Home Canadian Soccer Herdman, Canadian women’s team ready to face frustration at Olympic qualifiers

Herdman, Canadian women’s team ready to face frustration at Olympic qualifiers

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John Herdman
John Herdman and the Canadian national women’s team are expecting to see a lot of teams packing the back at the upcoming Olympic qualifiers in Vancouver.

Canada kicks off the qualifiers at B.C. Place Jan. 19 against Haiti. And, as Canada is oe of the favourites to advance, coach Herdman said the team is prepared to face a lot of teams who will simply want to frustrate the home side.

He said the women’s team could feel an “element of frustration” emerging in their gold-medal run through the 2011 Pan Am Games. With the added pressure of having a home crowd who will be hoping to see Canada open things up offensively, the women’s teams is expecting to face more stifling tactics. If the road team can frustrate the Canadians, the crowd grows impatient and actually starts to work against Canada. At least, that’s the thought.

“The real challenge is making sure that our player can adapt to the style of play from the opposition,” Herdman said in a pre-tournament conference call Thursday. “There will be limited space in certain areas of the pitch.”

And Herdman still doesn’t know if he will have veteran central midfielder Diana Matheson on the team or not. She was named to the team’s preliminary roster, with Herdman knowing it would be a race to have Matheson’s injured knee rehabbed in time for the tournament. That race is still ongoing, and Herdman is coming to the time where he has to decide whether to make a roster change or not.

“Unfortunately, she had a knee operation and had a few complications after that,” said Herdman. “But she is working as hard as she can.”

Other than Matheson, the Canadian women have no injury challenges. And, Herdman said that, in camp, the only player really out of position is Carmelina Moscato, who has moved to the middle of the park.

But, one thing that has been emphasized by Herdman is the role of Christine Sinclair. Yes, we are all aware that she is the best female player that this country has ever produced, and she is by far the best player on the national side. But, Herdman and the team understand Sinclair can’t score the majority of the goals — that other players need to be on the scoresheet. He’s been working with other players to help transform them into shooters rather than passers. And he hinted that Sinclair might not play all of the game on the Olympic qualifying schedule, to ensure she can stay fresh in what will be a compact schedule.

RELATED:
Herdman selects women’s Canadian Olympic qualifying roster (CLICK)

Player of the Year Sinclair admits she considered taking her game to Europe (CLICK)

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