Canada ready to play Send-Off match against Mexico

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Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team are ready to face Concacaf rivals Mexico in a Send-Off match before the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™. The match, scheduled for Saturday 18 May in Toronto, will serve as an important tune-up before final squad selections are confirmed at the end of the month.

For fans, this will be one last chance to show their support for Canada before they head to Europe for their pre-competition training camp ahead of the 10 June FIFA Women’s World Cup™ group opener against Cameroon in Montpellier, France.

“Heading into an away FIFA Women’s World Cup, we hope that the echo from our Canadian fans back home will carry us through our month in France,” said Kenneth Heiner-Møller, Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team Head Coach and Women’s National EXCEL Director. “The players are really looking forward to having the fans cheering for us, so we will put on a show and give us the momentum as we head to France. It is important that both our performance and fan support at our send-off match in Toronto has a resounding effect on our players for a long period of time.”

Concacaf rivals Canada and Mexico have a long history against each other in international competition, with Canada winning each of the last three matches since January 2015. The two sides have also faced each other twice in Concacaf finals, with Canada winning the 1998 Concacaf Women’s Championship 1:0 in Toronto and the 2010 Concacaf Women’s Championship 1:0 in Cancún.

“Mexico are a tough team to open up as they defend very well and they have been doing that for a long period of time,” said Heiner-Møller. “It’s about finding a way to get through their defending structure. I think we have the skills for it and we are working on our organisation to do it, so hopefully we’ll find some of these cracks.”

While Canada have qualified for seven consecutive editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™, Mexico will miss out on this summer’s finals after being eliminated in the group stage of last year’s Concacaf Women’s Championship. Mexico now have their sights set on next year’s Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifiers from which two Concacaf nations will qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“They have a good league in Mexico and they will be a tough opponent on Saturday afternoon in Toronto,” said Sophie Schmidt, Canada Soccer Women’s National Team midfielder. “We will have to be the one that comes out and dictates the tempo of the play. We have to make sure we make the most of this and take the gains and the confidence out of this game and take it over to Europe ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.”

Canada Soccer’s Women National Team is hoping that this send-off match in front of Canadian fans will give them the momentum as they head to Europe.

“We want to show Canada what we are about going in this FIFA Women’s World Cup,” said Rebecca Quinn, Canada Soccer Women’s National Team centre back and midfielder. “Hopefully, we’ll get the hype going leading us into France.”

The match will also provide fans with an opportunity to watch Christine Sinclair on home soil as she closes in on the International goal scoring record of 184 goals. Sinclair, who has three goals in five games thus far in 2019, has 180 international goals in her career, and 16 career goals against Mexico. She has had four multi-goal games against Mexico in her career.

CANADA AT THE FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP FRANCE 2019™
Following Canada’s 10 June opener against Cameroon in Montpellier, Canada will face New Zealand on 15 June in Grenoble and Netherlands on 20 June in Reims. Beyond the group phase, two or three nations from Canada’s group will advance to the Round of 16 with those initial knock-out matches to be played from 23-25 June. Beyond the Round of 16, the Quarter-finals are 27-29 June, the Semi-finals are 2-3 July, and the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ Final in 7 July.