Canada departs for China and Four Nations Tournament

Canada’s women’s national team departs for Guangzhou, China today to play in the 2008 Four Nations Tournament. Coach Even Pellerud and his staff will take 21 players to China for the four-team, three-game tournament to be played at the Guangzhou Olympic Stadium.



Canada’s women’s national team – whose title sponsor is Winners – is preparing for April’s CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament in México. Canada is playing its first three preparatory games of the 2008 season at the Four Nations Tournament. Canada plays the United States on 16 January (13.00 local time), hosts China on 18 January (14.00), and Suomi (Finland) on 20 January (13.00).

Canada’s women’s national team departs for Guangzhou, China today to play in the 2008 Four Nations Tournament. Coach Even Pellerud and his staff will take 21 players to China for the four-team, three-game tournament to be played at the Guangzhou Olympic Stadium.



Canada’s women’s national team – whose title sponsor is Winners – is preparing for April’s CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament in México. Canada is playing its first three preparatory games of the 2008 season at the Four Nations Tournament. Canada plays the United States on 16 January (13.00 local time), hosts China on 18 January (14.00), and Suomi (Finland) on 20 January (13.00).



“We are heading to the Four Nations Tournament with a strong team, but also a very young team,” says Pellerud. “A number of our FIFA World Cup veterans are not available due to injury-recovery programs and school commitments.”



There are 12 players on the Four Nations Tournament roster who took part in the FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007 just four months ago, including captain Christine Sinclair and defender Randee Hermus.



“Some of our younger talents are piling up,” says Pellerud. “Quite a few of these youngsters will enjoy their first international senior experience in China, specifically Julie Armstrong, Taryne Boudreau, Jonelle Filigno, Kaylyn Kyle, Monica Lam-Feist and Alexandra Marton.”



There are, in fact, eight players on the 21-player roster that are young enough to take part in next winter’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Chile 2008. The youngest, Monica-Lam-Feist at 16, is young enough to take part in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup New Zealand 2008. Along with the six newcomers, Canada boast two “young veterans” – Jodi-Ann Robinson and Sophie Schmidt, both from last September’s China 2007 team.



“They are all exciting athletes who will make an impact on this team in the short term and in the long term.”



Along with the six new teenagers, there are three other young players that were not at China 2007: 24-year old players Amy Vermeulen and Clare Rustad and 21-year old goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé. Vermeulen, who has seven caps with the senior team, was part of last year’s residency camp and even won a bronze medal at the XV Pan American Games in Rio. Rustad and Labbé are both new to the residency camp.



“Goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé has taken the step up to the World Cup team,” says Pellerud. “We are also happy to see a “comeback” from Clare Rustad at this level.”



Rustad has 24 senior caps, but her last was on 4 September 2003 against México (she scored once in the 6:0 win). She is also part of the Canada 2002 legacy, having won a silver medal at the first-ever FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship (now the FIFA U-20 World Cup).



Labbé, meanwhile, recently reached the quarter-final of the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship (Connecticut lost 2:3 in double overtime to Florida State). Labbé has no senior caps, but 13 at the youth level including experience at two FIFA U-20 World Cups (Thailand 2004 and Russia 2006).



“This team has trained hard since early November,” says Pellerud. “The team is very eager to play in these international games.”

Canada Soccer Nation Podcast

The Canada Soccer Nation Podcast hosted by Jason deVos, features engaging Canadian soccer guests speaking about a range of grassroots, coach education and club development topics. Check out all available episodes now!