Canada are the only team from North, Central America and the Caribbean to have qualified for every U-17 Women’s World Cup. However, they have failed to progress past the quarter-final stage on three occasions. They lost to Germany 3-1 in 2008, Korea DPR 2-1 in 2012 and Venezuela 3-2 in 2014, all in the last-eight round. So, the big question for the CONCACAF nation going into Jordan 2016 is clear: will the Canucks finally advance to the semi-finals?
Canada booked their ticket to Jordan 2016 with a 4-2 win over Haiti in the match for third place at the CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship Grenada 2016. Canada had lost 2-1 to Haiti in the group stages of the tournament and finished second in their group. The result was one of the shocks of the tournament, especially after Canada recorded resounding wins over Guatemala (3-0) and hosts Grenada (7-0) going into the match. However, their ability to show the resolve to win under pressure with qualification on the line will certainly be a beneficial trait to them at the world finals.
Coach Beverly Priestman brings experience from Costa Rica 2014 to the table to her squad. At the qualifying tournament, Canada showed their strength in depth, as substitutes scored a total of five goals coming off the bench. Jayde Riviere’s long-distance strike against Guatemala in the opener was one of the more impressive goals in the tournament. In Sarah Stratigakis, the Canucks have a midfielder who can score goals, too. Priestman will be looking to Jordyn Huitema, Shana Flynn and Teni Akindoju, among others, to score. More importantly, they will need to shore up their defense going into Jordan after leaking five goals to USA in the semi-finals in Grenada.