Canada Soccer and the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) unveiled the 18 athletes nominated to represent Canada in the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Tokyo 2020 from July 21 to August 6.
Included on the roster are three graduates from the Whitecaps FC Girls Elite Super REX program in partnership with BC Soccer: defender Jayde Riviere, midfielder Julia Grosso, and forward Jordyn Huitema as an alternate. Also included are former Whitecaps FC players in midfielder Desiree Scott and forward Christine Sinclair, while goalkeeper Erin McLeod and midfielder Sophie Schmidt are also alternates.
As the reigning back-to-back Olympic bronze medallists, Canada will kick off their Tokyo 2020 journey when they face Japan in the opening match in Sapporo on July 21 at 7:30 p.m. local (3:30 a.m. PT). Canada will next face Chile on July 24 at 4:30 p.m. local (12:30 a.m. PT), before wrapping up the group stage against Great Britain in Kashima on July 27 at 8:00 p.m. local (4:00 a.m. PT).
From 12 nations in three groups, the top-eight nations advance to the Olympic Quarterfinals with the top two from each of the groups joined by the top two third place finishers. The Quarterfinal winners will advance to the Semifinals with the winners playing in the Gold Medal Final at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium and the other two Semi finalists playing for the Bronze Medal.
“For me, team selection was a question of picking the right blend of players across the pitch, so that we can progress through the six games at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament ready to win,” said Bev Priestman, Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team Head Coach. “I know these players will do everything in their power to make Canada proud. With hard work, the right mindset and a strong belief in our individual and collective ability, Canada can give any team a really difficult game and ultimately succeed in the Olympic Games.”
Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Soccer Team qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the 2020 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship in Texas and California in January 2020, earning Canada its fourth consecutive Olympic berth in women’s soccer.
Canada are one of just five nations in the world that have qualified for each of the past four Women’s Olympic Football Tournaments. Canada is also the only nation in the world to reach the podium at both London 2012 and Rio 2016 in women’s football. 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 and at London 2012 were the first Canadian team to win a medal at the summer Olympic Games since 1908.
“It is always an honour to represent Canada at the Olympic Games and I am excited to be returning to my fourth Olympic Games,” said Captain Christine Sinclair. “The Olympic Games have played an important part in the history of Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team, and I am looking forward to do whatever I can to help take this team back to the podium and make history again. Our team is in good spot, we are excited, we are hungry, and we are ready to go.”
Canada’s team will once again be led by two-time Olympic bronze medallist and Captain Christine Sinclair. Sinclair, who is the all-time international goalscoring record holder, will be participating at her fourth Women’s Olympic Football Tournament. At London 2012, Sinclair served as Canada’s flag bearer at the Olympic Games Closing Ceremonies.
Twelve players from Canada’s squad were part of the first Canadian Olympic team to win back-to-back medals at a summer Olympic Games in more than a century: Janine Beckie, Kadeisha Buchanan, Allysha Chapman, Jessie Fleming, Stephanie Labbé, Ashley Lawrence, Nichelle Prince, Quinn, Deanne Rose, Desiree Scott, Christine Sinclair, and Shelina Zadorsky.
Goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan traveled to Rio in 2016 as an alternate, while Vanessa Gilles, Jayde Riviere, Julia Grosso, Adriana Leon, and Evelyne Viens will be participating at their first Women’s Olympic Football Tournament.
In addition to the roster of 18 players, four alternates were named who will travel and train with the team and be available should there be injuries to the 18-player roster including goalkeeper Erin McLeod, Jordyn Huitema, Sophie Schmidt, and Gabrielle Carle.
OLYMPIC MEDAL WINNERS & CONCACAF CHAMPIONS
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 2019) 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.
Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Youth Teams, meanwhile, have won four Concacaf youth 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).
GK- Stephanie Labbé | SWE / FC Rosengård
GK- Kailen Sheridan | USA / NJ/NY Gotham FC
CB- Kadeisha Buchanan | FRA / FCF Olympique Lyonnais
CB- Vanessa Gilles | FRA / FC Girondins de Bordeaux
CB- Shelina Zadorsky | ENG / Tottenham Hotspur
FB- Allysha Chapman | USA / Houston Dash
FB- Ashley Lawrence | FRA / Paris Saint-Germain
FB- Jayde Riviere | USA / University of Michigan
M- Jessie Fleming | ENG / Chelsea FC
M- Julia Grosso | CAN / University of Texas at Austin
M- Quinn | USA / OL Reign
M- Desiree Scott | USA / Kansas City NWSL
F- Janine Beckie | ENG / Manchester City FC
F- Adriana Leon | ENG / West Ham United FC
F- Nichelle Prince | USA / Houston Dash
F- Deanne Rose | USA / University of Florida
F- Christine Sinclair | USA / Portland Thorns FC
F- Evelyne Viens | USA / NJ/NY Gotham FC
GK- Erin McLeod | USA / Orlando Pride
FB- Gabrielle Carle | USA / Florida State University
M- Sophie Schmidt | USA / Houston Dash
F- Jordyn Huitema | FRA / Paris Saint-Germain