WC Countdown: Group E – Canada

Onto the second to last group and first up in group E is Canada.

Canada has worked their way onto the international stage and slowly but surely gained recognition as a tough team to beat. They lost out on the third place to the USA at the World Cup 2003 and made it to the quarter-finals of their first Olympic women’s football tournament in 2008. They’ve won bronze at the Olympics twice, in 2012 and 2016, and they hosted the World Cup back in 2015, getting kicked out in the quarter-final against England. Canada started off the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, the qualification tournament to the World Cup, by beating Jamaica 2-0. They then went on to beat Cuba 12-0, Costa Rica 3-1 and Panama 7-0, before coming up against the hosts and world champions USA, to whom they lost 0-2.

The biggest name in the Canadian team is without a doubt Cristine Sinclair, who has made a huge mark on the team and has ensured that she will always be remembered fondly by the Canadians. The current captain of the side is the top scorer for her country (of all time!), who also has the most assists and most caps of any Canadian player. The forward who is now 35 years old is still in her prime, scoring four goals in five games throughout the qualification tournament, and she scored a wonderful hattrick for her club in a 4-4 thriller just the other day. This will be the fifth World Cup that she takes part in. Other players that were on a good scoring streak during the qualification process were Adriana Leon, who scored a whopping six goals in the four games she took part in. 17-year-old Jordyn Huitema scored another four goals in three games, and Nichelle Prince contributed with three goals in four games. Stephanie Labbe is the experienced goalkeeper but 23-year-old Kailen Sheridan got some time between the sticks in the qualification process and is an exciting prospect.

Canada women's soccer team
Fans together with their soccer team. Source.

Kenneth Heiner-Møller is the head coach for the Canadian side and the Danish coach has been with the team since 2015 when he was the assistant coach, before becoming head coach in 2018. He led the Danish women’s national football team to the 2007 World Cup in China, where he and his players accused the Chinese team, whom they were going up against, of harassment as well as covert surveillance. The Swedish coaching team, Marika Domanski-Lyfors and Pia Sundhage, did not know anything about it and Heiner-Møller exonerated them but refused to shake hands after the game. With the Canadian team, he’s not had a lot of time to achieve things just yet, but he got them to the World Cup 2019.

Møller has chosen to go with a few different formations, not being afraid to rotate and continuously changing things up, which can be seen as a healthy sign for a developing squad. The main two formations that the Danish coach has chosen to play with are the 4-2-3-1 and 3-1-4-2, sometimes switching it up with a 4-3-3.

The Canadian side has played a few games during the spring, going to Portugal for the Algarve Cup where they came up against a few strong sides. They drew 0-0 with Iceland, they earned a hard-fought win over Scotland 1-0 and in the third place match between Canada and Sweden, the North American side came out the stronger one after winning on penalties.

That’s some information about Canada, one of the strong teams in group E. Do you believe they will make it out of their group? Let us know below in the comment section!

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