Paris 2024 at heart of Canada home preparations in British Columbia

#CANWNT

Preview by Richard Scott

Canada have a clear objective heading into a pair of December home matches that will wrap up their 2023 international season. With less than eight months to go until the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Head Coach Bev Priestman knows that every moment that they have together will be crucial in their preparations for next year’s big event.

With two international matches against the world’s fourth-best team from this past summer, Priestman knows this will be an important window in which Canada can build momentum from their successful qualification campaign in September on the road to Paris 2024. While there will also be a pretty big send-off party for a trio of legendary players in front of family, friends and supporters, Priestman underlines that the group must remain squarely on track to defend their Olympic Gold Medal next July and August in France.

Both December matches will be broadcast live across Canada starting with the Friday sold-out opener on OneSoccer (22.30 ET / 19.30 PT), available as a linear channel on Telus’ Optik TV (Channel 980) as well as online at OneSoccer.ca, through the OneSoccer app and on the fuboTV Canada platform. from Langford on Vancouver Island. The Tuesday 5 December match, which will equally celebrate the international careers of Erin McLeod, Sophie Schmidt and captain Christine Sinclair, will be broadcast live across Canada on both OneSoccer and TSN. Fans will find extended coverage for the matches across Canada Soccer’s digital channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube featuring the hashtag #CANWNT.

Since this past summer’s FIFA World Cup in Australia & New Zealand, Canada have posted three wins and one loss in four matches, including their qualification to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games on Tuesday 26 September in Toronto. Australia, meanwhile, have posted three-straight wins in an early round of Olympic Qualifiers from 26 October through 1 November in Asia. Australia’s next two qualifiers are in late February against Uzbekistan while Canada have the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup in the same window.

Canada are one of five nations that have qualified for the Paris 2024 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, which runs 25 July to 10 August across seven cities in France. Seven more nations have yet to qualify through qualifiers in Asia (two nations), Oceania (one nation), Europe (two nations) and Africa (two nations). Already qualified for the 12-nation tournament are Canada, USA, Brazil, Colombia and hosts France.

This will be Canada’s fifth-consecutive Olympic Games since Beijing 2008, with notably back-to-back Bronze Medals from London 2012 and Rio 2016 followed by a historic Olympic Gold Medal at Tokyo in 2021. Canada (women) and Brazil (men) are the only nations to reach the podium in each of the past three Olympic Games, but they know they will have to be at their best to make it four in a row. From 120 years of Olympic Football, only four nations have achieved that feat (Hungary, Yugoslavia and Brazil in the Men’s Tournament; only USA in the Women’s Tournament).

 To wrap up their 2023 international season, Canada have already posted a record of five wins, one draw and five losses in 11 matches since February’s SheBelieves Cup. They were disappointed to be eliminated from the group phase at the FIFA World Cup, but they have rebounded to qualify for the Olympic Games with back-to-back wins over Jamaica in September. They’ve also had four-straight home sell outs (Toronto, Montréal, Halifax, Langford) and will play in front of one of the largest sporting crowds of any sport in Canada this year when they get to Vancouver on 5 December.

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