OTTAWA – Canada announced Tuesday its final 21-player roster for the 2014 FIFA Women’s U-17 World Cup, which will be played in Costa Rica, March 15-April 4.
The team qualified for the biennial competition by finishing as runner-up to Mexico at the 2013 CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship in Jamaica.
“We’re excited by the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup,” said Canada head coach Beverly Priestman. “We get to test these talented players against historically strong U17 teams who are tier one and do it trying to stay true to our DNA and style of play.
“We have an aim of providing these girls as many games as possible, and therefore, we will aim to progress out of the group, one which has been labelled the group of death.”
The Canadians will open Group B play against Germany on March 15, before facing Korea DPR (March 18) and Ghana (March 22).
Highlighting the selection is midfielder Jessie Fleming, who won the Golden Ball as the best player at the CONCACAF tournament. The 16-year-old made her full national team debut against Chile on December 15, 2013.
Four new faces have been brought in to reinforce the side that competed in qualifying. One newcomer is defender Sura Yekka. The 17-year-old has already won seven caps for the senior team.
Additionally, four of the squad members are also age-eligible for the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan.
“This tournament provides these players with an opportunity to demonstrate their ability against some of the best players in the world at their age group,” added Priestman. “Hopefully (this) is a spring board to progress up in our system. It’s an exciting time.”
CANADA UNDER-17 WOMEN’S ROSTER
(FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup: March 15-April 4, 2014 in Costa Rica)
GOALKEEPERS: Rylee Foster (Woodbridge SC), Devon Kerr (Glen Shields FC), Lysianne Proulx (Roussillon)
DEFENDERS: Simmrin Dhaliwal (Vancouver Whitecaps), Rachel Jones (Vancouver Whitecaps), Easther Mayi Kith (Laser de Joliette), Mika Richards (Brams United), Bianca St-Georges (Laser de Joliette), Sura Yekka (Brams United)
MIDFIELDERS: Nahida Baalbaki (Lakeshore Soccer Club), Jessie Fleming (London NorWest SC), Sarah Kinzner (Calgary Foothills), Avery Lakeman (Edmonton Drillers), Karima Lemire (Varennes), Sarah Stratigakis (Woodbridge SC)
FORWARDS: Emily Borgmann (Burlington SC), Gabrielle Carle (Chaudière-Est), Nadya Gill (Vaughan SC), Anyssa Ibrahim (Terrebonne), Marie Levasseur (Haute St-Charles), Marie-Mychèle Métivier (Armada Chaudière-Est)