Canada lead Group B at the CONCACAF Girls’ Under-15 Championship after a 2:0 win over Costa Rica. Canada are perfect with six points after two matches, with Sydney Kennedy and Jordyn Huitema the goalscorers in the 10 August victory in Orlando, FL, USA.
The five-nation Group B will qualify two nations to the 17 AugustQuarterfinals at the CONCACAF Girls’ Under-15 Championship. Behind first-place Canada are El Salvador (three points, +1 goals difference), Costa Rica (three points, -1 goals difference), Jamaica (no points, -1 goals difference), and Venezuela (no points, -7 goals difference). Canada’s third group match is 11 August against Jamaica at 11.00 local (11.00 ET / 08.00 PT).
“There is a lot of potential within our group of players, so it has been great to see this new crop,” said Joey Lombardi, Canada’s U-15 Co-Coach at the CONCACAF Girls’ Under-15 Championship with Carmelina Moscato. “There is a lot of learning and the girls have been great in taking it all in.”
For more than half the Canadian squad, the CONCACAF Girls’ Under-15 Championship provides these players with their first taste of international competition. All the players will have a chance to play in order to maximize their development as they continue their growth towards one day representing Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team.
As a group in between the first two matches on Tuesday andWednesday, Canada’s Women’s National U-15 Team watchedTuesday’s historic Rio 2016 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament on television — a Canada 2:1 win to finish perfect with nine points from three matches. Players and staff watched together from the team hotel as Canada came from behind to beat Germany for the first time in program history. Said Lombardi of the U-15 group in Orlando, “it was a real inspiration for all the players and the staff to watch.”
With the Wednesday win, Canada’s combined record across CONCACAF’s three youth competitions in this cycle is eight wins, one draw, and three losses in 12 international matches (2015-16). In Orlando, eight different players have scored for Canada: Aaliyah Scott, Maya Ladhani, Jayde Riviere, Julianne Vallerand, Mya Jones, Teni Akindoju, Kennedy, and Huitema.
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.