Canadian women look to be offensive at CONCACAF W Championship in Mexico |

After being limited to six goals in six games this year, the Canadian women’s soccer team is looking to push its offense to a higher level in the CONCACAF W Championship.

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And the stakes are high when Canada, the defending Olympic champion currently ranked sixth in the world, opens Tuesday night against No. 76 Trinidad and Tobago in Monterrey, Mexico.

The eight-team tournament, which runs through July 18, serves as a qualifier in North and Central America and the Caribbean for both the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Previously, qualification for the World Cup and the Olympics were separate in the region.

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The Canadian women are coming off a disappointing 0-0 draw with No. 18 South Korea on June 26 in Toronto. In February, Canada managed just three goals against elite opposition at the Arnold Clark Cup in England, where Priestman’s team drew No. 8 England 1-1, beat No. 5 Germany 1-0 and lost 1-0 to the No. 7 Spain.

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There was more firepower on display in April with a total of four goals in a win and a draw with No. 39 Nigeria.

Canada relied on a stingy defense en route to Olympic gold last summer in Tokyo, outscoring the opposition 6-4 in six games with two of them ending on penalties.

In the 10 games since the Olympics, Canada has scored more than one goal just three times with a 4-4-2 record.

“I know that when it really matters, this group can rise to anything,” Canada coach Bev Priestman said.

“If we do better than any other team, I feel very comfortable that this team, on their day with the right mindset, the right approach, can go and do exactly what the talent in the group represents,” she said. additional.

“And I think I’ve seen it in the last three days. We feel ready. We can’t wait for the ball to roll. The goals will come, I have no doubt about that, with the right people on the pitch and the right partnerships.”

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Canada and Trinidad are playing in Group B, along with No. 37 Costa Rica and No. 57 Panama. Group A is made up of the USA, #26 Mexico, #51 Jamaica and #60 Haiti.

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The top two teams from each of the two groups progress to the semi-finals, qualifying directly for the 2023 World Cup. The two third-place teams go on to a World Cup intercontinental playoff.

The CONCACAF W champion qualifies for both the 2024 Olympics and the inaugural CONCACAF W Gold Cup, also scheduled for 2024. Second and third place will meet in a CONCACAF Olympic playoff, scheduled for September 2023, and the winner will reserve their Ticket for the Olympic Games and the 2024 Gold Cup.

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Priestman said captain Christine Sinclair, 39, who did not play against South Korea, will be ready when needed.

“It will just be about, over the course of the group stage, having Christine ready for when it really matters. I think that’s the important part,” she said.

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“I’m pleased to say that people will see Christine in this first game,” he added.

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The Canadian women have won all eight meetings with Trinidad and Tobago, beating the Soca Warriors 34-0.

Canada won 6-0 the last time they met, at the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship in Houston. That game saw Sinclair score her 159th international goal, moving Mia Hamm into second place on the world’s all-time goalscoring list.

Trinidad coach Kenwyne Jones expects a tough challenge from the Canadians.

“It’s no secret what their talents are and how good they are. But at the same time to reach the goal that we want to reach, these are the teams that were going to have to play,” said the former international striker from Trinidad.

“For any team, for any player, these types of challenges are to be enjoyed,” he added. “This is how they test themselves and see how well they can pass the test and what they need to do to improve. Football is won during the day, on the field. And anything can happen.

Trinidad won her way to the W Championship, topping qualifying Group F with a 3-0-1 record with fullback Liana Hinds (Hibernian, Scotland) and midfielders Karyn Forbes (Police FC, Trinidad), Chelcy Ralph (Ball State University) and Asha. James (West Texas A&M University) in the lead.

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It is a young team with 16 of the 23 players born in 1998 or later.

“The equipment itself needed to be renewed. I needed to add new blood and continue to add new blood going forward,” said Jones, who took over the team last November after a brief stint as interim coach.

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Jones, 37,’s club career included stints with England’s Southampton, Sunderland, Stoke City and Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United.

Canada has twice won the CONCACAF championship (1998 and 2010) and was runner-up five times (1991, 1994, 2002, 2006 and 2018). It has participated in 10 CONCACAF tournaments, skipping the 2014 event since hosting the 2015 World Cup. Canada’s career record in CONCACAF competition is 29-9-1.

Ten of Sinclair’s world-record 189 international goals have come in the CONCACAF championship.

Trinidad and Tobago is the only team that has participated in every CONCACAF W Championship. His best finish was a third in 1991 with fourth-place performances in 1993, 1994 and 2014. His tournament career record is 7-21-5.

Canada roster

Goalie: Sabrina D’Angelo, Vittsjo GIK (Sweden); Lysianne Proulx, single; Kailen Sheridan, San Diego Wave (NWSL).

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Defenders: Kadeisha Buchanan, Chelsea (England); Allysha Chapman, Houston Dash (NWSL); Vanessa Gilles, Angel City FC (NWSL); Ashley Lawrence, Paris Saint-Germain (France); Jayde Riviere, AFC Ann Arbor (USL League W); Bianca St-Georges, Chicago Red Stars (NWSL); Shelina Zadorsky, Tottenham (England); Zoe Burns, University of Southern California (NCAA).

Midfielders: Jessie Fleming, Chelsea (England); Julia Grosso, Juventus (Italy); Quinn, OL Reign (NWSL); Sophie Schmidt, Houston Dash (NWSL); Desiree Scott, Kansas City Current (NWSL).

Forward: Janine Beckie, Portland Thorns (NWSL); Jordyn Huitema, OL Reign (NWSL); Cloe Lacasse, Benfica (Portugal); Adriana Leon, West Ham (England); Nichelle Prince, Houston Dash (NWSL); Deanne Rose, Reading (England); Christine Sinclair (cap.), Portland Thorns (NWSL).

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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