Ahead of Canada’s second friendly on home soil in 2014, head coach John Herdman, GK Erin McLeod, German head coach Silvia Neid and MF Dzsenifer Marozsan sat down with the media to discuss Wednesday’s friendly at BC Place.
John Herdman on what he’s expecting:
“They’re a fantastic team and I’m thankful they’ve come over to play against us. Hopefully, we can attract more of the top teams in the build-up toward the World Cup. It’s an important time for us. We’ve spent two years building this team since the 2012 Olympics. Every year, we’ve tried to take a step forward. You can’t get a bigger test than this. We had the USA last month in May and the Germans, current European champions, are going to be one hell of a test for us. But, we’ve come along way and we’ve talked about ‘if you want to win a World Cup in Canada, you’ve got to be ready to beat these teams on the way to the title’.
“Our expectation is that when the girls put on that red shirt, the fight, the spirit, the die-hard mind set is always going to be there. It’s part of our DNA and we never want to lose it. At the same time, if we want to stay in-tune with the modern game, we have to move with the modern game. Tactically, we have to be more organized and clever with our work and our movement.”
Silvia Neid on expectations for the match and adapting to surface:
“We’re very happy to be here, in the land where the 2015 World Cup is placed. I’m looking forward to the game tomorrow to play against a tough opponent. We did this journey here because it is the end of the season in Germany and for us, this was a good chance to test the conditions.
“Canada is a strong team with good players and different systems. They’ve developed and improved a lot. For us, it was also important to test the artificial turf because this is unusual for us. We have to cope with that.
“It is important for us to field this condition, to test this artificial turf that we’re not used to. In Europe, we play on grass. We’re looking forward to this game and that the stadium is full of spectators. We’re really looking forward to that.”
Dzsenifer Marozsan on the style of play and atmosphere versus Canada:
“I think it’s going to be a very attractive match for all of the spectators. We expect a fight of a match against a very tough opponent. I’m really looking forward to play Canada.”
Erin McLeod on how to prepare for the friendly:
“We’ve been fortunate enough to play top tier teams. If you ask anyone on our team, we have a lot of respect for this team [Germany]. They have a lot of skillful players. They are tactically very intelligent and very organized. I think it’ll be a great test for us and our learnings this past year. I think the other element, of course, is playing at home at BC Place and the honour that comes with that.”
Erin McLeod on hosting the Women’s World Cup next year:
“We really want to unite a country with this sport. I think we’re capable of doing that.”
John Herdman on how the Olympic result still impacts his team:
“Those memories will never leave the team. I think that’s a huge part of connecting a team together, that you’ve shared some experiences together. I think moving to 2015, it’s about integrating new players and new ways, new styles. That’s a foundation and that foundation can be a curse and opportunity. The curse being the expectation of people. That was three years ago and if we don’t look ahead to 2015, to say the world’s changed and there are better teams out there now. Everyone else is progressing. We can’t live on that achievement and the public have to look beyond that achievement.”
Erin McLeod on facing German GK Nadine Angerer:
“I have a lot of respect for Nadine Angerer. Winning best player in the world is phenomenal for a goalkeeper. It’s a huge statement. I think she deserves it. She’s been phenomenal for Germany for years. I think if you ask Christine Sinclair, who has been playing on her team, I think she’ll say she’s really looking forward to it and just like everybody else on the German team, they are all world-class. It’s going to take a lot of individual battles from our end. I trust that we’ll perform.”
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.