Canadian soccer players are looking to finalize a golden year by playing their first two games against Mexico on Saturday.
The Olympic champion, ranked sixth in the world, will meet swordsmen with his opponents in Mexico City before preparing for his second duel on Tuesday.
For Canada, this is an opportunity to take their winning streak to five and five unbeaten streak to 12 (8-0-4 including results at the Tokyo Olympics) since losing 2-0 at the hands of Brazil on February 24 in the Shipleaves Cup. in Orlando.
The Canadians are 9-2-4 this year and their only other loss in this tournament is in Orlando, when the United States beat them 1-0.
The SheBelieves Cup saw Bev Priestman debut as coach and goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan believes that set the tone for the year.
“It was a lot of training in camp. In most cases, the staff was new too. At that point, I think everyone knew it was going to be a very competitive year and Bev instilled that in us. Our mindset was to understand Bev and understand what we can achieve as a team,” Sheridan said. It has benefited us this summer and continues to benefit us today.”
Priestman brought in new faces, saying the players bring their talent as well as “the desire and thirst to do everything they can to wear the Canadian jersey”.
Sheridan, who has recovered from surgery to be part of the Olympic team, knows a lot about the competition.
Canada is full of talent as a goalkeeper.
Goalkeeper Erin MacLeod, 38, made 119 appearances for the national team while Stephanie Labe, 35, made 85 appearances. Sheridan, 26, has made 14 appearances while Sabrina D’Angelo, 28, has made eight appearances.
“It’s an interesting dynamic because there is only one player going to play and that’s what we want. We know other people want that too,” Sheridan said. We will push ourselves to the best of our abilities. If you improve every day, it will make them want to improve every day. correct. ”
The depth of Canada was evident when D’Angelo sustained an injury at a camp in Mexico. Reverend brought in 19-year-old Anna Karpenko as a substitute.
And the matches against Mexico, which are third in CONCACAF after Canada and the United States, provide an opportunity for Priestman to play at heights against a direct opponent.
Canada have won five consecutive times against Mexico and are unbeaten in their last 14 matches (12-0-2) since their 2-1 defeat in March 2004. Their overall record against Mexico is 22-1-2.
But the only defeat was costly. She performed in the CONCACAF semi-finals in March 2004 in San Jose, Costa Rica, denying the women’s national team a place in the Athens Olympics.
The Canadians have played twice since their Olympic victory in Tokyo, beating New Zealand 5-1 in Ottawa and 1-0 in Montreal. These victories marked the beginning of what was called the “Celebration Tour”.
The Kahn team is expected to play away matches during the February international window. Football Canada said the festive round would continue with home games next spring.
Canadians are also preparing for the CONCACAF Women’s Championship next July, which will determine qualification for the 2023 World Cup and 2024 Olympics.
Meanwhile, the Canadian national team is watching with interest the results of the Ballon d’Or, which will be announced on Monday. Captain Kristen Sinclair, Ashley Lawrence and Jesse Fleming are among the finalists for Player of the Year worldwide.
Sinclair is also vying for the title of FIFA Women’s Player of the Year. Priestman has reached the FIFA Women’s Coach of the Year final while Labbé will be striving for the FIFA Women’s Best goalkeeper title. Winners will be announced on January 17th.
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