Home Canadian Soccer Women's National Team Herdman on Canada’s women’s team: I am looking for strikers

Herdman on Canada’s women’s team: I am looking for strikers


Wanted: Strikers. Requirement: Canadian passport or lineage (we’ll help with the passport).

That’s the clear message coming from Canadian women’s national team coach John Herdman. In a conference call with media Thursday, he said the country’s striker shortage is a massive problem.

“If anyone in Canada has players up front, there’s definitely some shirts available,” Herdman said.

Going into the 2015 Women’s World Cup, which will open in exactly two years at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium, Herdman said he has a team that, based on the core of his roster, will have an average age of 31. He said that statistics show that the World Cup champs usually have an average player age of 27 to 28. He needs to bring youth into the team, and he desperately needs to find secondary scoring behind Canada’s all-time leading goal-getter, Christine Sinclair.

Sunday’s friendly was a case in point. For nearly 70 minutes, Canada limited the Americans’ chances. Herdman was hopeful that Sinclair would have her legs for the final 20 minutes, to take a chance that would win the game. But Sinclair had run so much, had worked so hard, that she needed help. But, the cupboard was bare. And, the Americans scored three times in the final phase of the match.

“If I had to generalize, Canada needs to develop the kind of player who can break down tight defensive systems.”

Since pretty well the first day after Canada won Olympic bronze, the coach has warned that the supply line for talent is broken. He’s brought in teenagers because he feels there’s little to choose from when it comes to twentysomething players in Canada.

“We are looking everywhere at the moment, that’s not an understatement.”

He said Canada has to be ready to face three kinds of teams in 2015; the top-tier powers like the United States, Japan and France; the emerging or second-tier nations and the third-tier countries. And Canada needs to be prepared to change its game; against the Americans, it will need to defend and counter; when playing a third-tier country that defends deep, it will be about breaking down the opposition.

Prepping for the big stage is why Herdman and the Canadian Soccer Association invited the United States, not a minnow, for the first home game since the Olympics. Herdman said Canada could easily have invited a lesser women’s soccer nation, scored a few goals and given the fans at BMO Field something to cheer about. But, they wanted to make the game mean something.

“When you platy these top teams it’s about developing a resilience… in 65 minutes we limited the U.S. to seven shots, five crosses. That’s unheard of in our history against the U.S.”

And, when Canada faces South Korea (which defeated Canada at the Four Nations tournament), it’ll face a team from that second tier, but one that offers some excellent learning opportunities.

“We have to play more than one style of play. In Korea, they have got a style that’s very similar to (World Cup champs) Japan.”

Canada’s next friendly is set for June 19 in Germany. Herdman hopes to once again call fullback Rachel Quon, the U.S.-born midfielder who represented that country at youth levels. She was called for the Canada-U.S. game, but her paperwork wasn’t done in time for her to be eligible to play. As of Thursday, she’s still ineligible to play for Canada; but Herdman hopes that she’ll be cleared by June 19. Under FIFA rules, before a player who is eligible to switch national shirts can make an application to do so, (s)he has to be invited to a camp or game by the new country’s association.

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One Comment

  1. cjm

    June 7, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Summer Clarke anyone?!

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