Women’s teams to play high-profile friendlies at WWC venues; men’s qualifiers left up to Hart’s discretion By Steven Sandor Posted on September 26, 2011 1 0 644 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Victor Montagliani Where will the Canadian men’s and women’s teams play their games over the next several seasons? Well, according to the Canadian Soccer Association, that depends. The Canadian national women’s team will play a schedule of high-profile friendlies ahead of the World Cup, in the stadiums that will be selected to host games for the 2015 event. “We’d like to take advantage offered to us and take on top competition,” said CSA General Secretary Peter Montopoli in a joint press conference with FIFA and Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel Monday. “We’d play in the stadiums at the different host cities.” FIFA executives visited Edmonton over the weekend to check the city’s progress as a hosting candidate for the Women’s World Cup. They left Monday to visit Winnipeg. And, if the Canadian men’s continues on its track in the first round of World Cup qualifying and makes it to the next round, where those games are played will be left entirely up to coach Stephen Hart. Victor Montagliani, the CSA’s vice president, said that, like never before, the coach will be given power to determine where the qualifiers are played. Ensuring Canada has the best chance to secure three points is the major criteria. So, if Canada is playing a Central American nation in November, it may want to look at staging the game in as cold a place as possible. “In the past, we haven’t done it that way,” he said. “But, if we need the three points, we’ll play in the Yukon.” That’s the difference; when it comes to friendlies over the next several years, the CSA will showcase the stadiums that will be used for the WWC; and Montopoli said there will be plenty of chances for senior and U-20 and U-17 teams to play these game across the country. But, when it comes to the men’s qualifiers, showcasing facilities and preparations for the WWC aren’t considered. It’s all about the wins. And Hart will be asked to schedule games that will be as miserable for the opposition as possible.