Canadian ladies’s soccer targets third consecutive Olympic medal at Tokyo Video games | CBC Sports activities

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Can Canada’s ladies’s soccer workforce carry house medals in three consecutive Olympics? Can they alter the color of the medal this time?

These are simply among the extra pertinent questions forward of the ladies’s soccer event on the Tokyo Olympics set to kick off subsequent week. 

Led by iconic captain Christine Sinclair, Canada is coming off back-to-back bronze medals, and a 3rd consecutive third-place end can be an unprecedented achievement. However newly put in coach Bev Priestman has set her sights a lot greater.

“A workforce like Canada needs to be on that podium. I do assume we have to change the color of the medal.… To maintain transferring ahead, we’ve got to goal greater than that,” Priestman mentioned.

This is what it’s worthwhile to know concerning the ladies’s soccer event on the Tokyo Olympics.

How does the event work?

The 12-nation discipline has been divided into three round-robin teams, and the primary spherical runs from July 21 to July 27.

Discover dwell streams, must-watch video highlights, breaking information and extra in a single excellent Olympic Video games package deal. Following Workforce Canada has by no means been simpler or extra thrilling.

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The three teams are:

  • Group E: Japan, Canada, Chile and Nice Britain.
  • Group F: China, Brazil, the Netherlands and Zambia.
  • Group G: Sweden, United States, Australia and New Zealand.

The highest two groups in every group, plus the 2 greatest third-place sides general, advance to the quarter-finals, which start on July 30. From there, it is a single elimination format proper up till the bronze medal match (Aug. 5) and the ultimate (Aug. 6).

What does Canada’s roster appear to be?

Right here is coach Bev Priestman’s 22-player squad. Solely 18 gamers can costume for video games.

Goalkeepers: Stephanie Labbé, Kailen Sheridan and Erin McLeod.

Defenders: Kadeisha Buchanan, Vanessa Gilles, Shelina Zadorsky, Allysha Chapman, Ashley Lawrence, Jayde Riviere and Gabrielle Carle.

Midfielders: Jessie Fleming, Julia Grosso, Quinn, Desiree Scott and Sophie Schmidt.

Forwards: Janine Beckie, Adriana Leon, Nichelle Prince, Deanne Rose, Christine Sinclair, Evelyne Viens and Jordyn Huitema.

Captain Sinclair (299 caps) is essentially the most skilled member on Canada’s Olympic workforce, and one among 5 gamers who’s made greater than 100 worldwide appearances. The others are Schmidt (205), Scott (162), McLeod (116) and Buchanan (103).

On the different finish of the spectrum are Viens (seven),Gilles (eight), Sheridan (10) and Riviere (21).

In whole, 12 gamers on this Canadian squad had been a part of the workforce that received back-to-back bronze medals in 2012 and 2016, and there are 15 returning gamers from the 2019 FIFA World Cup workforce.

Essentially the most notable absence on Canada’s roster is veteran midfielder Diana Matheson who, at age 37, not too long ago introduced her retirement as a result of harm issues the previous few years. She earned 206 caps and was a key member of the Canadian workforce that received back-to-back bronze medals. Matheson additionally scored the successful aim in opposition to France within the third-place recreation on the 2012 Olympics in London.

WATCH | Christine Sinclair’s epic efficiency at 2012 Olympics:

The efficiency of Sinclair and the remainder of the Canadian workforce helped ignite a ardour for girls’s soccer in Canada. The workforce went on to win bronze after a hard-fought loss to their rivals, the USA. an achievement no Canadian workforce had achieved at a Summer season Olympics since 1936. 1:32

How tough is Canada’s group?

Ranked No. 8 within the present FIFA world rankings, Canada opens play on the Tokyo Video games on July 21 in opposition to No. 10 Japan and performs No. 37 Chile on July 24. Each video games are in Sapporo.

Canada’s workforce then meets Nice Britain on July 27 in Kashima. FIFA doesn’t rank Nice Britain, however its workforce can be made up of largely gamers from No. 6 England, in addition to some from No. 23 Scotland, No. 34 Wales and No. 48 Northern Eire.

