By Tim Grainey – 1 of the sure signs that the women’s game is growing is that there is no longer any ‘down time’ in the women’s game. This week The Grainey Report looks at the Canadian Women’s National Team’s results in a friendly tournament in Brazil and look at the final U.S. U-20 National Team roster for the CONCACAF U-20 World Cup Qualifying Tournament in January.
Canada Finishes Third in Brazil
The Canadian Women’s National Team finished in third place in the 2013 Torneio Internacional Cidade de Sao Paolo, held in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia, from December 11 through December 22. Canada, ranked seventh in the world, finished the tournament with a 2-1-1 record, with the lone defeat a 1-0 defeat to a surprise Chile side.
Chile is ranked tied for 118th in FIFA’s rankings, along with 58 countries who have not played sufficient internationals within the past 18 months to be ranked, including the likes of Cuba, Liberia, Syria and Eritrea, which makes the result one of the most surprising in years, even though it was a friendly international.
After a hard fought scoreless draw against Brazil, the Maple Leafs two wins over Scotland to open and finish the tournament (2-0 and 1-0 respectively) were satisfying to Canadian head coach John Herdman. He praised the play of 18-year-old defender Kadeisha Buchanan, who plays at West Virginia University.
In the tournament, 15-year-old Jessie Fleming received her full national team debut, having captained Canada’s U-17 women’s national team that has qualified for the 2014 U-17 World Cup in Costa Rica. Another highlight of the tournament was Christine Sinclair of Portland Thorns scoring her 147th goal in her 200th international match, during the tournament opener against Scotland.
For the game against Brazil and superstar forward Marta, head coach John Herdman was pleased with the play of his team, calling them “warriors.” Herdman explained: “All that we ever ask for is they put out a performance that Canada can be proud of. They left no ounce of Canadian out there and I’m just really proud. [People saw a team] that, when faced with resiliency, can come through.”
In the second game against Chile, Canada held the advantage in shots, but a 40th minute goal from a free kick header goal by Yanara Aedo was all that Chile needed to record their landmark upset. Herdman felt that it was one of those games in which Canada tried their best but just couldn’t score, despite sustained pressure in the second half. Herdman said that Brittany Baxter (Timko), returning from injury, had a strong attacking game. Overall, Herdman felt that: “The girls played with pride and passion but the ball just wasn’t going to go into the net. Chile scored off a set-piece and we knew that it was going to be a potential threat. We got our pockets picked tonight and thank God it’s not the World Cup.”
Herdman later provided Soccer 365 with his assessment of the Chilean side, saying that they definitely were a threat to win one of the two guaranteed spots in Canada 2015 from CONMEBOL. (The third place South American team will play off against CONCACAF’s fourth place side for a play-in spot in the next Women’s World Cup.) Herdman felt that Chile had a good chance to make it to Canada, along with 2011 World Cup finalists Brazil and Colombia.
He said that the game was important for his side because: “Chile has a couple of skillful players and then uses the rest of the team to annoy their opponents and feed their flair players.” He said that Chile had not played for a couple of years and had clearly improved through long residency types of training camps.
Chile uses a different style of marking from the zonal and block marking that they typically face in Europe. Herdman explained: “Chile uses a man marking style, as does Colombia. It’s difficult to adapt to.”
Chile’s National Team has been improving since hosting the U.S. U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2008, in which the U.S. defeated North Korea 2-1 on goals by Sydney Leroux and Alex Morgan. Chile will be a team for all CONCACAF competitors to watch during the CONMEBOL tournament, as they could be an opponent in the intercontinental qualifiers if they finish third in South America.
Brazil won the friendly, end of year tournament for the fourth time in five years—Canada won the second edition in 2010—by defeating Chile 5-0.
