June 16th, 2024

Canada coach names squad for Mexico friendlies but Olympic roster decisions remain

By Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press on May 23, 2024.

Canada's Allysha Chapman and Australia's Hayley Raso, left, fall to the ground during the Women's World Cup Group B soccer match between Australia and Canada in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, July 31, 2023. Canada coach Bev Priestman is starting to get some of her injured talent back ahead of the Paris Olympics. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Hamish Blair

Canada coach Bev Priestman is starting to get some of her injured talent back ahead of the Paris Olympics.

Nichelle Prince, Olivia Smith and Jayde Riviere, unavailable for the SheBelieves Cup earlier this year, are included in Priestman’s roster for a pair of friendlies next month against Mexico in Montreal and Toronto

Allysha Chapman, who gave birth to son Tavish on Feb. 12, will also be in camp as a training player. The 35-year-old Houston Dash fullback last played for Canada at the FIFA World Cup last summer in Australia, earning her 99th cap.

Priestman’s injury concerns are not over, however, with midfielder Quinn (concussion) and defender/wingback Sydney Collins (knee) both sidelined.

The ninth-ranked Canadians host No. 31 Mexico on June 1 in Montreal and June 4 in Toronto in the so-called “Summer Send-off Series.” The Toronto game has been designated a “Pride celebration match.”

The Canadian women are expected to play two more warm-up games in Europe before the Paris Olympics in the July 8-16 FIFA international window.

Canada opens Olympic play against No. 28 New Zealand on July 25 before facing No. 3 France on July 28 and No. 23 Colombia on July 31.

Canada is 22-2-3 all-time against Mexico, but is winless in its last two meetings (0-1-1) in November 2021.

Canada and Mexico both made the semifinals of CONCACAF W Gold Cup in March, losing to the U.S. and Brazil, respectively.

Priestman’s 25-player roster for the Mexico series contains no surprises. But it does illustrate that there are some tough decisions ahead as the Canada coach has to get down to an 18-player Olympic roster with four alternates.

The alternates, one of whom will be a goalkeeper, can only be used in case of injury, and once replaced, a player cannot return.

The deadline for naming the roster is July 3. Priestman expects to name her squad by the end of June.

The roster for the Mexico games features 14 players from European clubs, nine from the NWSL and two from NCAA ranks.

Canada (x- denotes training player)

Goalkeepers: Sabrina D’Angelo, Arsenal (England); Lysianne Proulx, Bay FC (NWSL); Kailen Sheridan, San Diego Wave (NWSL).

Defenders: Kadeisha Buchanan, Chelsea (England); Gabrielle Carle, Washington Spirit (NWSL); x-Allysha Chapman, Houston Dash (NWSL); Vanessa Gilles, Olympique Lyonnais (France); Ashley Lawrence, Chelsea (England); Jayde Riviere, Manchester United (NWSL); Jade Rose, Harvard University (NCAA); Shelina Zadorsky, West Ham United (England).

Midfielders: Simi Awujo, USC (NCAA); Jessie Fleming, Portland Thorns (NWSL); Julia Grosso, Juventus (Italy); Emma Regan, HB Køge (Denmark); Desiree Scott, Kansas City Current (NWSL).

Midfielder/Forward: Olivia Smith, Sporting CP (Portugal).

Forwards: Janine Beckie, Portland Thorns (NWSL); Jordyn Huitema, Seattle Reign (NWSL); Cloé Lacasse, Arsenal (England); Clarissa Larisey, BK Häcken FF (Sweden); Adriana Leon, Aston Villa (England); Nichelle Prince, Houston Dash (NWSL); Deanne Rose, Leicester City (England); Evelyne Viens, AS Roma (Italy).

Follow @NeilMDavidson on X platform, formerly known as Twitter

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 23, 2024

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