Canada’s women’s national team has brought 20-players to the Mediterranean where they’ll aim to reclaim the Cyprus Cup, a tournament they have won three times but haven’t won since 2011.
There are only a few changes from the Canadian squad that went to Texas last month to play in the international friendly against the United States. The group includes nine Whitecaps FC women's alumnae, including: goalkeeper Erin McLeod; defenders Robyn Gayle, Carmelina Moscato, and Emily Zurrer; midfielders Brittany Baxter, Kaylyn Kyle, Desiree Scott, and Sophie Schmidt; and striker Christine Sinclair.
Defender Robyn Gayle is back in the squad, as are defender Rachel Quon and forward Nkem Ezurike, who will be looking to make their first appearances for Canada at the senior level.
“(Ezurike) had a very good college season for Michigan,” said Head Coach John Herdman. “We had her in our program last year so she did some camps with (U-20 Head Coach) Andrew Olivieri so Andrew’s been keeping an eye on her. We got her in January for a two-week trial and she did well.”
The group stage gets underway as Canada, which will be based in Larnaca, CYP, takes on Finland on Wednesday 5 March. Up next will be a game against Italy at the GSZ Stadium in Larnaca on Friday 7 March with the group stage concluding on Monday 10 March at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia against England.
England beat Canada 1-0 in the final last year and France were winners in 2012 with a 2-0 win over Canada.
“We’ve been to pretty much all the finals since I’ve been here and just haven’t been able to cross that line,” said Herdman. “We desperately want to do well in the tournament. There’s something about getting used to these tournaments and being effective in them so at some point you’ve got to win it.”
GK- Stephanie Labbé | SWE / KIF Örebro DFF
GK- Karina LeBlanc | USA / Chicago Red Stars
GK- Erin McLeod | USA / Houston Dash
D- Robyn Gayle | USA / Washington Spirit
D- Kadeisha Buchanan | USA / West Virginia University
D- Carmelina Moscato | USA / Seattle Reign FC
D- Marie-Eve Nault | SWE / KIF Örebro DFF
D- Lauren Sesselmann | USA / Houston Dash
D- Rhian Wilkinson | Unattached / sans club
D- Emily Zurrer | SWE / Jitex BK
D- Rachel Quon | USA / Chicago Red Stars
M- Kaylyn Kyle | USA / Boston Breakers
M- Diana Matheson | USA / Washington Spirit
M- Sophie Schmidt | USA / Sky Blue FC
M- Desiree Scott | ENG / Notts County Ladies
M- Brittany Baxter | unattached
F- Adriana Leon | USA / Chicago Red Stars
F- Christine Sinclair | USA / Portland Thorns FC
F- Josée Belanger | Unattached / sans club
F- Nkem Ezurike | USA / Boston Breakers