GK- Stephanie Labbé | SWE / KIF Örebro DFF
GK- Karina LeBlanc | USA / Portland Thorns FC
GK- Erin McLeod | USA / Chicago Red Stars
D- Kadeisha Buchanan | USA / West Virginia University
D- Robyn Gayle | USA / Washington Spirit
D- Carmelina Moscato | USA / Seattle Reign FC
D- Marie-Eve Nault | SWE / KIF Örebro DFF
D- Lauren Sesselmann | USA / FC Kansas City
D- Rhian Wilkinson | USA / Boston Breakers
D- Sura Yekka | CAN / Brams United
D- Emily Zurrer | USA / Seattle Reign FC
M- Selenia Iacchelli | CAN / Edmonton Victoria SC
M- Jessie Fleming | CAN / Norwest Soccer Club
M- Kaylyn Kyle | USA / Boston Breakers
M- Diana Matheson | USA / Washington Spirit
M- Sophie Schmidt | USA / Sky Blue FC
M- Desiree Scott | USA / FC Kansas City
M- Brittany Baxter (née Timko) | unattached
F- Adriana Leon | USA / Chicago Red Stars
F- Christine Sinclair | USA / Portland Thorns FC
Number of Canadian Players with NWSL Teams
Boston Breakers 2
Chicago Red Stars 2
FC Kansas City 2
Portland Thorns FC 2
Seattle Reign 2
Washington D.C. Spirit 2
Sky Blue FC 1
Western New York Flash 0
French Names Final U.S. U-20 National Team Roster For CONCACAF Qualifying
Head Coach Michelle French named her final roster for the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team, which will compete in the CONCACAF Qualifying tournament in the Cayman Islands in January. The eight team event will determine the three teams from the region who will make the U-20 World Cup finals in the summer of 2014 in Canada.
French included one professional player—Lindsey Horan of Paris St. Germain—who was the only player to have been capped by the full national team (twice this year). Horan has seven goals in 10 appearances so far this season for PSG and scored 17 goals in 20 games last year in France’s Feminine Division 1.
French also is bringing along a current high schooler–Andi Sullivan from Bethesda SC in Maryland.
The other 18 players are in college; 8 sophomores and 10 freshmen. Forward Savannah Jordan scored 23 goals as a freshman for the University of Florida while Makenzy Doniak scored 20 in helping the University of Virginia to the College Cup Final Four in November. Sophomore McKenzie Meehan also scored 20 times for Boston College. The U.S. has two players from 2013 College Cup winners UCLA—Katelyn Rowland and Lauren Kaskie. Two players won gold in the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Japan in 2012—Stephanie Amack and Cari Roccaro.
The 18 college players come from the following schools:
University of Connecticut–1
University of Florida—1
University of North Carolina—1
University of Virginia—1
University of Wisconsin—1
Eight players on the roster were key members of the U.S. team that played at the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan where the Americans tied eventual champions France and runners-up Korea DPR in group play, but became the first women’s team in FIFA history to earn five points and fail to advance to the knockout stage.
The U.S. is in Group A along with Costa Rica, Jamaica and Guatemala. Group B features the host country Cayman Islands, along with Honduras, Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago. The U.S. plays Costa Rica on Thursday, January 9, Jamaica on Saturday, January 11 and Guatemala on Monday January 13. The semifinals between the top two finishers in each group are on Friday January 17 with the championship and third place game on Sunday, January 19.
U.S. Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jane Campbell (Stanford; Kennesaw, Ga.), Katelyn Rowland (UCLA; Vacaville, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): Stephanie Amack (Stanford; Pleasanton, Calif.), Brittany Basinger (Penn State; Purcellville, Va.), Maddie Bauer (Stanford; Newport Beach, Calif.), Lauren Kaskie (UCLA; Las Vegas, Nev.), Laura Liedle (Stanford; San Diego, Calif.), Katie Naughton (Notre Dame; Elk Grove Village, Ill.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Andrews (Notre Dame; Milford, N.H.), Rachel Hill (UConn; Rollinsford, N.H.), Rose Lavelle (Wisconsin; Cincinnati, Ohio), Cari Roccaro (Notre Dame; East Islip, N.Y.), Andi Sullivan (Bethesda SC; Lorton, Va.), Mallory Weber (Penn State; Novi, Mich.)
FORWARDS (6): Makenzy Doniak (Virginia; Chino Hills, Calif.), Summer Green (North Carolina; Milford, Mich.), Lindsey Horan (Pairs Saint-Germain; Golden, Colo.), Savannah Jordan (Florida; Fayetteville, Ga.), McKenzie Meehan (Boston College; Scituate, R.I.), Margaret Purce (Harvard; Silver Spring, Md.)
Tim Grainey is a regular contributor to Soccer365. His latest book Beyond Bend it Like Beckham is out now. Get your copy today.