in the match for 5th place on Thursday 7 June at Stade d'Honneur in Mallemort. The match will be broadcast live on BeIn Sports Canada at 16.00 local (10.00 ET / 07.00 PT). Throughout the competition, fans can follow the Canadian team across Canada Soccer’s digital channels including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

“You come into the tournament with the belief that when you are in it, you are here to compete and go as far as you possibly can,” said John Herdman, Canada’s co-coach along with Mauro Biello for the Toulon tournament in France. “We wanted to be the story of the tournament with this group of men. They wanted to be the spark and to achieve something that had not been done before. That was their motivation. It is our first time at this tournament and they wanted to pick up some firsts as a team. Whether it was team spirit or tactical excellence, they worked at ways to bring this group together.”

Canada's starting lineup once again featured a number of teenagers, with seven players under the age of 20 getting the start in this important game, including debutant Clément Bayiha.

Canada took the lead in the 10th minute on a quick attack when Japan turned the ball over in their own half. Noah Verhoeven, the hero from Canada’s win against Turkey, quickly slid a pass through the Japanese defenders to Bair, who was able to create enough space to clinically slide his shot into the bottom corner.

Japan’s Kaoru Mitoma equalized in the 60th minute, sliding a shot past Canadian goalkeeper James Pantemis. The goal was the first allowed by Canada at the tournament.
Pantemis led the Canadian backline with a number of key saves throughout the game, including a crucial leg save on a shot from the top of the box that was then cleared by the Canadian defenders. Canada’s centre back Derek Cornelius led by example, putting his body on the line on numerous occasions, including a heroic block that stopped Japan from taking the lead late in the match.

Japan put increased pressure on the Canadians as the match continued, knowing that they needed to score a second goal in order to advance to the semi-finals. The entire Canadian squad defended heroically to hold on for the draw, giving themselves the chance to move on in their first appearance at the tournament.

“The boys have been really focused and coming out of the result against Portugal (in the opener) there has been a belief there that tactics and the approach is working," said Herdman. "Coming through the week, they have shown that level of adaptability. It was only when fatigue set in that they hurt us.”

It has been a tremendous journey for the Canadian side in such a short period of time. Playing together for the first time and competing at a major tournament for the first time, the young Canadians came through three tough matches undefeated.

"We are changing the culture," said Herdman. "We have an opportunity to inspire the players at the younger age groups. We have a chance to ignite our players."

The 46th edition of the Toulon tournament runs 26 May to 9 June. Across the three groups: Mexico won Group A ahead of England, China PR, and Qatar; Scotland won Group B ahead of France, Togo, and Korea Republic; Turkey won Group C ahead of Canada, Japan, and Portugal. Beyond the completed group phase, the classification matches (fifth to 12th place) are 5 and 7 June, the semi-finals are 6 June, and both the match for third place and championship final are 9 June.

Noah Verhoeven came through with the winner inside the last 10 minutes as Canada came away with a 1:0 victory over group opponents Turkey in France. On the heels of another spirited effort by the young Canadians, Canada are undefeated in first place with a draw and a victory at the Festival International Espoirs Provence.

"We have to believe in our qualities and believe in our work," said Mauro Biello, Canada’s co-coach along with John Herdman for the Toulon tournament in France. "If you believe in that, you can make the unexpected happen. Right now, we have two results, but we are not finished yet. We need to complete the group stage with a match against Japan."

Canada next face Japan with a chance to win the group and book a spot in the semi-finals at this historic tournament. The Canada-Japan match is this Sunday 3 June at Stade Parsemain in Fos-sur-mer, with the 15.00 local kick off broadcast live on BeIn Sports Canada (09.00 ET / 06.00 PT). Throughout the competition, fans can follow the Canadian team across Canada Soccer’s digital channels including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

It's another big result for a team that is quickly becoming the story of the tournament. Canada opened the group phase with a 0:0 draw against group favourites Portugal on Monday and continued with the 1:0 win over Turkey on Thursday. The two results from the tournament's first-time participants have quickly turned heads on the international football stage.

"We wanted to come here and get some results, but we wanted to also gain experience for the players," said Biello. "This is the first time the players are together, so we wanted to establish a culture and an identity with them. Credit to the players, they are reacting to that and they are fighting out there for the results. This is very important for us."

After starting seven teenagers on Monday, including youth international debutant Daniel Kinumbe, Canada started eight teenagers on Thursday including 17-year old debutant goalkeeper Alessandro Busti. Once again, the young players showed plenty of promise as Canada posted back-to-back clean sheets against European opponents in the same tournament for the first time in Canadian soccer history.

It was Busti alongside the backline of Émile Legault, Derek Cornelius, Kosovar Sadiki, and Kinumbe who led the way in Canada's clean sheet efforts. Centre back Cornelius was Canada's player of the match, notably once clearing a Turkey scoring chance from the line.

There was plenty of Canada attack in the match, too, especially as the match wore on in the second half and the Canadians managed more and more possession. Moments before the Verhoeven goal, Liam Millar fired a low shot that struck the outside post. It wasn't Miller's first chance, either, as he was previously stopped just inside the hour mark on a quick shot from inside the box. Aidan Daniels, meanwhile, was close with a dangerous free kick that was just tipped over the bar in the first half while Mathieu Choinière's kick was just wide of the target in the second half.

Verhoeven finally scored the winner in the 75th minute as his left-footed shot from just outside the box hit the back of the net. He danced away from left back Tuncer Duhan Aksu and fired a low shot that evaded centre back Merih Demiral and goalkeeper Muhammed Sengezer as well as a pair of Canadian attackers lurking dangerously inside the box.

The win now sets up a showdown for first place in the group with Asian opponents Japan.

"We need to have the same mentality that we have been showing," said Biello looking ahead to the Japan match. "When we don't have the ball, we are difficult to break; when we do have the ball, we need to be very adaptable and be able to unbalance the opposition with our movement and with our passing. If we can do that, then we can be dangerous."

In the other group match, Japan came from behind to win 3-2 over Portugal on a late penalty. Portugal had gone ahead on a Felipe goal in the 72nd minute, but then Ayase Ueda scored twice including the winner on a penalty in added time. Through two matches, Japan are on three points through a loss and win while Portugal are on one point with a draw and a loss.

The 46th edition of the Toulon tournament runs 26 May to 9 June. While Canada, Portugal, Turkey, and Japan make up Group C, the tournament also features England, China PR, Mexico, and Qatar in Group A as well as France, Korea Republic, Scotland, and Togo in Group B. Beyond the group phase, all 12 nations advance to either a classification match (fifth to 12th place) or the semi-finals en route to the championship match on 9 June.

 

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