Eighteen young soccer players will be Canadian pioneers as the first ever members of Canada’s Women’s U-15 Team that will challenge at the inaugural CONCACAF Girls’ Under-15 Championship in the Cayman Islands.
Under the direction of Head Coach Bev Priestman, Canada has been placed in Group D in the 16-team competition alongside Haiti, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.
“This is the first development contact with this group of players outside of a wider identification camp,” said Priestman, who guided Canada’s Women’s U-17 Team to a quarterfinal first in March at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2014.
“It’s an opportunity to really assess the players selected for the future.”
Canada will open the competition on Thursday 7 August at the Cayman Brac Sports Field against Puerto Rico. Two days later they’ll take on Cuba before wrapping up group play against Haiti on Monday 11 August.
Half of the squad selected will be eligible for three youth FIFA World Cup events and the squad has been picked on the potential seen in the players as well as keeping with the goal of developing tournament experts that will flourish in international competitions at the senior level.
“Four of the squad features in the 21 which went to the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2014, so experience will be important for such a new group,” said Priestman.
The squad will also have no shortage of inspiration from within the team staff as Olympic bronze-medallist from 2012 Candace Chapman will serve as a technical assistant and Melanie Booth, also from the team that won bronze in London, will serve as performance analyst.
This group of players is the first generation that will go through a full Women’s EXCEL cycle by the time they exit the National Team program. As part of Canada’s Women’s EXCEL Program, the Canada Soccer Women’s National EXCEL Program, presented by Bell, brings together the best with the best at the national level. Operating in six-year cycles across the U-14 to U-17 and U-18 to U-20 age groups, it is designed to deliver an aligned talent structure and system that progresses more top players to Canada’s Women’s National Team, more often.
GK- Lysianne Proulx | CAN / Rousillon (QC)
GK- Marissa Zucchetto | CAN / Erin Mills SC (ON)
D- Bryana Buttar | CAN / Fraser Valley FC (BC)
D- Samantha Chang | CAN / Brams United SC (ON)
D- Kennedy Faulknor | CAN / Unionville Milliken SC (ON)
D- Kavina Ganeshan | CAN / Unionville Milliken SC (ON)
D- Emma Regan | CAN | Mountain United FC (BC)
M- Nahida Baalbaki | CAN / Lakeshore SC (QC)
M- Danielle Camilleri | CAN / Dixie SC (ON)
M- Julia Grosso | CAN / Mountain United FC (BC)
M- Anyssa Ibrahim | CAN / CS Terrebonne (QC)
M- Mya Jones | CAN / Calgary Foothills (AB)
M- Sarah Stratigakis | CAN / Woodbridge SC (ON)
F- Teni Akindoju | CAN / Halifax Dunbrack SC (NS)
F- Shana Flynn | CAN / Brams United SC (ON)
F- Camila Gomez | CAN / Mountain United FC (BC)
F- Jordyn Huitema | CAN / Surrey United SC (BC)
F- Lauren Raimondo | CAN / Burlington SC (ON)