Canada Soccer have announced their first squad of the 2022 international year as they prepare for the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup competition in England. The squad will face a trio of European opponents as Canada prepares for this summer’s 2022 Concacaf Women’s Championship as qualifiers to both the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 as well as the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
“The Arnold Clark Cup starts 2022 with a fantastic Tier-1 test and another opportunity for Canada to gain critical tournament experience ahead of the Concacaf Women’s Championship in July,” said Bev Priestman, Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team Head Coach. “We know that the new 32-nation FIFA Women’s World Cup will feature 11 European teams, so beating Europeans at both group and knockout stages is something we need learn to master for us to podium at Australia & New Zealand 2023. We have three great opponents lined up and these sorts of tests will only help us to keep pushing forward. It will be a great tournament and spectacle for international football.”
Canada will face England on Thursday 17 February in Middlesbrough (18.45 local / 13.45 ET / 10.45 PT), Germany on Sunday 20 February in Norwich (20.15 local / 15.15 ET / 12.15 ET), and Spain on Wednesday 23 February in Wolverhampton (13.15 local / 08.15 ET / 05.15 PT). In Canada, all three matches will be broadcast on TSN. Fans will find extended coverage across Canada Soccer’s digital channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube featuring the hashtag #CANWNT.
All four nations competing in the new annual competition were ranked amongst the top-10 nations on the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings, with Germany at third (2,073 ranking points), Canada at sixth (2,021 points), England at eighth (1,973 points) and Spain at 10th (1,935 points). While Canada are preparing for the 2022 Concacaf Women’s Championship final round in July, Germany, England and Spain are all perfect midway through their respective group phases in UEFA qualifying for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023.
“We start our new journey with the Arnold Clark Cup and for that reason it is important that we continue to assess new players, not just at this tournament but also at the Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship,” said Priestman.
The Canada squad features players attached to clubs in seven different countries. As the February 2022 international window coincides with the upcoming Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship, coach Priestman has not called up all youth players that may otherwise be eligible to compete with Canada’s U-20 team (players born 2002 or later).
First-time call ups are midfielder Marie-Yasmine Alidou, who recently transferred from Klepp IL in Norway to SK Sturm Graz in Austria, forward Tanya Boychuk from the University of Memphis, and goalkeeper Devon Kerr of Washington Spirit. Second-year call ups, meanwhile, are both forward Cloé Lacasse of Benfica in Portugal and midfielder Victoria Pickett of the Kansas City Current.
Also included in the Canada squad are four players who have signed or changed professional clubs since the last international window in November: fullback Gabrielle Carle has turned pro with Kristianstads DFF in Sweden; centre back Vanessa Gilles has joined NWSL expansion side Angel City FC; midfielder Julia Grosso has turned pro with Juventus FC in Italy; and goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan has joined NWSL expansion side San Diego Wave FC.
Other NWSL-based players in the Canada squad are fullback Allysha Chapman, forward Nichelle Prince and midfielder Sophie Schmidt of Houston Dash, goalkeeper Erin McLeod of Orlando Pride, Quinn of OL Reign, and Desiree Scott of the Kansas City Current. Fullback Jayde Riviere, meanwhile, plays her football at the University of Michigan.
Other European-based players in the Canada squad are forward Janine Beckie of Manchester City FC, centre back Kadeisha Buchanan of Olympique Lyonnais, goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo of Vittsjö GIK, midfielder Jessie Fleming of Chelsea FC, forward Jordyn Huitema and fullback Ashley Lawrence of Paris Saint-Germain FC, forward Deanne Rose of Reading FC, fullback Sura Yekka of Havre AC, and centre back Shelina Zadorsky of Tottenham Hotspurs.
Players unavailable for the February camp include Adriana Leon of West Ham United (returning from injury) and Christine Sinclair of Portland Thorns FC (personal). Sinclair will miss the tournament after her mother Sandi passed away after a 40-year battle with Multiple Sclerosis.
GK- Sabrina D’Angelo | SWE / Vittsjö GIK
GK- Devon Kerr | USA / Washington Spirit
GK- Erin McLeod | USA / Orlando Pride
GK- Kailen Sheridan | USA / San Diego Wave FC
CB- Kadeisha Buchanan | FRA / FCF Olympique Lyonnais
CB- Vanessa Gilles | USA / Angel City FC
CB- Shelina Zadorsky | ENG / Tottenham Hotspur
FB- Gabrielle Carle | SWE / Kristianstads DFF
FB- Allysha Chapman | USA / Houston Dash
FB- Jayde Riviere | USA / University of Michigan
FB- Sura Yekka | FRA / Havre AC
M- Marie-Yasmine Alidou | AUT / SK Sturm Graz
M- Jessie Fleming | ENG / Chelsea FC
M- Julia Grosso | ITA / Juventus FC
M- Ashley Lawrence | FRA / Paris Saint-Germain FC
M- Victoria Pickett | USA / Kansas City Current
M- Quinn | USA / OL Reign
M- Sophie Schmidt | USA / Houston Dash
M- Desiree Scott | USA / Kansas City Current
F- Janine Beckie | ENG / Manchester City FC
F- Tanya Boychuk | USA / University of Memphis
F- Jordyn Huitema | FRA / Paris Saint-Germain FC
F- Cloé Lacasse | POR / SL Benfica
F- Nichelle Prince | USA / Houston Dash
F- Deanne Rose | ENG / Reading FC