The opening contest is a troublesome one for coach Priestman’s aspect because it comes in opposition to the hosts. The Japanese sport a 7-4-3 all-time report in opposition to the Canadians, together with a 2-1 victory within the group stage of the 2012 London Video games en path to successful the silver medal. What’s extra, Japan earned a 4-0 win on Oct. 6, 2019 of their earlier assembly, handing Canada its heaviest loss in seven years.

Two years after taking part in in its first Ladies’s World Cup, Chile will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo. The South Individuals are led by Christiane Endler, who’s considered top-of-the-line goalkeepers on the earth. Chile beat Canada 1-0 on the 2013 Torneio Internacional de Futebol Feminino, the one earlier assembly between the international locations. However that was a very long time in the past, and Canada is broadly anticipated to simply see off the Chileans.

The primary-round finale in opposition to Nice Britain will possible resolve the place Canada finishes in Group E and decide its path to the medal podium. Nice Britain’s aspect is generally made up of English gamers and can be coached by England’s interim supervisor Hege Riise.

England defeated host Canada within the quarter-finals of the 2015 Ladies’s World Cup and reached the semifinals of the 2019 event. However the Lionesses have dropped off within the final two years and earned simply two wins of their final six matches. The all-time sequence between Canada and England is useless even, with seven wins apiece in 14 matches relationship again to their first encounter on the 1995 FIFA Ladies’s World Cup in Sweden.

Who’re the event favourites?

America is the No. 1 ranked workforce on the earth, and with Germany and France (ranked No. 2 and three, respectively) having did not qualify for the Olympics, the Individuals should be thought-about the favourites. The U.S. can be seeking to develop into the primary workforce in historical past to win the World Cup and an Olympic gold medal again to again.

However although the two-time defending World Cup champions are at the moment using a 44-game unbeaten run in worldwide play, they’ve a degree to show in Tokyo after being upset by Sweden within the quarter-finals of the 2016 Rio Video games and failing to win a medal. The U.S. is in the identical group with Sweden this time round, and so they have not forgotten about what occurred 5 years in the past.

Ranked No. 4, the Netherlands has made nice strides during the last decade, having certified for the World Cup for the primary time on the 2015 event in Canada. They adopted that up by successful the European Championship two years later, and completed runners-up on the 2019 World Cup in France. Now they’re able to mark their Olympic debut by occurring a deep run in Tokyo.

Sweden (No. 5) and Brazil (No. 7) each have deep squads suffering from gamers who ply their commerce at among the prime golf equipment in Europe and the Nationwide Ladies’s Soccer League (NWSL). Each international locations are desperate to lastly break via a win a gold medal — particularly the Swedes who settled for a silver 5 years in the past in Rio.

Who’re among the prime gamers to observe?

English defender Lucy Bronze is the reigning FIFA ladies’s participant of the yr and is coming off a sensational membership season, throughout which she helped Manchester Metropolis end second in England’s FA Ladies’s Tremendous League and attain the quarter-finals of the UEFA Ladies’s Champions League.

Manchester Metropolis’s Lucy Bronze is proven in motion with West Ham United’s Laura Vetterlein on Could 9. She is likely one of the gamers to observe in Tokyo. (Motion Photographs by way of Reuters)

Brazil’s Marta Vieira da Silva, who goes solely by Marta, is a real legend of the sport. She’s been named FIFA ladies’s participant of the yr six occasions and has scored over 100 objectives for her nation. However she’s by no means received an Olympic gold medal, and at age 35, this might be her final likelihood. 

Dutch ahead Vivianne Miedema is a goal-scoring machine. The 24-year-old star for Arsenal is her nation’s all-time prime scorer with 73 objectives in 96 appearances, and he or she is a ruthless finisher.

Rose Lavelle is an beautiful two-way midfielder who can pull the inventive strings for the USA, whereas teammate and veteran ahead Alex Morgan is a harmful aim scorer who will lead the attacking cost for the Individuals.

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