Canada will begin their journey at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016 on Friday when they face Cameroon on the opening day of the group phase at the Al Hassan International Stadium in Irbid, Jordan. The match will be broadcast in Canada on TSN2 and RDS2 (11:00 ET / 8:00 PT).
While Friday’s match will be the first encounter between Canada and Cameroon at this level, Canada Soccer National EXCEL 14-17 Director and U17 Coach Bev Humphries-Priestman expects it will be a hard-fought battle.
“Cameroon recently played Brazil and beat them 2-0, so we can’t take them lightly,” said Priestman. “They will be a very physical and quick team so defensive organization and being ready for quick transitions is going to be crucial. At the same time, we have the technicians to keep the ball, create some chances and hopefully get a result from this game.”
Canada will be looking to get three points against Cameroon to help secure a spot in the knockout quarterfinals. With Germany and Venezuela on the horizon later for Canada, earning points early could prove to be critical in determining Canada’s later opponents.
“We faced similar physical teams in our CONCACAF Women’s U-17 Tournament and so the girls have experienced these sorts of games before but at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, especially youth tournaments, there is no easy game.” said Bev Priestman. “The girls know that it’s going to be a difficult game in which we have to battle and remain composed for 90 minutes. I am really excited to see them play and start their tournament learnings.”
The objective for Canada in Jordan is to advance out of the group stage and onto the knock out round, providing Canada’s youth players with invaluable international tournament experience as they continue on their journey to the Women’s National Team.
Canada’s next tournament action will see it face Germany on 3 October in Amman, before playing its last group phase match against Venezuela on 7 October, again in Amman.
Canada’s 21-player squad includes Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Deanne Rose and youth program veterans Sarah Stratigakis, Anyssa Ibrahim, and Lysianne Proulx. The group is a well-rounded blend of experienced international tournament players and newly identified talent.
The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016 runs 30 September to 21 October, with the 32 matches to be played at four stadiums in Amman, Irbid, and Al Zarqa. From 16 nations, eight will advance from the group phase to reach the Quarter-finals, where Canada have landed three times in four previous trips.
Canada has qualified for every iteration of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and has made it to the quarter-final, knock out stage of the competition in three of the four tournaments held to date.
Canada’s strength in women’s football is present at all levels. Canada is one of four countries in the world to have qualified for twelve or more FIFA women’s youth tournaments since 2002, including six trips to the quarter-finals and one silver medal at Canada 2002. Canada have also won four CONCACAF women’s youth championships, with titles at the U-20 level (2004, 2008), U-17 level (2010), and U-15 level (2014).
From 2014-2016, Canada is the only nation in the world with top eight results in all women’s international competitions including the most recent FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, FIFA Women’s World Cup, and Rio Olympics.
Canada Soccer’s Women’s 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 delivers an aligned talent structure and system that progresses more top players to Canada’s Women’s National Team.