Canada Women's Soccer Team Seeks Olympic Redemption Against Jamaica
Canada's national women's soccer team is gearing up for an Olympic qualifying match against Jamaica, determined to make amends for their unexpected early exit from the Women's World Cup and defend their Olympic gold medal, according to coach Bev Priestman. The clash between the Tokyo Olympic champions and Jamaica is scheduled for September 22 in Kingston and September 26 in Toronto, and it will be a winner-takes-all Olympic qualifying series.
Priestman expressed the team's motivation, stating, "Motivated because we obviously want to put the wrong right, but also motivated because you know how dear the Olympic Games is to this group's heart." She shared that the team's post-World Cup assessment involved individual player meetings and a collective team reset.
Reflecting on her experience in Fiji, Priestman emphasized that the disappointment of their World Cup performance transcended location. She explained, "We have to turn the page, we can't go into camp unpacking the World Cup, and so we did that."
Canada boasts an unbeaten record of nine games against Jamaica, although the Reggae Girlz reached the round of 16 at the World Cup while Canada was eliminated in the opening round after a 0-0 draw with Nigeria, a 2-1 win over Ireland, and a 4-0 loss to Australia.
The squad announced by Priestman features 21 of the 23 players from the World Cup group, with the notable absence of Sophie Schmidt, who retired after the tournament in Australia.
Furthermore, Priestman discussed the incident involving Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales, who kissed player Jenni Hermoso on the lips following Spain's 1-0 victory over England in the World Cup final. She expressed her sadness for Spain's players, noting that the incident had overshadowed what should have been a momentous occasion for them. Priestman also highlighted how this incident shed light on ongoing issues within women's soccer and hoped it would catalyze necessary systemic changes.
Finally, the Canada squad for the upcoming matches includes goalkeepers Sabrina D'Angelo, Lysianne Proulx, and Kailen Sheridan, along with defenders, midfielders, and forwards who will strive to secure their spot in the Olympics.