Year in Review: Canada's Para Soccer program
Posted on 28 December 2015 in Para Soccer
In the 12th year of Canada's Para Soccer program, head coach Drew Ferguson led the national squad to a 10th place finish at the CP-ISRA World Championship and a fourth place finish at the Toronto 2015 Parapanamerican Games.
It marked Canada's second-best finish at the CP-ISRA World Championships, with previous ranks from 9th to 12th place between 2005 and 2011. Canada posted three wins and three losses at the 2015 competition, with all matches played at St. George’s Centre in Burton, England.
At the Parapanamerican Games on home soil, Canada reached the final four, but lost 1:2 in the finale against Venezuela. Canada played their last three matches of that competition without 2015 Canadian Para Soccer Player of the Year Trevor Stiles, who broke his leg in the 2:1 group-phase victory over USA on 9 August.
In 2015, Stiles led Canada with eight goals and one assist in eight international matches. He is Canada's all-time leader with 29 goals in 25 international matches since 2011.
Included in Stiles' 2015 count was a hat trick in a 3:5 a.e.t loss to Scotland at the CP-ISRA World Championship. He also scored a brace four days earlier in the 2:1 win over Venezuela on 23 June.
As for Canada's other leaders, captain Dustin Hodgson was the lone player who featured in all 11 matches, while Hodgson, Samuel Charron, Vito Proietti and Liam Stanley were the leaders with 10 starts each. Hodgson was first with 621 minutes played, followed by both Charron and Stanley with 620 minutes each.
While Stiles led the way with eight goals, Charron was second with six goals. Three goalkeepers - Matthew Brown, Damien Wojtiw, and Yuri Woodfall - posted a clean sheet.
Canada's overall record was four wins, one draw, and six losses in 11 international matches. The team scored 15 goals, but also conceded 28. In all, 23 different players dressed for Canada over the course of the year.
In terms of milestones, Canada did post their 30th all-time international win, which was in fact the 2:1 win over USA on 9 August.
After the home win, teenager Samuel Charron said, "this is a big emotional win for us. We are a long shot to win here but we are Canadians and we are going to push through the adversity."
Indeed, Canada did well enough on home soil to reach the final four, but without their top striker, conceded a spot on the podium on the tournament's final day.