Rachel Jones
Bob Frid/Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Canada name roster for U-17 Women's World Cup

The Canadian Soccer Association announced on Tuesday the final roster of 21 players selected to represent Canada at the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.

Included on the roster are Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite defender Rachel Jones and midfielder Simmrin Dhaliwal.

Canada open competition against Germany on March 15 in Liberia, Costa Rica before playing Korea DPR on March 18. The Red and White then move to Tibas for their final group stage game at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Ayma on March 22 against Ghana.

 “We’re excited by the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. We get to test these talented players against historically strong U-17 teams who are tier one and do it trying to stay true to our DNA and style of play,” said Canada’s women’s U-17 national team head coach Bev Priestman. “We have an aim of providing these girls as many games as possible, and therefore, we will aim to progress out of the group, one which has been labelled the group of death.”

The team qualified for the tournament in November last year by virtue of their runner-up finish at the 2013 CONCACAF Women’s U-17 Championship in Jamaica.

There will be four new faces in the squad compared to the qualifying tournament. One newcomer is defender Sura Yekka, who already brings a wealth of international experience despite her young age. Yekka has already stepped up to the senior level and has seen action against top quality opposition, including the United States, with Canada’s women’s national team in a friendly in late January.

Team captain midfielder Jessie Fleming also has senior experience having played with Canada in December in Brazil.

The goal is to get Canadian talent to become tournament experts before they reach the senior level and with that in mind, four players who would be eligible for the FIFA Women’s U-17 World Cup Jordan 2016 are getting experience, and 10 of the 21 players have the opportunity to experience three youth World Cups.

“This tournament provides these players with an opportunity to demonstrate their ability against some of the best players in the world at their age group,” said Priestman. “Hopefully (this) is a spring board to progress up in our system. It’s an exciting time.”

The squad assembles in Liberia, Costa Rica on March 3 and will have a 60-minute training match with Japan on March 11.

GK- Rylee Foster | CAN / Woodbridge SC 
GK- Devon Kerr | CAN / Glen Shields FC 
GK- Lysianne Proulx | CAN / Roussillon 
D- Sura Yekka | CAN / Brams United
D- Easther Mayi Kith | CAN / Laser de Joliette 
D- Mika Richards | CAN / Brams United SC 
D- Rachel Jones | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite 
D- Bianca St-Georges | CAN / Laser de Joliette 
D- Simmrin Dhaliwal | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite 
M- Jessie Fleming | CAN / London NorWest SC 
M- Sarah Kinzner | CAN / Calgary Foothills 
M- Avery Lakeman | CAN / Edmonton Drillers 
M- Karima Lemire | CAN / Varennes 
M- Sarah Stratigakis | CAN / Woodbridge SC 
M- Nahida Baalbaki | CAN / Lakeshore Soccer Club 
F- Emily Borgmann | CAN / Burlington SC 
F- Gabrielle Carle | CAN / Chaudière-Est
F- Nadya Gill | CAN / Vaughan SC 
F- Anyssa Ibrahim | CAN / Terrebonne 
F- Marie Levasseur | CAN / Haute St-Charles 
F- Marie-Mychèle Métivier | CAN / Armada Chaudière-Est

Head of Delegation: Amélia Salehabadi-Fouques
Head Coach: Beverly Priestman
Assistant Coach: Danny Worthington
Assistant Coach: Joey Lombardi
Goalkeeper Coach: Nicole Wright
Team Manager: Sian Bagshawe
Equipment Manager: Kim Blake
Team Doctor: Tim Doty
Physiotherapist: Helen Holubec
Physiotherapist: Sarah Newman
Physical Trainer: Sarah Manson
Team Official: Jaclyn Dunnett