ANALYSIS – The CanWNT Concacaf W Gold Cup journey will start on February 22 as all three of their group stage games will be played at Shell Energy Stadium in Houston, Texas. This will also be the first competitive game for the national team since that memorable win over Australia on December 5, when both Christine Sinclair and Sophie Schmidt played their final game for the national team.
The CanWNT Concacaf W Gold Cup Roster Unveiled
— CANWNT (@CANWNT) February 7, 2024
Players on the Roster
— Last Word on Soccer (@LastWordSC) September 23, 2023
There are some players that are not surprises. This includes Kadeisha Buchanan, Vanessa Gilles, Nichelle Prince, Ashley Lawrence, and Jessie Fleming. Fleming is a key player for the team and for some could be the captain of the national team. This is while Lawrence played a big part in Canada’s qualification to Paris 2024 with her assists and Buchanan and Gilles are Canada’s starting centre-backs.
As for Prince, her speed will be needed, while for Adriana Leon, she can get to the right spots at the right time. These are however just some of the notable veteran players on the team.
Notable Inclusions to the Squad
Sydney Collins, who did not make the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster, is part of the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup squad. It might have been due to her performance in the Paris 2024 Olympic qualifying campaign against Jamaica. In particular, the 2-0 win over the Reggae Girlz. This is what fellow CanWNT midfielder, Janine Beckie said about her in the 2023 Women’s Olympic Play-In game (source: Meaghen Johnson of TSN):
“You never know how someone’s going to do on their first start, but she looked like an experienced pro – composed, dangerous, very good defensively, did everything she was asked of and more, and helped us secure that first win,” forward Janine Beckie told TSN.
Lysianne Proulx is a goalkeeper that will be called up for the CanWNT. She has never played a game for the senior national team. Proulx is known to have a great work ethic. This is what Taylor Bennett, her former teammate from SU women’s soccer, said (source: Cooper Andrews of Daily Orange):
“She owned the place,” Bennett said. “She was always in (the practice facility) doing something to set herself apart.” Brackett said.
It is a likely possibility that Proulx will not get playing time, as Kailen Sheridan and Sabrina D’Angelo are in front of her. However, being around the team and the national team environment will help her get accustomed to the national team environment and what it means to play for Canada.
Notable Players Not On the Squad
Priestman’s full answer on the latest with Jayde Riviere’s injury, as well as Janine Beckie and Desiree Scott’s return to play with the national team. pic.twitter.com/ckaIWw8EI0
— Meaghen Johnson (@MeaghenJohnson) February 7, 2024
The most obvious one is Janine Beckie. Everyone knows that she was not on the roster for the FIFA Women’s World Cup team because of an injury. It may also have to do with fitness as Beckie missed out most of the NWSL season because of an injury. This is similar with Desiree Scott, who missed out of the FIFA Women’s World Cup because of a knee injury.
It will be a big loss as both players could have provided leadership to the team, something that is needed more than ever with both Sinclair and Schmidt retiring from the international game. This is what Beckie said about that in Alexandre Gangué-Ruzic’s article (source: OneSoccer):
“I take a lot of pride in being a leader on this team,” Beckie told reporters Monday. “We are a team full of leaders that lead in different ways. And I think that’s what this team has been so desperate for over the last four or five years is for those of us that have been part of the program now for some time to kind of step into new roles and have a bigger responsibility, on and off the field.”
Jayde Riviere unlike the two mentioned above, is part of the Concacaf W Gold Cup roster. This fact though comes with a question mark, as it seems unclear whether she will be able to play games for the national team or not.
Team Heads into the Concacaf W Gold Cup on a High
The CanWNT won five of their last six games before heading into this tournament. Before the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, there was a pay dispute between the CanWNT and the Canada Soccer Association, which probably affected the play of the team. Besides the SheBelieves Cup, Canada did not play many games before the World Cup, and most notably did not play a home game since that scoreless draw against South Korea on June 26, 2022.
READ MORE: An “Unbelievable” Send-Off for Sinclair: CanWNT vs Australia
However, heading into the Concacaf W Gold Cup, the opposite has happened. They have played five home games and one road game in Jamaica. Canada showed its form had returned as they not only beat Jamaica at home, but was also able to beat Jamaica on the road.
She also mentioned that there have been “breadcrumbs” already there for whom they are looking at, and that she has had many internal discussions surrounding the captaincy
But she is most excited by having various players starting to step up as leaders in the team.
— Felipe Vallejo (@FelipeV_FC) February 7, 2024
Still, the loss of Sinclair and Schmidt will leave a leadership void for someone else to fill eventually. Felipe Vallejo, a writer for AFTN Canada and the Northern Tribune stated the info above on how Priestman views the situation.
When the Games Are Happening
The CanWNT will have at least three games taking place in late February. The first game will be on February 22 at 9:00 PM ET. While the February 25 game at 5:00 PM ET (opponent is unknown as of right now) will be against Paraguay, before ending the group stage portion of the tournament with a 6:00 PM ET game against Costa Rica.
OneSoccer to broadcast Concacaf club & int’l competitions in Canada for 2024, including Concacaf Champions Cup, W Gold Cup, Men’s U-20 and Women’s U-17 Championships & Futsal Championship 🏆#ConcaChampions studio coverage begins Feb. 7 at 7:30PM ET / 4:30PM PT pic.twitter.com/I7sEbajFtn
— OneSoccer (@onesoccer) February 6, 2024
READ MORE: The OneSoccer Legacy: What It Meant To Canadian Soccer
All games will take place at Shell Energy Stadium. The games will also be shown live on OneSoccer as well as Telus and FuboTV Inc.
Concacaf W Olympic Play-In
26 September 2023 – Toronto, ON, CAN
Photo Credit: Canada Soccer by Audrey Magny