Canada’s Women’s U-20 team heads to Mexico to prepare

Canadas Womens U 20 team 1

Canada’s squad is missing three EXCEL program players who are currently playing with Canada’s Women’s National Team

Canada’s Women’s U-20 team will play two closed-door matches against Mexico as part of a 10-day camp to help prepare the team for the upcoming FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016. The matches will take place on May 18th and 23rd in Mexico City.

Canada’s roster for the matches includes a blend of players who have been involved in the program over the past year, but also involves some new faces coach Daniel Worthington is hoping to get a good look at over the two international friendlies.

“As a team we are in some of our final preparations for the upcoming FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016,” said Worthington. “For many individuals, this is another step along the journey of learning to be an international footballer on their path to the Women’s National Team.”

Canada is in an enviable position going into the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016, having an available player pool that includes potential roster members from all three women’s programs, including the U-17 National EXCEL (NEX) and Women’s National Team program.

With so much women’s soccer action on the horizon for the remainder of this year, including the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016, the Mexico camp serves as a key opportunity to work on individual player development plans as they track towards the various FIFA World Cups, or an opportunity with the senior women’s team.

“We have opened the door for younger players that are not just eligible for Papua New Guinea 2016, but are also eligible for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 and because we are spreading it across two programs it’s an opportunity for us to look at new players. With many of the EXCEL players missing due to Olympic development commitments, we have chosen a young team for the two game series in Mexico City. This isn’t the final roster that will be selected for Papua New Guinea 2016, but it will be used as an opportunity to continue the individual development of our NEX players as well as assess some new faces,” said Worthington.

Canada’s NEX system is about developing players through a periodized four to six year plan, so although a FIFA World Cup is around the corner these upcoming matches are an opportunity for Canada to continue to focus on individual development that players need. This development combined with the tournament expertise that they will acquire in Papua New Guinea 2016 will aid in their holistic advancement towards the Women’s National Team and keep Canada’s focus on developing players by design: ‘More Sinclair’s more Often.

Coach Worthington is anticipating two tough matches against Mexico.

“The last time we played Mexico everything was on the line to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup and it went to 120 minutes of back and forth play, and we ended up winning on penalties,” he said. “We know that Mexico will be a tough opponent especially at altitude in Mexico City. The extreme heat conditions that our players will experience will be similar to what we will face in Papua New Guinea in November. These two components combine to be invaluable lessons and are one of the ways the EXCEL programme prepares our players for the realities of international football.”

Mexico is also preparing for the upcoming FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, and will likely be going through a similar process as Canada, as they prepare for the pinnacle event for this age group.

“When preparing to play teams like Spain, Nigeria, and Japan in the FIFA U-20 World Cup, we need to play tough games,” added Worthington. “Playing Mexico is a great way to send us off, we will learn some lessons and improve, so once we get to Papa New Guinea 2016 we’ll be ready to face our competition.”

Detailed Canada Soccer U-20 Women Mexico friendly roster:

GK – Rylee Foster, 16, Vaughan SC, from Cambridge, ON
GK – Patricia Koutoulas, 19 Toronto Lynx SC, from Toronto, ON
FB – Mika Richards, 18, Harding University, from Brampton, ON
FB – Sura Yekka , 18, University of Michigan, from Mississauga, ON
FB – Marike St-Pierre Mousset, 18, Comètes de Laval, from Montréal, QC
FB – Victoria Pickett, 18, University of Wisconsin–Madison, from Barrie, ON
FB – Julia Grosso, 15, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite, from Vancouver, BC
FB – Simmrin Dhaliwal, 19, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite, from Surrey, BC
CB- Indigo Gibson, 19, University of California, from Las Flores, CA
CB – Bianca St-Georges, 17, West Virginia University, from St-Charles-Borommée, QC
M – Ashley Moreira, 19, University of Pittsburgh, from Maple, ON
M – Sarah Stratigakis, 17, Unionville-Milliken SC, from Woodbridge, ON
M – Sarah Feola, 17, CS Lakeshore, from Montréal, QC
M – Sarah Kinzner, 17, University of Colorado at Boulder, from Calgary, AB
M – Martina Loncar, 17, Colgate University, from Brampton, ON
M – Sarah Taylor, 19, Boise State University, from South Shore, NS
F – Alex Lamontagne, 18, Syracuse University, from Whitby, ON
F – Taylor Pryce, 18, University of Pittsburgh, from Toronto, ON
F – Anyssa Ibrahim, 16, AS Varennes, from Repentigny, QC
F – Marie Levasseur, 18, University of Memphis, from Stoneham, QC
F – Jessica Lisi, 16, Woodbridge SC, from Woodbridge, ON