Canada Soccer opens group stage against Costa Rica at CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship 2018
Canada Soccer – Canada Soccer will open its group stage at the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship against Costa Rica today in Trinidad and Tobago. The opening match will see Canada face one of the emerging CONCACAF powers, before taking on tournament hosts Trinidad and Tobago on 20 January in its second match, followed by Haiti on 22 January in its final group stage fixture. The top two teams from each group will go on to compete in the knock-out round to determine the three CONCACAF nations to qualify for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 to be held later in the year.
Canada’s match against Costa Rica can be watched live online at 16:00 local (15:00 ET) via CONCACAF at http://www.concacaf.com/video/cu20w-costa-rica-vs-canada.
“We’re really excited to get the first game underway, for us our overall goal is to qualify for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, and give our young players the international experience they need to continue progressing towards our Women’s National Team,” said Bev Priestman, Canada Soccer Women’s U-20 Head Coach and Women’s National EXCEL Director U15-U23, at the pre-tournament press conference. “In these sorts of tournaments there are no easy matches. We are playing three different styles of opponent, and we know that each of these games cannot be taken lightly, but we are comfortable that we understand what we need to do in all three games to win, which in many ways is ensuring we do what we do well.”
Canada’s roster includes seven players who have made Canada Soccer Women’s National Team appearances, but, critically it includes many players who have come up through Canada Soccer’s EXCEL system and some who have relocated to Regional EXCEL Centres where they play day-in and day-out with their national teammates.
“We have a group of players who have already had great experiences with our Women’s National Team, including our Captain Gabrielle Carle who represented Canada at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, but also many who have several tournaments under their belts,” said Priestman. “That sort of experience brings confidence to the group both on and off the field, but ultimately success will be about us playing the way we want to play and tailoring that to our opponents and the climate conditions.”
For Carle, who was named Captain for the tournament late last week, the team’s focus is on qualifying, but their eyes are also trained on a more lofty goal.
“We’re really excited as a team to be here,” said Captain Gabrielle Carle. “But we are also here on business, and we mean business. While our primary goal is to qualify for France 2018, we are also making the statement that we want to win this tournament.”
Canada has won the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship twice before in 2004 and 2008.
About Canada Soccer’s Women’s National EXCEL Program
Canada Soccer Women’s National EXCEL Program brings together the best with the best at the national youth level, throughout each year. 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. Major competitions which are viewed as staging posts to assess development, allows for the development of the Women’s EXCEL Team Playing Model and tournament processes and expertise, ultimately preparing players for when they do progress up the system.
Additionally, the most talented U14 to U18 players are offered a specialised daily training environment through the Regional EXCEL Program, which is delivers Canada Soccer’s national curriculum year-round through a two tiered talent system, with three Super Centres streamlining Canada’s National EXCEL Players into training environments in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec from smaller provincial licenced Centres.
Canada Soccer’s EXCEL System has already produced eight Women’s National Team players, and Olympic bronze medalists in Kadeisha Buchanan, Ashley Lawrence, Jessie Fleming, Rebecca Quinn, Janine Beckie, Shelina Zadorsky, Deanne Rose, and Gabrielle Carle, three of whom are still eligible for youth competition.
CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship Trinidad & Tobago 2018 – Canada’s Match Schedule (all times local to Trinidad and Tobago in AST).
- Group Stage (Group A):
- Thursday, January 18, 2018, 16:00 Costa Rica v Canada
- Saturday, January 20, 2018,18:30 Canada v Trinidad & Tobago
- Monday, January 22, 2018, 16:00 Haiti v Canada
- Friday, January 26, 2018 – Semifinals:
- 16:00 1B v 2A
- 18:30 1A v 2B
- Sunday, January 28, 2018 – 3rd Place Match and Final:
- 16:00 L13 v L14
- 18:30 W13 v W14
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