Canada Soccer announced on Monday that six players from the Whitecaps FC Girls Elite Super REX program, in partnership with BC Soccer, have been selected for the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay.
Canada’s team for the most prestigious women’s soccer event for players born before 2004 will be coached by two-time Olympic Bronze Medalist and long-time Canada Soccer women’s national team former player Rhian Wilkinson.
Akindoju, Huitema, Shaw, Young, and Williams all played for the Red & White during qualifying. Akindoju, Huitema, and Williams combined to score five of Canada’s eight goals at the 2018 Concacaf U-17 Women’s Championship tournament, with Williams leading the way with three.
Wilkinson and Young both joined the ‘Caps Girls Elite program this year.
“I am really excited to have this opportunity for Canada Soccer, and I value the experience just like I did every time I pulled on that jersey with the maple leaf,” said head coach Rhian Wilkinson said ahead of traveling to Uruguay. “I really believe in this U-17 team and I am looking forward to working with them to help them both perform on the pitch and learn from the experience to better prepare them for a career with Canada Soccer’s women’s national team.”
Wilkinson, who began coaching within Canada Soccer’s women’s program in 2014 while still an active player, retired from international action as a full back in February 2017. In assuming coaching duties for this competition, Wilkinson is bringing to the squad a wealth of experience both on and off the pitch.
“We are excited for the team and Rhian,” said Kenneth Heiner-Moller, Canada Soccer women’s national team head coach and women’s EXCEL program director. “Canada Soccer’s focus for our young players continues to be on development through experience. Our nationally aligned talent development system ensures a progression for players towards the women’s national team and the top level of women’s soccer.”
Canada is one of only six nations to have qualified for every edition of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup since it was launched in 2008, alongside Germany, Ghana, Japan, New Zealand and North Korea.
The U-17 World Cup will run from November 13 until the final on December 1. Canada will begin in Group D alongside Colombia, South Korea, and Spain.
#1 Goalkeeper Anna Karpenko, 2002, Richmond Hill, ON/Ontario REX
#2 Forward Jayde Riviere, 2001, Markham, ON/Ontario REX
#3 Defender Julianne Vallerand, 2001, Terrebonne, QC /Quebec REX & AS Varennes
#4 Defender Sonia Walk, 2002, Toronto, ON/Ontario REX
#5 Defender Maya Antoine, 2001, Vaughan, ON/Ontario REX
#6 Defender Ariel Young, 2001, Ottawa, ON/Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX
#7 Forward Serita Thurton, 2002, Ajax, ON/Ontario REX
#8 Midfielder Caitlin Shaw, 2001, Vancouver, BC/Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX
#9 Forward Jordyn Huitema, 2001, Chilliwack, BC/Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX
#10 Forward Oluwateniola (Teni) Akindoju, 2001, Halifax, NS/Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX
#11 Forward Kaila Novak, 2002, St. Thomas, ON/Ontario REX
#12 Midfielder Lara Kazandjian, 2002, Kirkland, QC/Quebec REX & Lakeshore SC
#13 Defender Léonie Portelance, 2001, Brossard, QC/ Quebec REX & AS Varennes
#14 Midfielder Wayny-Natasha Balata Nguenign, 2001, Montreal, QC/ Quebec REX & Lakeshore SC
#15 Midfielder Jazmine Wilkinson, 2002, Nanaimo, BC /Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX
#16 Defender Jade Rose, 2003, Markham, ON/Ontario REX
#17 Forward Andersen Williams, 2002, Calgary, AB/Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX
#18 Goalkeeper Sophie Guilmette 2001, Montréal, QC /Quebec REX & Lakeshore SC
#19 Defender Isabella Hanisch, 2002, Ottawa, ON/ Ontario REX
#20 Forward Jessica De Filippo, 2001, Montréal, QC /Quebec REX & Lakeshore SC
#21 Goalkeeper Kayza Massey, 2001, Ottawa, ON/Ontario REX