Rose, Smith to lead Canada at CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship

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Published February 14, 2022 at 6:29 pm

TORONTO — Defender Jade Rose and forward Olivia Smith, who have both been capped at the senior level, will lead Canada at the CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship

The tournament, which runs Feb. 25 through March 12 in the Dominican Republic, will send three teams to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica in August. 

The CONCACAF champion, runner-up and third-place finisher will join host Costa Rica as representatives of North and Central America and the Caribbean at the U-20 World Cup.

Rose and Smith each have two senior appearances. Goalkeeper Anna Karpenko and midfielder Nikayla Small have also been called up by the senior team but have yet to play.

The 20-woman Canadian squad, drawn mostly from NCAA schools, will be coached by Cindy Tye. Four other players will take part in a pre-tournament camp.

Canada will open Group G play on Feb. 25 against Saint Kitts and Nevis before facing El Salvador on Feb. 27 and Trinidad and Tobago on March 1 with all three matches at the Estadio Panamericano in San Cristobal.

The tournament starts with a 16-team group stage split into four groups of four, with the top three teams in each pool advancing to the knockout stage. 

Group E features the defending champion U.S., host Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Nicaragua while Group F is comprised of Mexico, Honduras, Guyana and Panama. Group H features Haiti, Jamaica, Guatemala and Cuba.

The 12 teams that move on will join Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Curaçao and Suriname, which advanced directly to the knockout round from a qualifying event that took place in September.

The knockout stage of the competition will be a single-match elimination format with the tournament champion, runner-up and third-pace finisher advancing to the U20 World Cup. 

It marks the first CONCACAF youth tournament since the global pandemic began in March 2020. Canada will also compete in the CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship from April 23 to May 8 as well as the CONCACAF Men’s Under-20 Championship this summer.

Canada has qualified for seven editions of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, finishing runner-up in 2002 when a Canadian team featuring a young Christine Sinclair lost to the U.S. in sudden-death extra time before 47,784 at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium. That inaugural event was competed at the U-19 level with the event since switching to U-20.

The Canadian women failed to qualify for the 2018 U-20 World Cup in France and did not get out of the group stage in 2016 in Papua New Guinea. Canada hosted the event in 2014, losing to Germany in the quarterfinals.

Canada U-20 Roster

Goalkeepers: Sierra Giorgio, Syracuse University; Anna Karpenko, Harvard University.

Defenders: Vivianne Bessette, University of South Florida; Zoe Burns, USC; Brooklyn Courtnall, USC; Annika Leslie, West Virginia University; Mia Pante, Texas A&M University; Jade Rose, Harvard University; Elisabeth Tse, SMU.

Midfielders: Simi Awujo, USC; Vanessa Frelih, Super REX Ontario; Florianne Jourde, Super REX Quebec; Keera Melenhorst, University of Oklahoma; Nikayla Small, Wake Forest University; Sonia Walk, Boston College.

Forwards: Miya Grant-Clavijo, Brown University; Kaila Novak, UCLA; Olivia Smith, Florida State University; Serita Thurton, University of South Florida; Holly Ward, University of Texas.

Training Players

Goalkeeper: Coralie Lallier, Quebec REX.

Defender: Arianna Rose, Super REX Ontario.

Midfielders: Thaea Mouratidis, Super REX Ontario; Lauren Rowe, Feildians AA St. John’s.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 14, 2020

The Canadian Press

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