Canada’s Women’s Under-20 Team arrived into Mexico City in the early hours of Thursday morning after a whirlwind Wednesday that saw the roster for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 announced followed by a flurry of media interviews before a late evening flight out of Toronto.
They didn’t have much time to rest as they put in a short but tactically engaging session at the Mexican Football Federation’s National Training Centre on Thursday afternoon.
They’re preparing for the first of two friendlies against Mexico’s U-20 Women’s Team that takes place on Friday afternoon.
“I think it was expected that there would be a bit of a sluggish start with the long day and the travel and we knew the altitude was going to be a factor and players are getting used to it,” said Head Coach Andrew Olivieri. “We’ve been feeling it within a few hours of arriving.”
At more than two kilometers elevation, players can quickly lose their breath up in the thin air. As a result, it will be tougher for players to perform at their best.
But with players’ strength sapped with the elevation, the games will help simulate a tournament atmosphere, where players will play a number of games in a short amount of time and will have to play though fatigue and tired legs.
“It’s a similar mental challenge to just have to work through your second and third match,” said Olivieri. “Physically, you’re not at your peak and you may have dealt with some knocks or fatigue.”
Comments from Kinley McNicoll and Andrew Olivieri (English) / Commentaires de Valérie Sanderson et Andrew Olivieri (français)
Now under 20 days away from the U-20 Women’s World Cup, each session and game takes on an added importance and the two games on Friday and Sunday are very much dress rehearsals against a team that will play out of Group C along with Korea Republic, Nigeria and England.
Canada is in Group A in the World Cup that is now fewer than 20 days away, alongside Ghana, Finland and Korea DPR.
Throughout the competition, fans will be able to follow live updates on Twitter @CanadaSoccerEN and @CanadaSoccerFR as well as read match previews and reports on canadasoccer.com. The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 will be broadcast on CBC.