World Cup Archive

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Looking at the glass half-full: Assessing Canada’s 3-2 U17WWC loss to Venezuela

Marie Levasseur

Marie Levasseur

Without coming off too much like bad high-school newspaper journalism (“they did their best, but, despite their best efforts, came up short”), it’s difficult to assess Canada’s 3-2 loss to Venezuela at the quarter-final stage of the U-17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.

Canada’s most glaring problems came in the centre of the defence, where the team was punished regularly for its high line, and not being able to cope with the physical presence of Venezuelan striker Gabriela Garcia. But, we have to remember that these are girls who would are at the Grade 11 age (or maybe even less). We have to remember that defensive awareness comes at a later age than other soccer skills.

So, really, where Canada struggled on Thursday — controlling the speedy Veneuzuelan counterattack — can easily be chalked up to the inexperience of youth.

And, while it’s difficult to go out the U-17 Women’s World Cup, at least it’s better to lose 3-2 — and show some real positive offensive glimpses — than go out to one of those oh-so-Canadian 1-0 or 2-0 defeats, where the commentators will say that we showed great heart but couldn’t create many chances.
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Jones’s late defensive heroics help Canada reach U17 WC quarter-finals

Rachel Jones

Rachel Jones

When you deal with teenagers, you accept that they may screw up. But, you’re happy when they learn lessons from their mistakes.

So, would Canada’s U-17 women’s team learn from their mistakes? That is, would they be able to protect a two-goal lead this time around?

On Saturday, the Canadians were in a must-win match against U-17 Women’s World Cup Group B leader, Ghana. In fact, the African side had already clinched a spot in the quarters, while the Canadians knew that if they won their final Group B match, they’d clinch the other quarter-final spot. It wouldn’t matter how the North Korea-Germany match played out.

And, at halftime, on the strength of a Marie Levasseur brace, Canada was up 2-0.

But we’ve seen this script before. In the Group B opener, Canada had a 2-0 lead, then went through a panicked five-minute spell where the European champions were allowed to score two quick goals. Canada had to settle for a tie.
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Canada qualifies for the Women’s U-17 World Cup with win over host Jamaicans

Marie Mychele Metivier

Marie Mychele Metivier

Canada will join Mexico and Costa Rica as CONCACAF representatives at the U17 Women’s World Cup.

As winners of the CONCACAF semifinals, held Thursday in Jamaica, Canada and Mexico earned their World Cup invites. Costa Rica qualifies automatically as the host nation.

The Jamaican supporters packed the stadium in Montego Bay for the semifinal against Canada. To rally the home nation, there was no charge to watch the game.

But the Canadian scored within three minutes to give the hosts a sober reality check, and went on to a comfortable 5-0 win.

And, in the irony of ironies, the Americans, who beat Canada in their final-group stage game to earn the right to play lower-ranked Mexico in the other semifinal, suffered a major upset. Instead of taking advantage of Mexico, the Americans lost in penalties after a 1-1 draw.
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Argentina bookends goals around halftime break to end Canada’s U17 WC hopes

2013_FIFA_U-17_World_CupThe Argentines scored just seconds before the first half came to a close, and again right after the second half kicked off.

Those two goals sentenced Canada to an early exit from the U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. Canada finished the group stage with two draws and a loss, and will be heading home. Canada finished third in the group, but its record wasn’t good enough for a wild-card spot. The final score was 3-0, but the damage was done by those pair of goals wrapped around the halftime break.

Canada showed its nerves right off the opening kickoff, as holding midfielder Jordan Haynes attempted a drop pass. But the ball went into a no-man’s land, and Argentine forward Ivan Luis Leszczuk picked off the ball, and stroked a shot over the bar just six seconds into the match.

But, while the Argentines dominated possession through the opening stages of the game, the favourites weren’t able to create more clear-cut chances. Really, most of the first 45 minutes were cagey in nature, with Canada soaking up the pressure, and the Argentines looking unwilling to up their play a gear.

Canada’s Hanson Boakai had the best chance for the men in red, but his bad-angle effort in the 20th minute was clipped wide of the Argentina goal.
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Fortune on Canada’s side in 1-1 draw with Iran at U-17 World Cup

Jordan Hamilton

Jordan Hamilton

Note to the Canadian team. Don’t wash the soccer gear. Before the final group stage game against Argentina, do everything that you did before Tuesday’s U-17 World Cup match against Iran.

You don’t want to do anything to disturb that luck.

Sometimes, draws feel like losses. And, sometimes, they feel like wins. Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Iran definitely falls into the latter category.

Iran should have won this match. Instead, with Argentina and Austria still to play on Tuesday, every match so far in Group E has been a draw. And that means that Canada knows it goes into its final group-stage match with the Argentines with a real chance of making it to the knockout stages.

With the score tied 1-1, Iran wasted two golden opportunities to score the match winner. In the 70th minute, Amir Mazloum nutmegged Canadian right back Eric Davies, then swerved around keeper Marco Carducci. Instead of hitting the open net, he put his effort off the near post, and the rebound chance was skied over the bar.
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Canada shows some offensive flair in U-17 World Cup opener

Canada lines up before the kickoff of its U-17 World Cup match against Austria. PHOTO: CANADA SOCCER

Canada lines up before the kickoff of its U-17 World Cup match against Austria. PHOTO: CANADA SOCCER

Sure, it’s disappointing that the Canadian side couldn’t hold on to a 2-1 lead against Austria in their U-17 World Cup opener.

A 2-2 draw was likely a fair result based on the run of play in Saturday’s group-stage curtain raiser for both sides. Both teams hit posts. Both sides entertained with positive play.

