One week after Olympic qualification, Canada Soccer has released the 21 player Canada’s Women’s National Team roster for the annual women’s Algarve Cup, beginning 2 March in Portugal.
Canada was drawn into Group A for the Algarve Cup and will face Denmark on Wednesday 2 March, Belgium on Friday 4 March, and Iceland on Monday 7 March. The final match will take place on Wednesday 9 March 2016. Group B consists of hosts Portugal, New Zealand, Russia and Rio 2016 Olympic hosts, Brazil.
Head Coach John Herdman has called back all of the players who helped Canada qualify for the Rio Summer Olympics this month in Texas, with the exception of goalkeeper Erin McLeod who has recently joined FC Rosengård in Sweden and is unavailable due to club responsibilities. Herdman has added two new players to his roster, 20 year old’s Summer Clarke (F) and Kailen Sheridan (GK).
“Our focus now is on preparing for the Olympic Games,” said Herdman. “We learned a lot in Texas and we will be working on some key areas throughout our matches at the Algarve Cup. Both New Zealand and Brazil will be at the Olympics, so we’ll be taking this opportunity to scout those teams and to continue assessing the players available to us as we get closer to finalising the team that will represent Canada in Rio.”
While Canada plays at the Algarve Cup, the final three Olympic qualification spots will be earned through the AFC Olympic Qualifying Tournament and the UEFA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, with all qualified teams known on 9 February 2016.
The Rio Olympic Football Tournament 2016 draw will be held at Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on 14 April 2016. The 12 qualified women’s teams, including hosts Brazil and 2012 champions USA, will be drawn into three groups.
· Canada captain Christine Sinclair is Canada’s most capped international player, all-time Canadian top goal scorer and second in the world for international goals. Sinclair recently surpassed Mia Hamm for second all-time in international goals while at the Olympic Qualification championship in Texas. With 161 international goals, she is only 23 goals behind all-time leader Abby Wambach (USA/retired).
· All four of the active top ten Canadian women’s goal scorers will be present, including Sinclair (161), Melissa Tancredi (25), Matheson (17) Schmidt (16).
· The average age of the roster is 24 years old.
· Deanne Rose is the youngest player on the team at 16 years old. Rose recently scored her first Canadian Women’s National Team goal at the Olympic qualifier.