Canada
© AFP

The past
Canada have participated in all three FIFA women's youth finals, making their biggest mark in the inaugural competition in 2002. Then the tournament was known as the FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship, and a Christine Sinclair-led Canuck side roared all the way to the final where they were unfortunate to lose to the United States in a golden-goal extra time period.

The present
The Canadian youngsters, currently led by former international Ian Bridge, are reigning champions of the CONCACAF region after getting the edge on the Americans for the first time since 2004 in the qualifying competition in Mexico. Karla Schacher scored the lone goal in the final to see the girls from the Great White North head to Chile 2008 as reigning champions of the North, Central American and Caribbean zone, usually the domain of the mighty USA.

The future
The Canadians head to the 2008 finals hoping to shed their tag as nearly women and bring home a first world title. To this end, coach Bridge - who has served as assistant for both the women's senior and U-20 teams - will take hold of the reins. There are no doubts about his ability or experience, as the former FIFA World Cup™ participant previously led the Canadians to three FIFA U-20 Women's World Cups - Canada 2002 (where they reached the final), Thailand 2004 and Russia 2006.

Facts and figures
Former stars
Christine Sinclair, Kara Lang, Brittany Timko (2002), Robyn Gayle, Jodi-Ann Robinson (2004), Amanda Cicchini (2006)

Key players
Karla Schacher (forward), Erin McNulty (goalkeeper), Sophie Schmidt (midfield), Jodi-Ann Robinson (forward)

Qualifying statistics
The Canadians won all three of their group games to amass a perfect nine points from their three-game section in Mexico

The numbers game
1 - the number of goals the Canadians conceded in the first round of qualifying for Chile 2008. They scored nine.