Francophone Games was highlight of 2009 youth season

Canada’s fourth-place finish at the Francophone Games Soccer Tournament was the highlight of Canada’s 2009 youth teams’ season. It was Canada’s men’s U-20 team that finished fourth at the nine team tournament in October. The team held eventual champion Congo to a 2:2 draw in the semi-final stage, but was then relegated to the match for third place after losing 1-2 on kicks from the penalty mark.
Canadian goalkeeper Michal Misiewicz was the player of note in Canada’s last three games of the tournament. He posted a clean sheet in a 2:0 victory over Cameroon to help clinch first place in Canada’s three-team group. In the semi-final against Congo, he was again spectacular, especially on kicks from penalty mark when he made three successive saves against Congo.

Canada’s fourth-place finish at the Francophone Games Soccer Tournament was the highlight of Canada’s 2009 youth teams’ season. It was Canada’s men’s U-20 team that finished fourth at the nine team tournament in October. The team held eventual champion Congo to a 2:2 draw in the semi-final stage, but was then relegated to the match for third place after losing 1-2 on kicks from the penalty mark.
Canadian goalkeeper Michal Misiewicz was the player of note in Canada’s last three games of the tournament. He posted a clean sheet in a 2:0 victory over Cameroon to help clinch first place in Canada’s three-team group. In the semi-final against Congo, he was again spectacular, especially on kicks from penalty mark when he made three successive saves against Congo.
In 2009, Canada’s men’s U-20 team’s overall record was two wins, two draws and five losses. At the 2009 CONCACAF Men’s Under-20 Championship in Trinidad & Tobago, Canada had a big 2:0 win over Mexico, but was then eliminated in group play after a 1:2 loss to eventual champion Costa Rica. Canada played that last match without captain Nana Attakora who was injured in the win over Mexico.
Striker Randy Edwini-Bonsu co-won the tournament goal-scoring title with three goals – two against Mexico and one against Costa Rica. He shared the tournament lead with Costa Rica’s Josue Martinez and Honduras’ Roger Fabricio Rojas.
At the U-17 level, Canada posted one win, one draw and six losses. At the 2009 CONCACAF Men’s Under-17 Championship in Mexico, Canada failed to advance beyond the group stage. Canada posted a 1:1 draw against Honduras on the opening day, but then fell 2:4 against USA in the second group match. Canada was the only team to score against USA. In the final group match against Cuba, Canada not only needed to win, but it needed to win with an impressive goal differential. Near the end of the match when it was pressing for more goals, Canada gave up two goals and fell 1:2 to Cuba.
On the women’s side, both the women’s U-20 and women’s U-17 teams began preparations for 2010 qualification tournaments. The women’s U-20 team, who posted an 0-1-3 record in 2009, will participate in the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship in January in Guatemala. Canada is the defending CONCACAF champion at the U-20 level. The women’s U-17 team, meanwhile, will participate in the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship in March in Costa Rica.
In 2009, the Canadian U-20 Players of the Year were Nana Attakora and Chelsea Stewart; the Canadian U-17 Players of the Year were Russell Teibert and Abigail Raymer. Canada’s four youth coaches are Tony Fonseca (men’s U-20, now featuring players born 1991 or later), Sean Fleming (men’s U-17, now featuring players born 1994 or later), Carolina Morace (women’s U-20, players born 1990 or later) and Ian Bridge (women’s U-17, players born 1993 or later).
To date, Canada’s national youth teams have won four CONCACAF championships – the 1986 and 1996 CONCACAF Men’s Under-20 Championships and the 2004 and 2008 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championships. Canada has participated in eight FIFA U-20 World Cups (1979, 1985, 1987, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007), all four FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cups (2002 silver, 2004, 2006 and 2008), four FIFA U-17 World Cups (1987, 1989, 1993 and 1995), and the lone FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup (2008).

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