Three friendlies, including one at home, have been announced as a part of the Canadian Women’s National Team’s preparations for the 2012 London Olympics.
Canada will face Brazil on neutral grounds March 24 in Foxborough, Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium, home of MLS’ New England Revolution. The venue seems like an improbable choice given the cost and the Revolution’s 4PM ET home opener against the Portland Timbers, but all has been confirmed.
Since July 2008, Canada and Brazil have drawn in their last five matches. On two of those occasions Canada claimed championship titles, first, as goal differentials at the 2010 Torneio Internacional Cidade de São Paulo were in Canada’s favour. It was this memorable stunner by Christine Sinclair that sealed the title. Then, at the 2011 Pan American Games, a 1-1 tie in regulation was finally settled in penalty kicks with Canada taking it 4-3.
Canada and Sweden will then meet March 31 at 2PM local time in Malmö, Sweden. This past week, Sweden finished in fourth place at the Algarve Cup in Portugal following a 4-0 loss to the USA. In Canada and Sweden’s most recent matches against one another, each side has won three. Their latest encounter was a 2-1 friendly win by Canada November 22, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Canada will host China May 30 at Stade Moncton 2010 Stadium in Moncton, New Brunswick, which is a potential host venue for the 2014 FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The Canada/China friendly will kick-off at 8PM local time, 9PM ET. Ticket sales and other details will be announced in early April.
The match against China marks the first home friendly since September 30, 2010 when Canada posted a 3-1 victory at BMO Field in Toronto, which was also against China. Canada most recently played six competitive matches at home in Vancouver, British Columbia during the 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifiers.
As noted by the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA), it just so happens that all three opponents in this series of friendlies have been runner-ups at the FIFA Women’s World Cup (China – 1999, Sweden – 2003 and Brazil – 2007).
In between friendlies, a portion of the CanWNT will be in residency camp for two weeks in Vancouver from April 13 to 27. Players who have signed with clubs will remain with their respective teams while only unattached players will be in camp.
2012 Cyprus Women’s Cup
Canada was unable to defend their Cyprus Women’s Cup title against France, losing 2-0 earlier this week. Goals by Marie-Laure Delie and Louisa Necib lifted the emerging UEFA team to victory. Since the inception of the Cyprus Cup, Canada has come in first place three times (2008, 2010, 2011) and twice in second place (2009, 2012).
Rewind to the 2012 Umbro Kit Launch
As everyone may have noticed, Canada has been sporting their new Umbro jerseys that debuted at the Cyprus Women’s Cup on February 28. Last month, the CSA and Umbro unveiled the new kits at a glitzy event in Toronto.
A special touch to the 2012 jersey is “a sound wave graphic of fans singing Canada’s national anthem” that’s stitched on the inside of the collar. Watch as Gerald Woodman, President of Umbro Canada describes the creative process behind the new kits.
Women’s head coach John Herdman spoke during the launch event.
It’ll be easy to support both the Canadian men’s and women’s teams as they will wear the same kits. Jerseys, jackets, hoodies, t-shirts and Canada scarves are available for purchase at http://csa.rmpathletic.com/en. For the first time, jerseys can be customized. A specially priced Christine Sinclair jersey will also be available in the future (!).
CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championships
Canada and the United States have qualified for the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan. They will face off against each other in the championship final on Sunday, March 11 at 9PM ET. Since 2004, both sides are even with CONCACAF U-20 title wins (Canada: 2004 and 2008; USA: 2006 and 2010).
Canada earned a berth to the U-20 WWC by thumping hosts Panama 6-0 in the semi-finals. Nkem Ezurike opened the scoring in the 26th minute. Canada kicked-off the second half with goals in the first five minutes by Jenna Richardson and Christabel Oduro. Richardson then claimed her second of the match in the 68th minute, as did Oduro in the 84th. Jaclyn Sawicki capped off the scoring and Sabrina D’Angelo secured a fourth consecutive clean sheet.
In the other semi-final match, USA defeated Mexico 4-0 with goals by Julie Johnston, Morgan Brian, Lindsey Horan and Kealia Ohai.
For the third and final CONCACAF U-20 berth, Mexico and Panama will battle on March 11 at 6PM ET. All matches will be streamed live on CONCACAF TV.