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Can Hayley Wickenheiser help Canadian soccer?

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In its semifinal match at the 2012 Olympic women’s soccer tournament, Canada took the lead over the United States on three separate occasions before falling 4-3, thanks to some controversial officiating and an extra-time winner from Alex Morgan.

In the final of the 2014 Olympic women’s hockey tournament, Canada was down 2-0 to the United States with less than four minutes on the clock. The Canadians tied the game in regulation and, thanks to some controversial officiating and an overtime winner from Marie-Philip Poulin.

For the fourth straight Winter Olympics, Canada’s women’s hockey team won gold — with three of those championship-game wins coming over the Americans.

John Herdman, the coach of the women’s national soccer team, wants to bring his squad and the hockey gold medalists together.


Why? Herdman is a big believer in his team being psychologically as well as physically prepared. Example: When he took over the Canadian women’s team, one of his first duties was to bring in a sports psychologist.

Now, he believes his team can learn a lot about mental toughness ahead of the 2015 Women’s World Cup by spending time with members of the hockey program.

“They know how to beat the U.S.,” says Herdman. “They have to tell us some of their mental secrets. We’ll have to tap into that resource.”

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