Canada Soccer announced on Thursday that seven players have been called up to the Women's National EXCEL program from the Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX program in partnership with BC Soccer. Two groups are set for July tournaments. A U-20 team will take part in the Australian Three Nations tournament, while a U-17 team will take part in the China Four Nations tournament.
The U-17 team includes Huitema, Maya Rogers, and Caitlin Shaw. Also included from Whitecaps FC youth partners are Teni Akindoju from the Soccer Nova Scotia REX program and Isabella Hanisch from Ottawa South United.
Canada Soccer’s U-20 Women’s National Team will take part in a three nations tournament in Canberra, Australia, with matches against USA on July 6 and Australia July 8; the U-17 Women’s National Team will compete in a separate four nations tournament in Weifang, China with matches against hosts China July 12, USA July 14, and Japan July 16.
“This is an incredibly crucial time and great opportunity for these players to gain tournament experience as we prepare for next year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 and FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Uruguay 2018,” said Canada Soccer National EXCEL Director Bev Priestman. “We’ve started the respective cycle curriculum with both groups in development camps this year, so we are excited to see them apply their learnings against some of the best international youth teams in the world. Not only does it provide an opportunity to apply technical and tactical aspects but in many ways these experiences provide us with the unique challenges tournaments present such as travel, playing in heat (China) and tight turnarounds between games, all of which these players will require early next year for CONCACAF qualification and in the upcoming FIFA youth world cups."
Canada Soccer’s EXCEL System has already produced eight Women’s National Team players and Olympic bronze medalists, and the development is continuing in full stride as EXCEL players who have already played with the Women’s National Team, including Sarah Stratigakis, Gabrielle Carle, and Jordyn Huitema compete for Canada in Australia. Huitema, only 16 years old, will also compete for Canada in China with the U-17 team, obtaining more tournament experience.
In the lead up to the FIFA youth tournaments slated for next year, there will be an additional development camps in 2018, as well as a CONCACAF tournaments to qualify for both the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup expected early in the year. Additionally, work is taking place across the country to provide many of these players the best possible environment where the very best train together daily. The Regional EXCEL program evolution now sees REX Super Centres (Quebec Soccer Federation and Vancouver Whitecaps Girls Elite REX program in partnership with BC Soccer) catering to identified out of province EXCEL players with who will relocate from Nova Scotia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario to continue the aligned programing delivered through Canada Soccer’s National EXCEL curriculum.
“Our objective, for all our EXCEL players, continues to focus on development through our nationally aligned talent development system to ensure a progression towards the Women’s National Team and the top level of women’s football,” said Priestman. “The close alignment between National EXCEL experiences and their daily training environment regionally is crucial to truly maximize our curriculum and reach our potential in producing world class players."
With qualification for the FIFA competitions coming up quickly in the EXCEL calendar, Canada Soccer’s National EXCEL program team are preparing Canada’s best youth players for the world stage. Joining the technical staff for Australia will be former Women’s National team players Rhian Wilkinson, Canada Soccer’s NEX U14-20 Elite Player Elite Coach and Carmelina Moscato, now, Women’s EXCEL Program Regional Talent Manager, along with Mel Booth as a technical analyst. Wilkinson and Booth will also travel to China as part of the staff.
“These two tournaments will provide our National EXCEL players with additional tournament experience that will help prepare them for World Cup qualification and will provide us with a great snapshot of what these players need both in the short term and in their longer-term Women’s National Team journey,” said Priestman. “Having the expertise of former Women’s National team players and Olympic medalists, provides us with additional alignment and the knowledge that comes with experience. Canada Soccer’s elite player to elite coach program allows us to bring in these world-class players and continues to give our EXCEL players the best possible educational experience as they move forward on their own Women’s National Team journey as well as bring alive the programs vision of women leading women.”
Canada Soccer Women’s National EXCEL Program brings together the best with the best at the national youth level. Operating across the U-14 to U-20 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.
