Canada Soccer’s U-17 team will build from an important experience in Brazil as part of their preparations for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Indonesia 2023, despite back-to-back losses to the reigning South American champions. Canada lost 3:1 on Friday and then 5:0 on Sunday, their first international matches since the Concacaf Men’s Under-17 Championship back in February.
“This was exactly the type of opponent our youth team needed to experience in order to measure ourselves and grow,” said Andrew Olivieri, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Youth Excel Director and U-17 Coach.
Canada, who have qualified for back-to-back FIFA U-17 World Cups for the first time in a decade, will head to Indonesia this November for the biennial 24-nation world competition. While Canada’s young players have spent the summer playing for their clubs at the academy or professional level, this is the first time they have come together as a group with the best players from the nation. In Brazil, the Canada squad had just two full sessions together before they went toe-to-toe with their opponents.
“We’re fortunate Brazil gave us this opportunity to assemble the group before the FIFA U-17 World Cup,” said Olivieri. “It may have been too many months without being together, but we’ll turn the learnings into what we need to achieve our goal of reaching the knockout stage for the first time ever at a FIFA U-17 World Cup.”
Canada have competed in seven previous editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup since 1987, but they have yet to get a win or escape the group stage. They will open this year’s tournament on 10 November against Spain, then face Uzbekistan on 13 November and Mali on 16 November. Unlike the September trip to Brazil, Canada hope to have more than a week together in Indonesia before they open their tournament at the Manaham Stadium in Surakarta, Indonesia.
“We’ve all been looking forward to this, but if I think of the players because it has to be really exciting for them to finally put a flag on the chest of that opponent they’ve been imagining across from them,” said Olivieri after the Official Draw. “It has suddenly become very real and we can now focus on what’s ahead.”
From the September trip to Brazil, Olivieri and his staff had the chance to assess the progress of their players since the Concacaf tournament, integrate a few new players to the squad, and identify gaps and opportunities ahead of the FIFA tournament in November. On the pitch, the players were given the chance to compete opposite the famous yellow, green and blue colours of Brazil, an experience that will help the young Canadians in their journeys across professional and international football.
Canada Soccer’s Men’s EXCEL Program channels our nation’s exceptional players into the best soccer environments. The Canada Soccer Pathway works in collaboration with our provincial and territory partners as well as the professional clubs and academies. For Canada’s elite players, the program emphasizes player development on the pathway to representing Canada’s Men’s National Team in international soccer.
CANADA SOCCER’S MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM PROGRAM
Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team are three-time Concacaf champions, previously winning the 1985 Concacaf Championship, 2000 Concacaf Gold Cup, and 2021-22 Concacaf Qualifiers. Canada most recently qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and have previously featured at the 1976 and 1984 Olympic Games, the 1986 FIFA World Cup, and the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Youth Teams have won two Concacaf titles: both the 1986 and 1996 Concacaf Men’s Youth Championships. Canada have qualified for 16 FIFA men’s youth tournaments: eight editions of the FIFA U-20 World Cup and eight editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Canada most recently qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Indonesia 2023 in February of this year.
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