And, that’s the hope for Canadian supporters, isn’t it? After struggling to see Canada’s national team go scoreless in eight straight matches, it’s refreshing to see, at the youth level, that there are some truly creative players.

Both sides could have had more goals. Canadian midfielder Marco Bustos had a fantastic first-half effort denied by the fingertips of Austrian keeper Alexander Schlager. And, with less than 20 minutes to play and the score level at 2-2, Bustos saw his drive go off the bar.

Hanson Boakai also had a chance on the break just before halftime. But he was also denied by Schlager.
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Fleming: U-17 squad going to World Cup “found its form and character in Panama”

Sean Fleming

Sean Fleming

Coach Sean Fleming made a couple of significant additions to the core of his U-17 national squad, but warned that anyone who wasn’t with the team when it played at the CONCACAF Championships in Panama will need to do a heck of a job.

On Thursday, the Canadian Soccer Association released a list of 24 players who will represent Canada at this October’s U-17 World Cup. Of the 24, 21 are on the proper roster, while three are alternates. While FIFA has been notified which three players are alternates, who can only play in order to replace an injured member of the main roster, Fleming wouldn’t reveal which three were on the outside of the bubble.

Fleming will take the Canadian squad for a pre-World Cup camp in the United Arab Emirates, which begins October 5. Canada will begin the tournament in Dubai on Oct. 19, with a match against Austria. Canada will also face Iran and Argentina.

And it will be interesting to see if FC Dallas fullback Eric Davies and Vancouver Whitecaps Residency midfielder Kianz Gonzales-Froese (who also spent time with FC Edmonton) can make it into the roster. Gonzales-Froese missed the CONCACAF Championships in Panama due to injury. The midfielder competed for his native Cuba — he was born in Havana, raised in Winnipeg — in the previous U-17 championship cycle, but is legal to play for Canada in the UAE.

But Fleming warned that the Whitecaps’ Cuban-Canadian won’t have it easy. He’ll have to win a job. After all, the squad that went to Panama achieved its goal of making it to the World Cup.

“The squad found its form and character in Panama,” Fleming said.
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FIFA visit: Will Women’s World Cup spell doom for Clarke Stadium’s old turf?

L-R: FIFA Director of Competition Mustapha Rahmy, CSA General Secretary Peter Montopoli, FIFA Director of Women's Competition Tatjana Haenni, Alberta Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation Richard Starke, Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel.

L-R: FIFA Director of Competition Mustapha Rahmy, CSA General Secretary Peter Montopoli, FIFA Director of Women’s Competition Tatjana Haenni, Alberta Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation Richard Starke, Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel.

Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium has got the thumbs-up Thursday from FIFA inspectors ahead as they continue their tour of Canada.

But Canadian Soccer Association General Secretary Peter Montopoli, who is with the FIFA contingent as they tour the Women’s World Cup 2015 sites, said that the expectation is that the training grounds used by the world’s top national sides will be up to the same quality as the artificial surfaces in the stadiums.

And that leads to an interesting question when it comes to Edmonton, a city that is hosting more Women’s World Cup matches than any other city. Clarke Stadium, the city-owned facility that’s next door to Commonwealth and adjacent to a brand new fitness centre, would be a natural fit as a practice area. It’s where FC Edmonton plays its NASL matches. But the turf on it is terrible. Seams are coming up. Football lines are sewn in. Two FCE players have been hurt by catching their cleats on the turf this season.

The Clarke turf is at the end of its 10-year life-span. Will next year’s U-20 Women’s World Cup and the 2015 Women’s World Cup mean that Clarke’s existing turf will finally be sent to a landfill? A new artificial turf, one which would allow for soccer and football lines to be applied and then removed, would be ideal.
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Montreal to host U-20 Women’s World Cup final; Canada’s first two games set for Toronto

log_de_la_copa_femenina_sub-20_canada_2014Edmonton got plum matches for the 2015 Women’s World Cup, while Vancouver got the final. So, it’s not a shock that the U-20 Women’s World Cup will see most of the marquee matches played in the eastern portion of the country.

The Canadian Soccer Association and FIFA unveiled the U-20 World Cup schedule in Montreal on Tuesday.

Toronto’s BMO Field, which wasn’t part of the 2015 Women’s World Cup bid but was brought into the 2014 U-20 Women’s World Cup as a replacement for Ottawa, will get Canada’s first two matches, Aug. 5 and Aug. 8, 2014. Montreal will host Canada’s third group-stage match, on Aug. 12, and Olympic Stadium will also get the final.

Toronto and Edmonton’s hosting duties will wrap up with quarter-finals on Aug. 16. That’s fair — as, really, it would be odd to see a city that excluded itself from the World Cup bid to get a semi-final or final. And, Edmonton is hosting more Women’s World Cup matches than any other city in 2015, including Canada’s first two matches; so, being more of a low-key host for the 2014 games, that’s fair play.
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Canadian U-20 women draw Denmark, await World Cup schedule

log_de_la_copa_femenina_sub-20_canada_2014On Tuesday, the schedule for the 2014 U-20 Women’s World Cup will be unveiled in Montreal.

Andrew Olivieri, the coach of the women’s U-20 team, will be at Montreal’s city hall safe in the knowledge that his squad had a pretty decent summer camp. On Friday, the Canadian U-20s wrapped up a July camp with a 1-1 draw with Denmark’s U-19 side.

Ashley Campbell scored for Canada in the draw against Denmark, which followed a 1-0 win over Norway and a 6-1 triumph over the Ballerup Skovlunde club.

Olivieri told the CanadaSoccer.com site that, while the U-20 World Cup is around the corner, the reason for the Denmark camp and the friendlies was to prepare the players for longer national-team careers.
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