Jessie Fleming and Kadisha Buchanan lead Canada’s lead in the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup

Midfielder Jessie Fleming, recently acquired by the Portland Thorns, and former Chelsea teammates Kadisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence, are among 23 players called up by Canadian coach Bev Priestman for the W CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The inaugural Women’s Gold Cup is scheduled to be held from February 20 to March 10 in the United States.

The draw placed Canada, ranked tenth in the world, in the third group with Costa Rica No. 43, Paraguay No. 50, Guatemala No. 80 or El Salvador No. 104.

The Guatemala-El Salvador matchup is one of three playoff games scheduled for Feb. 17 in Carson, California. The other two games are No. 51 Haiti versus No. 103 Puerto Rico and No. 87 Guyana versus No. 107 Dominican Republic.

The playoffs will fill the bottom three spots in the 12-team tournament field.

Canada will play all three of its matches at Shell Energy Stadium in Houston, opening against Guatemala or El Salvador on February 22 before facing Paraguay on February 25 and Costa Rica on February 28.

Prior to the CONCACAF Championship, Canada will hold a camp in Texas from February 12-18 for off-season players and to evaluate new talent and those returning from injury.

Players from the season in Europe will join the Canadian team for the tournament.

Desiree Scott returns from a long-term injury

“We are excited to take advantage of every opportunity we can to get on the grass and work with the players ahead of this important tournament,” Priestman said in a statement. “It’s very important in terms of preparation that we prepare the offseason group for tournament play, but I’m also excited to connect with the individuals on and off the field in a unique small team setting.”

Veteran midfielder Desiree Scott, who is returning from a long leg injury, will attend the preparatory camp, as will University of Pennsylvania goalkeeper Lawrence Gladue and Angel City defender Megan Reid, who holds dual American and Canadian citizenship. The three will return to their clubs/universities at the end of the camp.

The 23-player tournament roster includes eight players from the FA Women’s Super League, two from Italy and one each from Australia, France, Portugal and Sweden. There are seven players from the NWSL and two from the NCAA ranks.

After the quarter-final stage of the Gold Cup, the three group winners, three second-place finishers and the two best third-place finishers advance to the quarter-finals at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles.

“Just like the Olympic Games, the Gold Cup presents significant challenges that test us as a team, including adapting to different playing styles, managing quick transitions and travel, and managing players in and out of season,” Priestman said.

He added: “We hope to build on the strong performance we had at the end of 2023, and also move towards where we hope to be by July, both in terms of team selection and the way we look on the pitch.”

Canada has won five of six since a disappointing performance at last summer’s World Cup in Australia that saw them exit at the group stage. Priestman’s team, which went 7-5-1 in 2023, has conceded just two goals since the World Cup and posted three straight clean sheets.

The Gold Cup marks the beginning of the 2024 Canadian women’s road to the Paris Olympics this summer. After the W Gold Cup, the Canadian Olympic champion will compete in the SheBelieves Cup in April in the United States

The Olympic football competition will be held with the participation of 12 teams from July 24 to August 10.

Canada pre-camp list

Goalkeepers: x-Lawrence Gladu, Cailin Sheridan, Lysiane Proulx

Defenders: Gabrielle Karl, Sydney Collins, x Megan Reed; Jade rose

Midfielders: Simi Ojo, Jesse Fleming, Queen, x Desiree Scott

Attackers: Jordyn Heitema, Clarissa Larisi, Nichelle Prince

x- indicates players returning to their clubs/universities after the pre-camp period

Canada CONCACAF W Gold Cup List

Goalkeepers

  • Sabrina D’Angelo, Arsenal (England); Lysiane Proulx, Melbourne (Australia); Kailyn Sheridan San Diego Wave (NWSL)

Defenders

  • Kadisha Buchanan, Chelsea (England)
  • Gabriel Karl, Washington Spirit (NWSL)
  • Sidney Collins, North Carolina Valiant (NWSL)
  • Vanessa Gil, Olympique Lyonnais (France)
  • Ashley Lawrence, Chelsea (England)
  • Jade Riviere, Manchester United (England)
  • Jade Rose, Harvard University (NCAA)
  • Shelina Zadorsky, West Ham (England)

Midfielders

  • Simi Owojo, University of Southern California (NCAA)
  • Jesse Fleming, Portland Thorns (NWSL)
  • Giulia Grosso, Juventus (Italy)
  • Queen, Seattle Reign (NWSL)
  • Midfielder/Forward: Olivia Smith, Sporting Lisbon (Portugal)

straight ahead

  • Jordin Huitema, Seattle Reign (NWSL)
  • Chloe Lacasse, Arsenal (England)
  • Clarissa Larisi, BK Hack FF (Sweden)
  • Adriana Leon, Aston Villa (England)
  • Nicole Prince, current Kansas City Chiefs (NWSL)
  • Dean Rose – Leicester City (England)
  • Evelyn Viens, Roma Club (Italy)

(Tags for translation)CONCACAF

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