ORLANDO, FL - Canada have qualified for the quarterfinals at the 2016 CONCACAF Girls' Under-15 Championship after a 5-0 win over Jamaica. Canada are perfect at the top of the Group B standings with three straight wins.
All three players from the Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX program in partnership with BC Soccer have made significant contributions so far. Chilliwack's Jordyn Huitema has served as team captain and scored two goals, while North Vancouver's Caitlin Shaw has scored one goal and newcomer Mya Jones from Calgary has added one goal.
Canada will wrap up the group phase against El Salvador on Saturday. Only two of five nations from Group B at the CONCACAF Girls' Under-15 Championship will qualify for the quarterfinals, with the group's final ranking to be confirmed on Saturday. Through Thursday, Canada lead the group ahead of El Salvador (four points, +1 goals difference), Costa Rica (four points, -1 goals difference), Jamaica (no points, -6 goals difference), and Venezuela (no points, -7 goals difference).
After three matches, Canada have had the opportunity to feature all 18 players, with nearly every players also given the opportunity to rest. Matches have been played in the morning on successive days, but Canada will now have a day off before their group finale on Saturday.
"It was our aim in this tournament to give all 18 players an opportunity to play," said Joey Lombardi, Canada's U-15 co-coach at the CONCACAF Girls' Under-15 Championship with Carmelina Moscato. "Today, you could see our structure improving and our players understanding improving, so we were happy overall."
Canada's goalscorers in the 5-0 win over Jamaica were Sydney Kennedy (two), Teni Akindoju, Jordyn Huitema, and Caitlin Shaw.
With the Thursday win, Canada's combined record across CONCACAF's three youth competitions in this cycle is nine wins, one draw, and three losses in 13 international matches (2015-16). In Orlando, Canada has posted wins against Venezuela (6-0), Costa Rica (2-0), and Jamaica (5-0). Nine different players have scored for Canada: Aaliyah Scott, Maya Ladhani, Jayde Riviere, Julianne Vallerand, Mya Jones, Teni Akindoju, Kennedy, Huitema, and Shaw.
At the 2016 CONCACAF Girls' Under-15 Championship, the 23 nations are divided into five groups: three groups of five nations (Groups A-C) and two groups with four nations (Groups D-F). The first three groups will qualify two nations to the Quarterfinals while the last two groups will qualify only one nation to the Quarterfinals. The group phase is 9-15 August followed by the Quarterfinals on 17 August, the Semifinals on 19 August, and both the match for 3rd place and Final Match on 21 August.
Canada are defending champions in this age group from two years ago. Since 2004, Canada have won four CONCACAF women's youth championships: twice at the U-20 level (2004, 2008), once at the U-17 level (2010), and once at the U-15 level (2014).
Canada's roster features players born 2001 or 2002 as part of Canada Soccer's Women's EXCEL Program. Beyond this year's U-15 competition, these players will be eligible for CONCACAF and FIFA U-17 competitions in 2018 as well CONCACAF and FIFA U-20 competitions through 2020. The younger players born in 2002 will be eligible for CONCACAF and FIFA U-20 competitions through 2022.
Canada Soccer Women’s National EXCEL Program, presented by Bell, brings together the best with the best at the national youth level. Operating across the U-14 to U-17 and U-18 to U-23 age groups, the program is designed to deliver an aligned talent structure and system that progresses more top players to Canada’s Women’s National Team.