Ahead of Canada’s first game at the Cyprus Cup on March 5th versus Finland, head coach John Herdman sat down with the media to field questions and give his thoughts on the tournament.
Twenty players are on his roster and the squad is looking to win the title for the first time since 2011.
On the Cyprus Cup:
“This is an exciting tournament for the girls. We’ve been here quite a few times. One thing you notice, every time you come to Cyprus, is the strides from the European teams.”
“They are all going to be tough games. The Italians are particularly the one in the group that’s going to be one of our biggest challenges. It’s exciting and it’s a good test for the girls.”
“Going into Cyprus is a blessing in disguise. You get to hone certain skills that you don’t get away with when you play against the US, where it’s 90 minutes hard pressed, giving high pressure and you can’t settle on the ball or you don’t have time to settle your platforms. You play it as you see it. This is good for us.”
On his roster:
“The lineup for this tournament is a little disjointed. We’ve got a couple of players that weren’t available for personal reasons or to stay in school and get their school under control. We’re missing (Sura) Yekka, the potential of Jessie Fleming and Jonelle Filigno… the core’s here and ready to give it a good crack.”
On Rachel Quon (who is coming off a knee injury):
“We’ll give Rachel some opportunity and looks. We’ve got five games.”
“She’s an energetic passionate player and can’t wait to be out there, playing for Canada.”
On potentially participating in the Algarve Cup:
“The people who have been invited for the last four years, once they get invited, they very rarely want to give that spot up. So, Canada, last took part in 2008 and for whatever reason didn’t go back.”
“We’ll see if we can get in there pre-World Cup and use that as a bit of a bargaining chip.”
Notes: He confirmed Selenia Iacchelli has a knee injury. He wants her to be healthy for the upcoming NWSL season. Kara Lang has returned to Toronto for surgery and her everyday health is the number one focus.
About the author:
Sandra Prusina is a journalist and broadcaster based out of Calgary, Canada. She has covered women’s soccer since 2010. She’s also a segment reporter for Olympic Broadcast Services, traveling to Vancouver, London and Sochi to work for the host broadcaster.