Canada Soccer’s Women’s EXCEL Program won two of three matches at a youth international series in England, with six goals scored against their two opponents. After a narrow 2:3 loss to England in their first match, Canada won 2:0 over Northern Ireland and then 2:1 in a second match against England.
The 13-day Canada camp featured a mix of Canadian players born 2000 to 2003, all of whom will be eligible for the next FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2020. As the first national camp for the age group, the camp provided Canada’s young players with the opportunity to connect with each other both on and off the pitch as a team.
The matches against England were played on 9 and 16 July at St. George’s Park in Burton while the match against Northern Ireland was played on 11 July in Leek Town. Three different players made their first-ever appearances for Canada: Aleisha Ganief, Chloe Minas and Joanna Verzosa-Dolezal.
Across the three matches, Canada’s goals were scored by Caitlin Shaw and Tanya Boychuk in the first match, Kaila Novak and Andersen Williams in the second match, and Jessica De Filippo and Lara Kazandjian in the third match. All 20 players were featured across the three matches.
All 20 players in the Canada squad are currently or have previously been featured in Canada Soccer’s Regional EXCEL Program across the country. Thirteen of the 20 players have previously featured at a FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, 10 of whom helped Canada finish fourth at last year’s edition at Uruguay 2018. Fifteen of Canada’s 20 players have previously featured at a Concacaf youth tournament.
CANADA SOCCER’S WOMEN’S EXCEL PROGRAM
Canada Soccer’s Women’s EXCEL Program brings together the best with the best at the national youth level from the U-14 to U-20 age groups. The program delivers an aligned talent structure that produces more gold-medal standard players that progress to the Women’s National Team. Across Concacaf, FIFA, and other youth competitions, players develop the Women’s EXCEL Program Playing Model and benefit from invaluable tournament expertise.
Additionally, Canada Soccer’s most talented U-14 to U-18 players are offered a specialised daily training environment through the Women’s EXCEL Centres. The program delivers Canada Soccer’s national curriculum through a two-tiered talent system, with three EXCEL Super Centres in British Columbia, Ontario, and Québec supported by smaller Regional EXCEL Centres positioned across the country.
FIFA TOURNAMENTS & CONCACAF CHAMPIONSHIPS
The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup is held every two years, with the next edition in 2020. For the next edition, only players born 2000 or later are eligible to participate. The CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship serves as Canada’s qualification route for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Youth Teams have won four Concacaf titles: the 2004 and 2008 Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship, the 2010 Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championship, and the 2014 Concacaf Girls’ Under-15 Championship. Canada have qualified for seven editions of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup (including a silver medal at Canada 2002) and all six editions of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup (including a fourth-place finish at Uruguay 2018).
Canada are two-time Olympic bronze medal winners (2012 and 2016) and two-time CONCACAF champions (1998 and 2010). In all, Canada have participated in seven consecutive editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup (1995 to 2015) and three consecutive editions of the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament (2008 to 2016). At Rio 2016, Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team were the first Canadian Olympic team to win back-to-back medals at a summer Olympic Games in more than a century.