Canada’s Women’s National Team have been drawn into Group B with Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala and Guyana for the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship taking place in Texas startingFebruary 11, 2016. Two teams from the competition will advance to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Being drawn into Group B, Canada avoid highly ranked teams including the USA, Mexico, and Costa Rica during the group stage, who make up Group A alongside Puerto Rico. Group B will play their entire tournament at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, which will also host the knockout round.
“It was a surprise to see the USA, Mexico and Costa Rica in the same group, but the gap in women’s football is getting smaller and smaller and it’s going to be a challenging qualification campaign,” said John Herdman, Head Coach for Canada’s Women’s National Team.
Canada, ranked 11th in the world, will begin their Olympic qualification campaign against No. 92 Guyana on February 11th, before taking on No. 48 Trinidad and Tobago on the 14th and No. 84 Guatemala on the 16th.
The tournament will feature eight nations divided into two groups of four, with the top two finishers in each group after round-robin play advancing to the all-important semifinals. The winners of the semifinals will qualify for the Olympic Games.
“We’re excited,” said Herdman. “We have the squad back in camp and it’s an exciting group of players with lots of energy. We have a bunch of new faces and there is a blend of youth and experience.
Canada’s Women’s National Team are currently in camp in Vancouver preparing for an invitational tournament beginning December 9th in Natal, Brazil.
“Right now, we are focusing on our goal of qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympics,” Herdman said regarding final roster selection for the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship. “We are in camp preparing for the matches in Brazil in the coming weeks, and we are taking a hard look at the players, and come January we’ll select the squad that will pretty closely resemble the team that will go into qualifiers for the Rio 2016 Olympics in Games February.”