Canada Soccer has released its Women’s National Team roster for the upcoming Women’s International Friendly match against Brazil. Canada’s squad will face Brazil in Ottawa on Sunday, September 2 at TD Place.
Included on the roster is striker Jordyn Huitema from the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite Super REX program, in partnership with BC Soccer, as well as midfielder Julia Grosso, who recently graduated the program as she gets set for her freshman season at the University of Texas. Also included are Maya Antoine and Jayde Riviere, who both spent the 2017-18 season with Whitecaps FC. The four 17-year-old players are the youngest on the squad.
Head Coach Kenneth Heiner-Møller has selected a squad that blends experience and youth, inviting five teenagers in Maya Antoine, Julia Grosso, Jordyn Huitema, Jayde Riviere, and veteran Deanne Rose. Canada will also feature two-time Olympic Bronze Medalists Christine Sinclair, Sophie Schmidt, Desiree Scott, and Diana Matheson, as well as London 2012 Bronze Medalist and goalkeeper Erin McLeod, who missed Rio 2016 with an injury.
Eight more from the core Rio 2016 Bronze Medal winning squad return for the rematch against Brazil: Janine Beckie, Kadeisha Buchanan, Allysha Chapman, Jessie Fleming, Stephanie Labbé, Ashley Lawrence, Nichelle Prince, and Rebecca Quinn. Rounding out the squad are returning players Lindsay Agnew, Sabrina D’Angelo, Adriana Leon and Shannon Woeller.
Ahead of Canada’s FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ qualification campaign set for October at the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championships, Canada will be using the opportunity to play the 2016 Rio Olympic hosts to assess the squad make-up and to see how individuals perform under the unique pressures of playing such a high-calibre team. Both Canada and Brazil have recently been ranked amongst the top-10 nations in the world, with Canada ranked fifth and Brazil ranked seventh.
“Every player will be asked to perform,” said Kenneth Heiner-Møller, Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team Head Coach. “We performed against Germany in June, but didn’t win. We are coming to Ottawa with the goal of winning this match for our fans, but also to give our team a confidence boost ahead of the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship. There will be a lot of assessment, so the players will need to prove themselves, but that is what players expect coming into this kind of match.
“Additionally, we’ve brought in three U-17 aged players from our EXCEL program and we are very excited that we continue to see excellent players being developed. Some of these players are the future, but they can also be players that make an impact right now. Seeing how they play against an opponent like Brazil and how they adapt to the team culture is going to be important towards understanding the make-up of this team for the rest of 2018 and into 2019.”
Canada defeated Brazil at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to take the Olympic Bronze Medal. Canada’s back-to-back podium finishes at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games earned them the distinction of becoming the first Canadian team to win back-to-back Summer Olympic medals since 1908. They were also the first-ever women’s Canadian team to repeat on the podium. Canada also faced Brazil in Toronto and Ottawa ahead of the Rio Olympics, splitting the series, including Canada’s send-off final match in Ottawa which saw the home team defeat Brazil 1-0, with Janine Beckie scoring in the 90th minute to secure the win in front of 23,588 fans at TD Place.
“As always, we are expecting a very tight match against Brazil,” said Heiner-Møller. “We’ve played them quite a lot over the past few years and we have won the most important ones, including the Bronze Medal match at the Rio Olympics, but it is always a tough match. What we expect to see from Brazil in Ottawa, and what will help us moving towards the qualification matches in October, is their extremely talented attacking forward line. Playing this level of attacking ability is going to give us the opportunity to test how we handle that, how we manage them one on one, and how our on-field units come together to manage world-class strikers. This will be especially helpful going into the Concacaf Women’s Championship as we can expect to see teams with highly-talented individual players from both the international powerhouses and emerging nations in our confederation.”
While USA and Canada are already seeded into Group A and Group B at the Concacaf Women’s Championships respectively, the Central American Zone and Caribbean Zone qualification for the Concacaf Women’s Championship will conclude on 2 September, the same day Canada faces Brazil in Ottawa. The draw which determines who Canada will face in the group stage of the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship will take place 4 September in Miami.
Fans who are unable to attend can watch the Women’s International Friendly match between Canada and Brazil on TSN5 across Canada.
2018 Canada Soccer Women’s National Team v Brazil Roster
Head Coach Kenneth Heiner-Møller
GK – Stephanie Labbe, age 31, from Stony Plain, AB/ Lejonflocken Linköping (Damallsvenskan)
GK – Erin McLeod, age 35, from St. Albert, AB/ USV Jena (Frauen-Bundesliga)
GK - Sabrina D’Angelo, age 25, from Welland, ON/ NC Courage (NWSL)
FB - Lindsay Agnew, age 23, from Kingston, ON/ Houston Dash (NWSL)
FB - Allysha Chapman, age 29, from Courtice, ON/ Houston Dash (NWSL)
FB – Ashley Lawrence, age 23, from Caledon, ON/Paris Saint Germain (Division 1 Féminine France)
FB – Jayde Riviere, age 17, from Markham, ON/ Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite/ Canada Soccer Regional EXCEL Super Centre (British Columbia)
CB - Maya Antoine, age 17, from Vaughn, ON/ Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite/ Canada Soccer Regional EXCEL Super Centre (British Columbia)
CB – Shannon Woeller, age 28, from Vancouver, BC/ Eskilstuna United DFF (Damallsvenskan)
CB - Kadeisha Buchanan, age 22, from Brampton, ON/ Olympique Lyonnais (Division 1 Féminine France)
CB – Shelina Zadorsky, age 25, from London, ON/ Orlando Pride (NWSL)
M/CB – Rebecca Quinn, age 23, from Toronto, ON/ Washington Spirit (NWSL)
M - Jessie Fleming, age 20, from London, ON/UCLA (NCAA)
M – Julia Grosso, age 17, from Vancouver, BC / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite/ Canada Soccer Regional EXCEL Super Centre (British Columbia)
M – Diana Matheson, age 34, from Oakville, ON/Utah Royals FC (NWSL)
M- Sophie Schmidt, age 30, from Abbotsford, BC/ Unattached
M- Desiree Scott, age 31, from Winnipeg, MB/ Utah Royals FC (NWSL)
F- Jordyn Huitema, age 17, from Chilliwack, BC/ Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite/ Canada Soccer Regional EXCEL Super Centre (British Columbia)
F – Adriana Leon, age 25, from King City, ON/ Seattle Reign FC (NWSL)
F – Nichelle Prince, age 23, from Ajax, ON/ Houston Dash (NWSL)
F – Deanne Rose, age 19, from Alliston, ON/ University of Florida Gators (NCAA)
F – Christine Sinclair ( C ), age 35, from Burnaby, BC/ Portland Thorns (NWSL)
F - Janine Beckie, age 24, from Highlands Ranch, CO/ Manchester City (FA Women's Super League)