Melissa Tancredi celebrates after scoring in Canada's 3-1 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualying tournament semifinal win over Mexico on January 27, 2012, at BC Place in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo: Mexsport)
OTTAWA – The Canadian Soccer Association announced Wednesday that 23 players have been selected to attend its women’s national team camp in advance of a November 24 friendly against visiting Mexico at BC Place in Vancouver.
The match will be the first meeting between the regional powers in nearly two years. On January 27, 2012, a crowd of 22,954 fans saw Canada book its ticket to the Olympic Games with a 3-1 win in a CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament semifinal, which was also played at BC Place.
“There's a healthy rivalry with Mexico and I know they will be ready for this game,” said Canada head coach John Herdman. “We'll be diligent with our work as well as keep focused on our goals leading into 2015.”
Forwards Josée Bélanger and Kara Lang, both of whom helped Canada to the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s Championship title, are looking to secure roster places after long-term injury layoffs.
“They both have a history of scoring important goals for Canada,” Herdman noted. “There’s a real need for more goals, so we are constantly working on developing our pool of forwards.”
Youth will be represented as 16-year-old defender Sura Yekka earned her first call-up to the senior squad and Rachel Melhado, 20, was tabbed for a second time. Melhado, who plays for the University of Louisville, previously featured for Canada in a 1-0 loss to Germany this past June, as well as at the under-18 and under-20 levels.
“Vancouver has shown us in January 2012 that it was a city passionate about soccer, and lifted our Women’s National Team to an Olympic Qualification,” said Peter Montopoli, Canada Soccer General Secretary. “We look forward to seeing another boisterous crowd at BC Place cheering on the team as it continues its preparation for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015.”
(International friendly – November 24, 2013, home v Mexico)
GOALKEEPERS: Stephanie Labbé (Orebro/Sweden), Karina LeBlanc (Portland Thorns/USA), Erin McLeod (Chicago Red Stars/USA)
DEFENDERS: Robyn Gayle (Washington Spirit/USA), Rachel Melhado (University of Louisville/USA), Carmelina Moscato (Seattle Reign/USA), Marie-Eve Nault (Orebro/Sweden), Lauren Sesselmann (FC Kansas City/USA), Kylla Sjoman (Celtic/Scotland), Rhian Wilkinson (Boston Breakers/USA), Sura Yekka (Brams United), Emily Zurrer (Seattle Reign/USA)
MIDFIELDERS: Selenia Iacchelli (Edmonton Victoria SC), Kaylyn Kyle (Boston Breakers/USA), Diana Matheson (Washington Spirit/USA), Sophie Schmidt (Sky Blue FC/USA), Desiree Scott (FC Kansas City/USA), Brittany Baxter Timko (no club)
FORWARDS: Josée Bélanger (Amiral de Québec), Melissa Busque (Seattle University/USA), Kara Lang (no club), Adriana Leon (Chicago Red Stars/USA), Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns/USA)