Canada Soccer is fielding a youthful squad to compete at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016 running 13 November through 3 December 2016. In Papua New Guinea, Canada’s top female youth players will test themselves against the best in the world, facing two confederation champions in the group stage. Canada plays Spain in its opening match 13 Nov, followed by African champions, Nigeria, 16 November, and Asian Champions, Japan, 20 November.
Canada Soccer U-23 Excel Programme Director and U-20 coach Danny Worthington, along with the head of women’s soccer programming John Herdman, have been working towards building player capabilities with a motto that transcends all youth levels: “More Sinclairs, more often.” It is a philosophy that promotes clinical development over titles, with the aim of creating world-class footballers tracking towards Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team.
“We have selected a young group of players with varying degrees of tournament expertise,” said coach Worthington. “The focus will be on our identity first, how we bring alive our individual strengths to put together consistent performances under pressure against some World-Class talent, and go out there and impose our game on our opponents. We know we will be facing some of the best young players in the world, so we are preparing our team to execute a system of play that helps us develop technically under the pressure from world-class talent.”
Canada’s National Excel system is focused on developing players through a periodized four to six year plan, culminating in senior international play. The curriculum focuses on individual development augmented by specialised expertise acquired in major international tournaments, all with an aim at continuing player’s holistic development towards the Women’s National Team.
“At this stage in our player’s development, we are focusing on advancing individual skills through a curriculum based on key technical and tactical outcomes, within the overall Canadian style of soccer,” said Worthington. “This will be invaluable experience for our young players as we monitor and assess their performances in a tournament setting, against the world’s best as they continue learn and grow on their journey as an international footballer, and for some on route to France 2019, and Tokyo 2020.”
Canada has reached the knockout stages of the preeminent women’s youth football tournament three times, placing second in the inaugural competition hosted in Canada in 2002, and reaching the quarterfinals in Thailand 2004 and again in Canada in 2014.
Papua New Guinea 2016 represents an opportunity for Canada Soccer to build on the progress of recent years, developing the tournament capabilities of young players and solidifying a style of play that has seen Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team earn back-to-back Olympic medals and a sixth place finish at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015.
“We look forward to going into Papua New Guinea 2016 and playing against the best teams in the world. We won’t change our philosophy: Identity first. We are going to play the way we want to play because it is the right way and it is the right way for Canada,” said Worthington.
Canada Soccer’s U-20 women’s team will prepare for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016 with a camp in Australia running 1-9 November, and will face France in a closed door international friendly match 8 November.
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.
Detailed Canada Soccer U-20 Women roster:
GK – Rylee Foster, 18, West Virginia University, from Cambridge, ON
GK – Patricia Koutoulas, 19, Miami University, from Toronto, ON
GK – Lysianne Proulx, 17, AS Varennes & Québec Soccer REX, from Boucherville, QC
D – Victoria Pickett, 20, University of Wisconsin–Madison, from Barrie, ON
D – Bianca St-Georges, 18, West Virginia University, from St-Charles-Borommée, QC
D – Mika Richards, 19, York University, from Brampton, ON
D – Sura Yekka , 19, University of Michigan, from Mississauga, ON
D – Marike St-Pierre Mousset, 19, Ohio State University, from Montréal, QC
D – Emma Regan, 16, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer Rex, from Burnaby, BC
D – Hannah Taylor, 17, Eastside FC, from Edmonds, WA
M – Ashley Moreira, 20, University of Pittsburgh, from Maple, ON
M – Sarah Taylor, 20, Boise State University, from South Shore, NS
M – Sarah Feola, 18, University of Louisville, from Montréal, QC
M – Sarah Stratigakis, 17, Aurora United FC, from Woodbridge, ON
M – Anyssa Ibrahim, 17, AS Varennes & Québec Soccer REX, from Repentigny, QC
M – Vital Kats, 16, Scarborough GS United, from Toronto, ON
F – Alex Lamontagne, 20, Syracuse University, from Whitby, ON
F – Marie Levasseur, 19, University of Memphis, from Stoneham, QC
F – Gabrielle Carle, 18, Dynamo Québec & Québec Soccer REX, from Lévis, QC
F – Deanne Rose, 17, Scarborough GS United, from Alliston, ON
F – Lauren Raimondo, 17, Unionville-Milliken SC, from Niagara Falls, ON
- Canada’s squad includes four players who have made Canada Soccer Women’s National Team appearances: Deanne Rose, Gabrielle Carle, Sura Yekka and Marie Levasseur.
- Deanne Rose and Gabrielle Carle were members of Canada’s Olympic team. Rose scored twice during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, becoming the youngest goal scorer in Olympic women’s football history.
- Seven players on the roster were members of Canada’s U17 squad at the recent FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016 (October): Deanne Rose, Lysianne Proulx, Hannah Taylor, Emma Regan, Vital Kats, Sarah Stratigakis, Lauren Raimondo
- Players by province: Ontario (11), Quebec (7), British Columbia (1), Nova Scotia (1)
- Vital Kats is the youngest player on Canada’s roster at 16 years of age. She will turn 17 years old on 18 November, during the World Cup.
- The average age of the squad is 18.1
- Canada qualified for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016 after placing second at the 2015 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship, finishing runners up to USA after a narrow 0-1 defeat in the 13 December Final Match in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
- Canada won the CONCACAF Fair Play Trophy while both Bianca St-Georges and Sarah Stratigakis were named to the tournament’s Best XI.
- Canadian players have been honoured at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup with the Adidas Golden Ball (Sinclair, 2002), Adidas Golden Shoe (Sinclair 2002, Timko 2004).
- Canada was awarded the FIFA Fair Play Award at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014.