As Canada’s Women’s U-20 moves into the quarterfinals at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014, they’ll be channeling some echoes of the past as they take to the Commonwealth Stadium field in Edmonton.
12 years ago, it was another batch of young female Canadian soccer players that famously captured the imaginations of the country as they came second at the inaugural FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship Canada 2002.
That event launched the careers of some of the biggest Canadian names in the game and all of Canada’s games took place at Commonwealth Stadium. This edition of the team is hoping Edmonton once again propels to the team further into the national spotlight.
“2002 was a great stepping stone for the sport, especially the women’s game in our country,” said Head Coach Andrew Olivieri. “I said all along that group of players really started to grow the popularity of women’s soccer and this group of players have a different responsibility now. They have to start helping us make the next step in terms of the quality of our play and we feel that they’ve grown and started to do that through the tournament.”
BROADCAST ALERT: Fans can watch the Canada v Germany game live Saturday 16 August on CBC at 20.00 ET / 17.00 PT.
In order to reach the semi-finals, Canada will have to take down a German team that has been scoring for fun through three games in the competition. After scoring just a pair of goals against the United States, Germany scored five in a 5:5 draw with China before scoring another five goals in a 5:1 victory over Brazil.
Germany’s offensive punch will prove to be the strongest test for Canada’s experienced back line but that final score against China has also shown that Germany does have its weaknesses that Canada will be eager to exploit.
“They’re a great soccer nation,” said team captain Kinley McNicoll. “We’re expecting similar things that we did against North Korea but we’ve gone through footage and we’ve come up with ways to solve the problems that we’ve faced in the last game and we’re going to use those solutions and put them into the Germany game.”