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CanWNT announces Four Nations Tournament roster

posted by All White Kit
Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 9:17am EST

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The Canadian Women’s National Team is kicking off the 2013 season with the Yongchuan Cup – Four Nations Women’s Tournament. Head coach John Herdman selected a 21-player travel roster, announced Friday afternoon. Players will travel to China on Sunday, January 6.

Similar to the December 2012 camp, Herdman is integrating a number of younger players into the senior team set-up in strategizing a possession-focused tactical shift. He told media, “We are trying to achieve a style of play and performance that the country can really enjoy and be proud of. We have identified some gaps in our performances and we need to begin exploring the changes that will allow us to close those gaps”.

More specifically, Herdman wants the team to “improve our width in attack; possession; ability to control a game”.

The roster is led by 12 players from last summer’s Olympic bronze medal winning team. Notably absent is forward Melissa Tancredi, who is focusing on completing chiropractic college in St. Louis, Missouri. Captain Christine Sinclair is training and traveling with the team, but not competing as she will be serving part of her four-game suspension.

Among the seven uncapped players are youngsters Kadeisha Buchanan, Ashley Lawrence and Nichelle Prince of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Azerbaijan 2012 team; Adriana Leon, Christabel Oduro and Shelina Zadorsky, who represented Canada at the  FIFA U-20 WWC Japan 2012; and Tiffany Cameron from the FIFA U-17 WWC New Zealand 2008 team.

Herdman is adamant that style and personnel changes are a necessary means to an end of establishing the desired style of play of Canada, currently the FIFA ranked 7th best team in the world. “We need to take a step back from winning in the immediate. We need to focus on evolving our footy DNA”. Herdman believes that Canada has the talent to compete against the top teams in the world, but the numbers of such players need to grow.

Staged at the Yongchuan Olympic Centre from January 12-16, the round-robin Four Nations Tournament features hosts China, along with Canada, South Korea and Norway.

Canada has a 4W, 5D, 14L record against China with Canada winning the last three meetings. Their first and most notable win came in 2003 when Canada upset China 1-0 at the WWC on a goal by Charmaine Hooper. China, currently ranked 17th in the world, is a former women’s soccer powerhouse in the midst of rebuilding its program.

On other other hand, South Korea is a relatively unfamiliar opponent having only competed three times against Canada. In each case, Canada was victorious against the now 16th ranked team. South Korea has seen growing success among its youth teams with their U-17s claiming the 2010 WWC Trinidad & Tobago title and finishing in third at the U-20 WWC Germany 2010.

To close out the tournament, Canada will then face the 12th ranked Norway, now being led by former CanWNT coach Even Pellerud. Despite dominating Canada in the past with a 8W, 2D record, Norway, similar to China, is now in the process of reestablishing its team on the international stage.

Canada previously competed at China’s Four Nations Tournament in 2004, 2008 and 2011. Their fourth place finish in 2004 came at a loss to Sweden before capturing third  in 2008 against Finland. Canada’s best results came in 2011, finishing in second with two wins and a loss.

Following the tournament, Canada will regroup for the 2013 Cyprus Women’s Cup, March 4-14. Canada is in Group B against Finland, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The tournament schedule will be announced on a future date.

Canada’s matches (time conversions by the Canadian Soccer Association)

vs. China January 12 (2pm local/3am ET/12am PT)

vs. South Korea January 14 (7pm local/8am ET/5am PT)

vs. Norway January 16 (5pm local/6am ET/3am PT)

Roster (Name, Date of Birth, Hometown, College or club)

GK- Karina LeBlanc | 1980 | Maple Ridge, BC, CAN
GK- Erin McLeod | 1983 | Edmonton & Calgary, AB, CAN | SWE / Dalsjöfors G.o.I.F.
CB- Kadeisha Buchanan | 1995 | Mississauga, ON, CAN | CAN / Erin Mills Mighty Eagles U-16
CB- Shelina Zadorsky | 1992 | London, ON, CAN | CAN / Toronto Lady Lynx
CB- Emily Zurrer | 1987 | Crofton, BC, CAN | SWE / Dalsjöfors G.o.I.F.
FB- Robyn Gayle | 1985 | Mississauga, ON, CAN
FB- Bryanna McCarthy | 1991 | Ajax, ON, CAN | USA / University of West Virginia
FB- Lauren Sesselmann | 1983 | Green Bay, WI, USA
FB- Rhian Wilkinson | 1982 | Baie d’Urfé, QC, CAN | NOR / Lillestrøm SK Kvinner
M- Kaylyn Kyle | 1988 | Saskatoon, SK, CAN
M- Ashley Lawrence | 1995 | Calendon East, ON, CAN | CAN / Erin Mills Mighty Eagles
M- Diana Matheson | 1984 | Oakville, ON, CAN | NOR / Lillestrøm SK Kvinner
M- Christabel Oduro | 1992 | Brampton, ON, CAN | CAN / Hamilton FC
M- Sophie Schmidt | 1988 | Abbotsford, BC, CAN | SWE / Kristianstads DFF
M- Desiree Scott | 1987 | Winnipeg, MB, CAN | CAN / WSA North Stars
M- Chelsea Stewart | 1990 | Denver, CO, USA & The Pas, MB, CAN | USA / UCLA
F- Tiffany Cameron | 1991 | Mississauga, ON, CAN | USA / Ohio State University
F- Adriana Leon | 1992 | Maple, ON, CAN | USA / University of Florida
F- Nichelle Prince | 1995 | Ajax, ON, CAN | CAN / Pickering SC
F- Jodi-Ann Robinson | 1989 | Richmond, BC, CAN
F- Christine Sinclair | 1983 | Burnaby, BC, CAN

Originally published on RedNationOnline.ca.

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