Canada Soccer to kick of Papua New Guinea 2016 against Spain

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Canada Soccer will kick of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016 against Spain at 16:00 local (01:00 ET/22:00 PT) on Sunday, 13 November 2016 The match will be broadcast LIVE on TSN with two replays later that day on TSN1 at 10:00 ET/ 07:00 PT and TSN2 at 23:30 ET/20:30 PT to ensure fans will get the opportunity to watch the match in Canada.

“I think our first game is going to be a great challenge for our young players,” said Canada Soccer U-23 EXCEL Programme Director and U-20 coach Danny Worthington. “Spain has brought in half its squad that won the 2015 Under 19 European Championships in Israel and half its squad that recently came second to France at the 2016 edition in Slovakia. We’ve studied them, and what you’ll see is a team with a good brand of play that is aligned from the U-17’s to the senior team, which is similar to Canada’s EXCEL program.”

While Canada is preparing to take on some of the best women’s youth teams in the world, its focus is on maintaining the Canadian style that has contributed to success on the women’s stage at the senior level.

“We’ve spent a lot of time on our identity and who we are,” said Worthington. “It will be important that we get off to a good start, but our key to success is the strength of our players right now and we are going to impose that on Spain and go from there. It’s going to be one game at a time.”

Canada will face two confederation champions in the group stage. Following Canada’s opening match against Spain it will face the African champions, Nigeria, on 16 November, and Asian Champions, Japan, on 20 November.

“Every game is going to be a tough game, for all the groups, and these are the games we want to expose our young players to,” said Worthington. “Each game is going to pose different threats, and different opportunities, and we’re ready for that. The most important thing is that we do what we do well. We’ve been focusing on that in camp over the past few days, so the players will be ready – they’ll be ready to fight and show what we have on the international stage.”

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 Chile 2008 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.

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.

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