The Canadian Women’s National Team is kicking off the 2013 season with the Yongchuan Cup – Four Nations Women’s Tournament. Head coach John Herdman selected a 21-player travel roster, announced Friday afternoon. Players will travel to China on Sunday, January 6.
Similar to the December 2012 camp, Herdman is integrating a number of younger players into the senior team set-up in strategizing a possession-focused tactical shift. He told media, “We are trying to achieve a style of play and performance that the country can really enjoy and be proud of. We have identified some gaps in our performances and we need to begin exploring the changes that will allow us to close those gaps”.
More specifically, Herdman wants the team to “improve our width in attack; possession; ability to control a game”.
The roster is led by 12 players from last summer’s Olympic bronze medal winning team. Notably absent is forward Melissa Tancredi, who is focusing on completing chiropractic college in St. Louis, Missouri. Captain Christine Sinclair is training and traveling with the team, but not competing as she will be serving part of her four-game suspension.
Among the seven uncapped players are youngsters Kadeisha Buchanan, Ashley Lawrence and Nichelle Prince of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Azerbaijan 2012 team; Adriana Leon, Christabel Oduro and Shelina Zadorsky, who represented Canada at the FIFA U-20 WWC Japan 2012; and Tiffany Cameron from the FIFA U-17 WWC New Zealand 2008 team.
Herdman is adamant that style and personnel changes are a necessary means to an end of establishing the desired style of play of Canada, currently the FIFA ranked 7th best team in the world. “We need to take a step back from winning in the immediate. We need to focus on evolving our footy DNA”. Herdman believes that Canada has the talent to compete against the top teams in the world, but the numbers of such players need to grow.
Staged at the Yongchuan Olympic Centre from January 12-16, the round-robin Four Nations Tournament features hosts China, along with Canada, South Korea and Norway.