Canada opened the 2016 CONCACAF Girls Under-15 Championshipwith a 6:0 win over tournament guests Venezuela. The win gave Canada three points on the 9 August opening day in Orlando, FL, USA.
In Group B, Canada sit at the top of the five-nation table with three points and +6 goals difference. Costa Rica are in second place with three points and +1 goals difference after a 2:1 win over Jamaica. After four matches, only the top-two nations will escape the group and advance to the Quarterfinals. Canada’s second match is 10 Augustagainst Costa Rica at 10.00 local (10.00 ET / 07.00 PT).
“It was a great start for the girls after training for just two days before heading into four matches,” said Carmelina Moscato, Canada’s U-15 Co-Coach at the CONCACAF Girls’ Under-15 Championship with Joey Lombardi. “They showed up and played for Canada. They were cohesive and we were pleased with the start.”
Six different players scored for Canada on the opening day of the competition: Aaliyah Scott, Maya Ladhani, Jayde Riviere, Julianne Vallerand, Mya Jones, and Teni Akindoju. Sophie Guilmette and her backline posted the clean sheet.
With five substitutions, Canada featured 16 of their 18 players in the opening match. From that lineup, 10 players were making their international youth debuts.
“I think that we came in, fought hard as a team, and started the tournament off well,” said Jordyn Huitema, who wore the captain’s armband for the opening match. “I think we will get stronger and keep uniting as a team.”
With the Tuesday win, Canada’s combined record across CONCACAF’s three youth competitions in this cycle is seven wins, one draw, and three losses in 11 international matches (2015-16).
At the 2016 CONCACAF Girls’ Under-15 Championship, the 23 nations are divided into five groups: three groups of five nations (Groups A-C) and two groups with four nations (Groups D-F). The first three groups will qualify two nations to the Quarterfinals while the last two groups will qualify only one nation to the Quarterfinals. The group phase is 9-15 August followed by the Quarterfinals on 17 August, the Semifinals on 19 August, and both the match for 3rd place and Final Match on 21 August.
Canada are defending champions in this age group from two years ago. Since 2004, Canada have won four CONCACAF women’s youth championships: twice at the U-20 level (2004, 2008), once at the U-17 level (2010), and once at the U-15 level (2014).
Canada’s roster features players born 2001 or 2002 as part of Canada Soccer’s Women’s EXCEL Program. Beyond this year’s U-15 competition, these players will be eligible for CONCACAF and FIFA U-17 competitions in 2018 as well CONCACAF and FIFA U-20 competitions through 2020. The younger players born in 2002 will be eligible for CONCACAF and FIFA U-20 competitions through 2022.
Canada Soccer Women’s National EXCEL Program, presented by Bell, brings together the best with the best at the national youth level. Operating across the U-14 to U-17 and U-18 to U-23 age groups, the program is designed to deliver an aligned talent structure and system that progresses more top players to Canada’s Women’s National Team.