July 24th, 2024

Canadian women return to SheBelieves Cup in April, opening against Brazil

By The Canadian Press on January 19, 2024.

Canada's Jessie Fleming during a training session at the FIFA Women's World Cup in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, July 30, 2023. The Canadian women's soccer team is returning to the SheBelieves Cup in April in the U.S. for the third time in four years.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Scott Barbour

The Canadian women’s soccer team is returning to the SheBelieves Cup in April in the U.S. for the third time in four years.

The 10h-ranked Canadians join the second-ranked U.S., No. 8 Japan and No. 11 Brazil in the tournament, which will consist of four matches instead of the usual six.

Canada will play Brazil after the U.S. takes on Japan in an April 6 doubleheader at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The winners will face off in the final and the losers will meet to decide third place, with both games taking place April 9 at Lower.com Field in Columbus, Ohio.

The Canadian women open their 2024 schedule at the 12-country CONCACAF W Gold Cup next month, when they face El Salvador or Guatemala, Paraguay and Costa Rica in Group C at Shell Energy Stadium in Houston.

The three group winners and runners-up plus the two best third-place finishers advance to the quarterfinals.

The two tournaments serve as warmups for Canada’s defence of its Olympic title in Paris this summer. And they will mark Canada’s first outings since longtime captain Christine Sinclair retired from international football in December.

The Canadian women finished last at 1-2-0 in the 2023 SheBelieves Cup in a four-team competition overshadowed by the ongoing labour dispute with Canada Soccer. The players boycotted training at one point but returned to action after being threatened with legal action by their governing body.

Canada finished third in 2021, also with a 1-2-0 record.

The U.S. has won the tournament in six of the eight editions held to date. France won in 2017 and England in 2019.

Canada holds an 11-11-9 career record against Brazil dating back to 1996. The two teams last met in a two-game friendly series in October with Brazil winning 1-0 in Montreal and Canada winning 2-0 in Halifax.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2024

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