Canada’s U-17 Women’s team will head to China to play in the CFA International Women’s Youth Football Tournament 2016 Weifang as Canada Soccer National EXCEL 14-17 director and U-17 Coach Bev Priestman fine-tunes the squad ahead of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016.
Eight of the players called to the U-17 national team hail from Ontario, including two who are members of the U-15 Ontario Player Development League program.
Three of the players called to the team are from League1 Ontario - Sarah Stratagakis (Aurora United FC); Marissa Zucchetto (Aurora United FC) and Mikayla Dayes (Woodbridge Strikers).
Canada will join hosts China, reining U-17 FIFA Women’s World Cup champions Japan, and New Zealand in the four-nation international tournament taking place from July 12 – 16 at Weifang Olympic Sports Center Stadium in Weifang, Shandong province, China.
The squad selected for the China tournament brings together a mixture of talent, some of whom have had the opportunity to experience youth FIFA World Cups, and some new recruits who have been identified since Canada qualified for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016 through CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship Grenada in March.
Sarah Stratigakis (Photo: Martin Bazyl)
"This tournament is our last opportunity to assess this group in a competition format ahead of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in September, so it is an important test and great opportunity to experience tough matches against some very good opponents,” said Priestman. “We are playing some strong teams that will push us to our limits which is critical for the development of individuals as well as the team."
Canada is in the final stages of preparations for the upcoming FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Jordan 2016 running September 30 to October 21, with the 32 matches to be played at four stadiums in Amman, Ibid, and Al Zarqa. Canada will face Cameroon on September 30 in Irbid, Germany on October 3 in Amman, and Venezuela on 7 October again in Amman in the group phase.
"We are going into Jordan with the aim of getting as many games for these players in their journey as possible, which means you have to get out of the group stage to push beyond the guaranteed three games," said Priestman.
"We are really motivated to push these girls to the next level of development on their Women’s National Team journey and this tournament will be a key stepping stone for young talented players to move up the system with their hard work."
Marissa Zucchetto (Photo: Martin Bazyl)
Canada’s CFA International Women’s Youth Football Tournament 2016 Weifang Roster:
F – Mikayla Dayes, 16, from Brampton, ON (Woodbridge SC)
F – Jayde Riviere, 15, from Pickering, ON (Markham SC, OPDL)
F – Lauren Raimondo, 17, from St. Catharines, ON (Unionville-Milliken SC)
F – Jordyn Huitema, 15, from Chilliwack, BC (Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer Rex)
F – Florence Laroche, 16, from Laval, QC (Lakeshore SC)
M – Sarah Stratigakis, 17, from Woodbridge, ON (Aurora United SC)
M – Nahida Baalbaki, 16, from Laval, QC (Lakeshore SC)
M – Vital Kats, 16, from Toronto, ON (Scarborough GS United)
M – Anyssa Ibrahim, 17, from Repentigny, QC (AS Varennes)
M – Kaela Hansen, 16, from Burnaby, BC (Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer Rex)
M – Marika Guay, 16, from Châteauguay, QC (Lakeshore SC)
D – Julia Grosso, 15, from Vancouver, BC (Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer Rex)
D – Emma Regan, 16, from Burnaby, BC (Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer Rex)
D – Nadege L'Esperance, 17, from Candiac, QC (Lakeshore SC)
D – Ashley Cathro, 16, Victoria, BC (Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer Rex)
D – Samantha Chang, 15, from Mississauga, ON (Unionville-Milliken SC)
D – Hannah Taylor, 17, from Edmonds, WA (Eastside G98)
D – Maya Antoine, 14, from Vaughan, ON (Vaughan SC, OPDL)
GK – Lysianne Proulx, 17, Boucherville, QC (AS Varennes)
GK – Marissa Zucchetto, 17, Mississauga, ON (Aurora United SC)
Canada will kick of the CFA International Women’s Youth Football Tournament 2016 against Japan on 12 July, before New Zealand on 14 July and China on 16 July.