Canada WNT continues progress en route to London 2012

Canada wraps up North American camp, prepares for European departure in advance of London 2012

Canada officially concluded its North American preparations with an international test on Saturday 30 June in advance of the London 2012 Olympics. The Women’s International Friendly match wrapped up five months of preparations on this side of the Atlantic following a silver-medal performance at the 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament in late January.

Canada fell 1:2 to CONCACAF rival and defending Olympic champion USA in Sandy, UT, conceding a late goal to American forward Amy Rodriguez. USA had the lead in the 15th minute after an unfortunate own goal by Canada, but Melissa Tancredi responded with an equaliser for Canada just before the hour mark.

“We had a game plan to keep it tight,” said Canadian head coach John Herdman. “Today, we were one goal away from the potential gold medalists.”

Canada will spend the next two weeks in Switzerland wrapping up the final touches on a six-month program heading into the London 2012 Olympics. Canada’s first match in 25 July against defending FIFA Women’s World Cup champion Japan.

“Our progress has been quite solid,” said Herdman of the team. “I’m quite happy. Physically we are not too far away from them (USA). Tactically and defensively, our back four was pretty solid and Erin (McLeod) made two world-class saves against the top team in the world.

“We also said there will be a moment when our opportunity will come and we better take it… and along came Tancredi at the right time.”

Twelve teams will compete at the London 2012 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament from 25 July to 9 August. Teams are split into three groups, with Great Britain, Brazil, Cameroon and New Zealand in Group E, Canada, Japan, South Africa and Sweden in Group F, and Colombia, France, Korea DPR and USA in Group G. In the London 2012 group phase, Canada will face Japan on 25 July, South Africa on 28 July, and Sweden on 31 July.

From the goal out, Canada’s Olympic squad will feature Karina LeBlanc and Erin McLeod as goalkeepers, Emily Zurrer, Carmelina Moscato, Robyn Gayle, Rhian Wilkinson, Candace Chapman, Chelsea Stewart and Lauren Sesselmann as defenders, and Kaylyn Kyle, Diana Matheson, Desiree Scott, Christine Sinclair, Sophie Schmidt, Melissa Tancredi, Kelly Parker, Jonelle Filigno and Brittany Timko from the midfield up through to the attack.

For full coverage of Canada’s road to the London 2012 Olympics, fans can follow all the news at CanadaSoccer.com. Fans are also encouraged to connect with Canada’s women’s team via canadasoccer.com/madeforthistwitter.com/CanadaSoccerENfacebook.com/CanadaSoccerflickr.com/canadasoccer, and youtube.com/canadasoccertv.

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