Canada Soccer Women’s U20 EXCEL Team (Australian Three Nations Tournament)
• July 6: CAN vs USA
• July 8: AUS vs CAN
• July 10: AUS vs USA
Roster (By Name, Year Born, Club and Hometown)
1. Tanya Boychuck, 2000, FC Edmonton Girls REX, Edmonton, AB
2. Emma Regan, 2000, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer Rex, Burnaby, BC
3. Ashley Cathro, 2000, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer Rex, Victoria, BC
4. Kaela Hansen, 2000, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer Rex, Burnaby, BC
5. Julia Grosso, 2000, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer Rex, Vancouver, BC
6. Jordyn Huitema, 2001, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer Rex, Chilliwack, BC
7. Rylee Foster, 1998, West Virginia University, Cambridge, ON
8. Jessica Lisi, 1998, University of Memphis (NCAA) , Woodbridge, ON
9. Lauren Raimondo, 1999, Aurora United FC (League1 Ontario), St. Catharines, ON
10. Sarah Stratigakis, 1999, Aurora United FC (League1 Ontario), Woodbridge, ON
11. Samantha Chang, 2000, Unionville-Milliken SC, Mississauga, ON
12. Kennedy Faulknor, 1999, Unionville-Milliken SC, Markham, ON
13. Jayde Riviere, 2001, Markham Soccer Club, Pickering, ON
14. Vital Kats, 1999, Scarborough GS United, Toronto, ON
15. Maya Antoine, 2001, Vaughan Soccer Club, Vaughan, ON
16. Lysianne Proulx, 1999, Syracuse University (NCAA), Boucherville, QC
17. Marika Guay, 2000, Lakeshore SC, Châteauguay, QC
18. Florence Larcohe, 2000, Lakeshore SC, Laval, QC
19. Gabrielle Carle, 1998, CS Lévis-Est & Québec Soccer REX, Lévis, QC
20. Hannah Taylor, 1999, University of Oregon, Edmonds, WA
Canada Soccer Women’s U17 EXCEL Team (China Four Nations Tournament)
• July 12:
o 16:00 USA VS Japan
o 19:35 China VS Canada
• July 14:
o 16:00 Canada VS USA
o 19:35 China VS Japan
• July 16:
o 16:00 Japan VS Canada
o 19:35 USA VS China
Roster (By Name, Year Born, Club and Hometown)
1. Oluwateniola (Teni) Akindoju, 2001, Soccer Nova Scotia REX Program / Dunbrack Soccer Club, Halifax, NS
2. Aaliyah Scott, 2001, Markham Soccer Club, Pickering, ON
3. Jayde Riviere, 2001, Markham Soccer Club, Pickering, ON
4. Maliah De Rosario, 2001, Markham Soccer Club, Markham, ON
5. Serita Thurton, 2002, Markham Soccer Club, Ajax, ON
6. Anna Karpenko, 2002, Vaughan Soccer Club, Richmond Hill, ON
7. Maya Antoine, 2001, Vaughan Soccer Club, Vaughan, ON
8. Maya Ladhani, 2002, Vaughan Soccer Club, Guelph, ON
9. Olivia Scott, 2001, Aurora Youth Soccer Club, Aurora, ON
10. Sonia Walk, 2002, North Toronto Nitros, Toronto, ON
11. Kaila Novak, 2002, FC London Academy, St Thomas, ON
12. Isabella Hanisch, 2002, Ottawa South United Club, Ottawa, ON
13. Ariel Young, 2001, Ottawa Fury, Greely, ON
14. Jordyn Huitema, 2001, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer Rex, Chilliwack, BC
15. Caitlin Shaw, 2001, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer Rex, Coquitlam, BC
16. Maya Rogers, 2003, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer Rex, Vancouver, BC
17. Julianne Vallerand, 2001, Quebec REX / Varennes, Terrebonne, QC
18. Audrey Chelsie François, 2004, Quebec REX / CS Monteuil U15 F AAA, Laval, QC
19. Elisabeth Tsé, 2002, Quebec REX / Phénix des Rivières de Quebec, Quebec City, QC
20. Sophie Guilmette, 2001, Quebec REX / Lakeshore SC, Montreal, QC
21. Lara Kazandjian, 2002, Quebec REX / Lakeshore SC, Kirkland, QC
22. Latifah Abdu, 2001, Lakeshore U16AAA, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC