Canada Soccer Celebrates Women’s Leadership and puts upcoming home matches on sale heading into Algarve Cup Final
Recognition of Canada Soccer’s leadership in women’s sport, both on and off the pitch, is reason to celebrate on International Women’s Day. Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team Captain Christine Sinclair (Player category) and Chief Marketing Officer, Sandra Gage (Builder category) were both honoured with inclusion in the CAAWS Most Influential Women in Sport and Physical Activity List announced on International Women’s Day 2017. The List is made up of leaders, game-changers and builders, recognizing them for their achievements and their contributions to a stronger sport and physical activity system for all Canadians.
As a world-leading nation in terms of female participation in sport, particularly soccer, Canada has an opportunity to channel this participation into leadership. Canada Soccer’s vision includes achieving gender balance in soccer leadership, but also to ensure our Canadian values are continuously represented in the world’s game.
“When we decided to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™, we committed TO A GREATER GOAL by focusing on legacies from the tournament that included putting women in leadership positions,” said Peter Montopoli, Canada Soccer General Secretary. “The world has come a long way in terms of opportunities for women in sport, but as leaders in this area we are in a position to ensure steps are taken to not only create opportunities in leadership for women, but to support them with training and development experience. We are delighted to be celebrating the contributions of both Christine Sinclair and Sandra Gage, and their inclusion in CAAWS Most Influential Women in Sport and Physical Activity List, and also to be announcing that recently retired players Rhian Wilkinson and Robyn Gayle have assumed positions on staff of our women’s team.”
As Canada’s Women’s National Team seeks to win its second consecutive Algarve Cup Final on International Women’s Day, they’ll have the benefit of additional experience as both Wilkinson and Gayle are already in official capacities with the team in Portugal. Wilkinson’s focus is on the technical aspects of the team’s performance and Gayle is focusing on effective team culture.
Hoping to again make history and take the cup home in 2017, Canada will face Spain at 18:30 local (13:30 ET/10:30 PT) in Lagos, Portugal
A repeat victory at the Algarve Cup would be a fitting celebration for a team that recently made history with back-to-back podium finishes at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games. At the last three major women’s tournaments, Canada finished third at the London 2012 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, sixth at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, and third at the Rio 2016 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament.
As Head Coach John Herdman turns his attention to the next FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019 and Olympic Games in 2020, he is looking to ensure there is continuity of character and values within the women’s team.
“A key goal of Canada Soccer’s Women’s EXCEL Plan is to have Elite Players Leading Elite Players by 2020, meaning having elite women’s players in core positions throughout our EXCEL system that have an impact on performance,” said Head Coach John Herdman. “This transition is about making sure we maintain the organisational knowledge that’s been amassed over a decade of experience, which is what you see from Rhian Wilkinson, Robyn Gayle, and Carmelina Moscato. These women have experienced winning at the highest level and it’s really important to have that mindset in the organisation. These three individuals are very high performers who can now step forward and take on some of the responsibilities on staff to ensure continuity in our culture.”
Another veteran of Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team, Karina LeBlanc, has also recently taken up a leadership positon in the game. LeBlanc, was nominated by Canada Soccer to participate in the FIFA Female Leadership Development Programme in February 2017. She has appeared on television as a soccer analyst for the Rio Olympics as well as Women’s National Team broadcasts, and spoke at the FIFA Conference for Equality and Inclusion, which took place Monday 6 March at FIFA Headquarters in Zurich.
Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team are the first Canadian team to win back-to-back Summer Olympic medals since 1908, and the first-ever women’s Canadian team.
As Canada Soccer celebrates the achievements and commitment of its Canadian women’s players and staff, it is also celebrating its fans by launching ticket sales for Canada Soccer’s two upcoming home games in Winnipeg and Toronto on International Women’s Day.
Individual Tickets On Sale
Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team will return home to play Costa Rica in Winnipeg on 8 June and in Toronto on 11 June. The matches will mark the first meetings between the two nations since Canada defeated Costa Rica in February 2016 at the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament, securing Canada a spot at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
In celebration of International Women’s Day, individual tickets to the Canada v Costa Rica matches are now on sale via Ticketmaster.ca and by phone at 1.855.985.5000 (Buy Winnipeg | Buy Toronto). Fans will be able to take advantage of a special ‘Me+3’ offer in select sections for both matches, by purchasing three tickets in the eligible price category, fans will receive the fourth free. Groups of 10 or more are eligible to receive up to 30% off regularly priced tickets. Canadian Supporters have been allocated a number of dedicated sections at both matches, fans wishing to sit in the Canadian supporter sections are encouraged to visit the Voyageurs website for more information and to purchase tickets through thevoyageurs.org. For complete ticket information and to place group ticket requests, visit the event information pages (Winnipeg | Toronto).
Canada last played in Winnipeg in 2014 against the USA resulting in a 1:1 draw. Kadeisha Buchanan gave the 28,255 fans on hand something to cheer about as she opened the scoring in the first half, but the Americans tied the game with fifteen minutes to go to draw 1:1. At the time, the attendance in Winnipeg was the second highest for a Canadian ‘A’ level women’s international played in Canada.
Toronto fans last saw Canada in action against Brazil as part of the Road to Rio series in June 2016 as Canada prepared for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Canada fell to Brazil in that match 0:2 but came back and defeated them 1:0 in Ottawa three days later, and then 2:1 when it mattered most in the Bronze Medal Match of the Rio Olympic Games.