Through the Women’s World Cup, the scouting report on the Canadian national team was pretty consistent: Well organized, tough to break down, but offensively challenged.
Coach John Herdman wants to change that. He said that, ahead of the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament, he’s looking to bring in some young “mavericks.” In his words: “The mavericks is an exciting one… recruiting young players who play freely, risky football, they have technical competencies in certain positions. And they’re going to get their chance to bring it alive.”
They are players who like taking on defenders one-vs-one and, well, are a bit undpredictable.
Herdman feels he’ll need those x factors heading into qualifying for the 2016 Rio Games. The draw for the tournament was announced Monday, and Canada should be overjoyed by getting what, is at first glance, the soft-touch group. The Canadians will face Guatemala, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago in Group B action this February in Houston. Meanwhile, the United States gets Mexico, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico in its group.
But Herdman stuck to the mantra that the gaps in women’s football are continually closing, and he said the group-stage games will present their own unique challenges. If Canada was to play one of the bigger CONCACAF nations, it could expect a more free-flowing game. But, we can expect to see a lot of parked buses in the games against Guatemala, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.
“They’ll try to minimize the space in and around the goal,” said Herdman. “Typically, they’re going to let you come to then and capitalize on their mistakes.”
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