Canada Soccer National EXCEL 14-17 director and U-17 head coach, Bev Priestman has named the 20 players who will represent Canada in Grenada at the CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship Grenada 2016.
Among them are six players from the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX program presented by BC Soccer: defenders Ashley Cathro, Emma Regan, and Julia Grosso; midfielder Caitlin Shaw; and strikers Jordyn Huitema and Camila Gomez
The roster, which features two goalkeepers, six defenders, five midfielders and seven forwards, is a blend of players with international tournament experience and some new faces from Canada’s EXCEL program.
“Canada’s squad is a very young group but with international experience,” explained coach Priestman. “Our goal is to develop these players as future Women’s National Team members with strong competitive international experience.”
Canada’s squad can count on some recent international tournament experience with six players of this group having played in the 2015 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship (Stratigaskis, Flynn, Vital, Proulx, Regan and Ibrahim), and four having been involved in the last edition of the CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship in 2013 in Jamaica (Stratigaskis, Proulx, Baalbaki and Ibrahim).
The roster also includes Canada’s 2015 U-17 player of the year, Kennedy Faulknor, who is returning to the U-17 squad after spending three months with the Women’s National Team and competing in a tournament in Brazil where she featured against world class players including Marta.
Canada's 20-player team will travel to St. George’s, Grenada, after a brief camp in Gainesville, FL, USA. Canada will play their three group matches at Grenada Athletic Stadium during the competition, with matches scheduled on 3 March (Guatemala, 17.00 local), 5 March (Grenada, 15.30 local), and 7 March (Haiti, 17.00)
“I’m excited to see how the group will respond to the challenge of breaking down different types of opposition compared to what they would typically face in Canada,” said Priestman. “This experience will serve our players well in the future as they move through the women’s system, and especially as we progress out of the group stage.”
From two four-nation groups, the top four will advance to the knock out round, with the semi-finals on 11 March and the match for 3rd place and Final Match on 13 March. The top three teams from the CONCACAF championship will qualify for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016 taking place in September and October.
Canada will be looking to have a strong competition in Grenada and continue its success at the women’s youth level by qualifying for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan. Canada is the only CONCACAF nation to qualify for all four previous editions of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
CANADA (inc. position and current club)
GK- Lysianne Proulx | CAN / AS Varennes
GK- Marissa Zucchetto | CAN / Unionville-Milliken SC
CB- Samantha Chang | CAN / Unionville-Milliken SC
CB- Kennedy Faulknor | CAN / Unionville-Milliken SC
CB/FB- Ashley Cathro | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX
FB- Nadège L’Esperance | CAN / Lakeshore SC
FB- Emma Regan | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX
FB- Julia Grosso | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX
M- Nahida Baalbaki | CAN / Lakeshore SC
M- Anyssa Ibrahim | CAN / AS Varennes
M- Vital Kats | CAN / Scarborough GS United
M- Caitlin Shaw | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX
M- Sarah Stratigakis | CAN / Unionville-Milliken SC
F- Teni Akindoju | CAN / Halifax Dunbrack SC
F- Shana Flynn | CAN / Unionville-Milliken SC
F- Camila Gomez | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX
F- Jordyn Huitema | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX
F- Lauren Raimondo | CAN / Unionville-Milliken SC
F- Jayde Riviere | CAN / Markham SC
F- Aaliyah Scott | CAN / Toronto Skillz FC