Canada finished second at the 2016 CONCACAF Girls’ Under-15 Championship in Orlando, FL, USA. Canada posted six wins in seven matches, falling 0:2 to USA in the Final Match on Sunday 21 August.
“Mexico and USA always provide us with a great game,” said Bev Priestman, Canada Soccer’s Women’s U-14/U-17 EXCEL Director. “This is a tier-one standard game (against USA), so it gives us a great platform to assess the players.”
Against USA, both sides created chances without effect in the first half. Then in the second half, Kalyssa Van Zanten (39′) opened the scoring and Samantha Meza (58′) doubled the American lead en route to the 2-0 victory.
Over the course of the 17-camp and competition in Orlando, Canada won matches against Venezuela (6:0), Costa Rica (2:0), Jamaica (5:0), El Salvador (6:0), Curaçao (10:0), and Mexico (3:1). From the get go, Canada’s hopes were to reach the end of the competition to ensure they played the maximum number of international matches (seven) and to face two of the region’s toughest opponents in the Semi-Finals and Final Match to maximize the players’ growth and CONCACAF education.
Twelve different players scored for Canada, including a team-best eight by Jordyn Huitema (she was the second-best goalscorer in the tournament). At the close of the competition, three Canadian players were named at the Best XI for the CONCACAF Girls’ Under-15 Championship: centre back Maya Antoine, left back Julianne Vallerand, and forward Jordyn Huitema.
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 featured 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.