Canada will kick off their run at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in India on Wednesday at 4 a.m. PT (live on TSN5, replay at 12 p.m. PT on TSN2).
The Whitecaps FC Girls Elite program is one of three Canada Soccer National Development Centres (NDC) alongside Ontario and Quebec, bringing top players and future stars from provinces across the country to train together.
The Canadian team is led by head coach Emma Humphries, who is director of women's football development at Whitecaps FC. She is joined by Girls Elite athletic therapist Lydia Maxwell, while assistant coaches Jasmine Mander and Gary Moody have also spent time with the 'Caps.
Nine players from the Whitecaps FC program will be competing for the Red & White at the World Cup. We chatted with 'Caps Girls Elite head coach Katie Collar to find out a bit more about each player.
Position: Centre back
"Clare is first of all an incredible leader and was our captain through the League1 BC season. She's a skillful player, she solves problems really well from the back. She leads not just by example, but also with her presence. I would expect that she'd be one that will have a big impact for this World Cup."
"Iba is a great story. She's one that has really turned it up over the last couple of months. She had a big impact within our League1 BC team, scoring the goal that tied it up in the final. She's hard nosed and she doesn't get beat one-v-one very often. She's a great defender and then in possession, she's super calm and relaxed on the ball. Iba is another one that has the potential to have a big impact for our squad."
"Mya is an incredible athlete from small town Nova Scotia. So she's one that comes in with something to prove. She competes hard, and works harder. She's probably one of the hardest workers on the field. Mya is one of those players that when it comes down to it to compete, she's going to give it everything she's got."
"Jeneva is an exciting young talent, one of the most technical players in the age group. She can solve problems like there's no defenders there. She makes people look silly at times. She will play in the middle of the park with the U-17s and you'll watch her as she slows the game down to receive the ball and then looks to create going forward."
"Izzy is an absolute competitor. She's the type of player that you want on the field when you're looking to win a game. She'll never back down from a challenge and she'll work until she gives it everything she has in her tank."
"Emily is another exciting young player. She'll be one of the youngest within our squad at the tournament. She's so clever and calm on the ball. She just makes the game look easy. She's really able to connect the pitch. And then out of possession, she just understands and reads from a tactical perspective to shut down anything coming through."
"Jamie is an electric attacking threat, she is one that you'll see running up and down the side of the park. She'll create a lot going forward. There's not many players in the age group that can catch her and she's one that'll keep working right until the end of the game."
"Ash is clever. She's technical. She's one that will cause you problems when you give her the ball to her feet. She actually runs more than anybody else in terms of GPS data. But she is an attacking threat, she's got great feet, and when you give her the chance to get at you 1v1 she's going to create something going forward."
"Anna is as a game changer. Anna is a player that you play to change the game or to impact the game. She'll do everything that she can to win the ball back for you. And when she does, she's looking to go forward. She's always looking to go for goal and she's got an eye for the unconventional game winner."