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Canadian U-20 women's squad to face elite opposition in U.S. and Germany next month

In facing Germany and the United States next month ahead of this summer's FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, Cindy Tye's young Canadian side will test itself against two of the most successful teams at this age group. Germany and the U.S.

In facing Germany and the United States next month ahead of this summer's FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, Cindy Tye's young Canadian side will test itself against two of the most successful teams at this age group.

Germany and the U.S. have each won the FIFA U-20 title three times: Germany in 2004, '10 and '14 and the U.S. in 2002, '08 and '12. Germany was also runner-up in 2012 and third in 2002 and 2008 while the Americans were third in 2004 and fourth in 2006 and '16.

"They're Tier 1 competition. And that's what we're gong for … We didn't get this opportunity in the last cycle" said Tye, looking forward to the challenge.

The Canadians will face the U.S. on April 7 at Stadion am Furlbach before taking on Germany on April 9 at Sportclub Arenal Verl.

The FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Colombia, newly expanded to 24 teams, runs Aug. 31 to Sept. 22 in Bogota, Cali and Medellin. Canada has been to eight of the previous 10 FIFA U-20 World Cups with Its best finish runner-up in 2022 when it hosted the inaugural tournament, then an under-19 competition.

The Canadian women failed to advance past the group stage last time out in 2022 in Costa Rica, losing to South Korea (2-0), France (3-1) and Nigeria (3-1). Canada did not qualify for the FIFA tournament in 2010 and 2018.

Canada will be without injured forward Anabelle Chukwu, who scored twice in extra time last June to help Canada qualify for the FIFA tournament by defeating Costa Rica 5-3 to finish third at the CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship in the Dominican Republic.

Mexico, which scored in the 92nd minute to dispatch the Canadians 2-1 in the semifinal, won the CONCACAF championship with a 2-1 decision over the U.S.

Ottawa's Chukwu, who turned 17 in February, has yet to win a senior cap but was called into camp as an injury replacement for Canada's Olympic qualifying series against Jamaica in September.

Tye will also be without attacking midfielder/forward Olivia Smith, who was also at the CONCACAF U-20 tournament. The 19-year-old from Whitby, Ont., who plays professionally in Portugal for Sporting CP, has won eight caps for the senior side already and is in contention for a spot on Bev Priestman's Olympic roster.

Tye has included Orlando Pride forward Amanda Allen, who has won one cap for the Canadian senior side, in her 24-player roster for the April games in Europe.

Allen signed with Orlando in April 2023, becoming the Pride’s youngest-ever signing and debutante, making her first NWSL appearance on May 6 against Racing Louisville at 18 years two months 15 days.

Tye expects Allen to arrive in came with a "new confidence" from her Orlando experience. Allen came off the bench against Brazil in November 2022 to make her senior debut.

Tye's roster features 15 returning players from the 2023 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, plus seven under-17 players. Forward Charlie Codd, who attends Notre Dame, and midfielder Maya Hindson, who is in the Arsenal system in England. will represent Canada for the first time.

Codd's mother is former Canada star Charmaine Hooper, who is a member of both Canada's Sports Hall of Fame and the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame. Hooper represented Canada from 1986 to 2006, retiring as Canada’s all-time leader with 129 caps and 71 goals. 

Codd, whose hometown is listed as Waco, Texas, is also eligible to represent the U.S. and Guyana.

The youngest played called up is 16-year-old forward Kaylee Hunter of Calgary.

The European trip marks the first time Tye has had her team together since Canada qualified for the FIFA showcase. Tye, who is restricted to a 21-woman roster for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, hopes to get another camp in before assembling her squad for the Colombia tournament but says nothing is confirmed yet.

Canada Roster

Goalkeepers: Sofia Cortes-Browne, National Development Centre Ontario; Faith Fenwick, Gonzaga University (NCAA);   Noelle Henning, National Development Centre Ontario.

Defenders: Mya Archibald, University of Illinois (NCAA); Jadea Collin, National Development Centre Ontario; Clare Logan, Notre Dame (NCAA); Zoe Markesini, Princeton (NCAA); Janet Okeke, North Carolina State (NCAA); Renee Watson, Michigan State (NCAA).

Midfielders: Kayla Briggs, Providence College (NCAA); Jeneva Hernandez Gray, Vancouver Whitecaps FC; Anna Hauer, Memphis University (NCAA); Maya Hindson, Arsenal academy (England); Florianne Jourde, USC (NCAA); Thaea Mouratidis, Providence College (NCAA); Alanna Raimondo, Kent State (NCAA); Sadie Waite, University of Nebraska (NCAA).

Forwards: Amanda Allen, Orlando Pride (NWSL); Audrey Chelsie François, Harvard (NCAA); Charlie Codd, Notre Dame (NCAA); Kaylee Hunter, Vancouver Whitecaps FC; Rosa Maalouf, Ottawa South United; Ella McBride, Providence College (NCAA); Nyah Rose, SMU, (NCAA).


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This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 27, 2024.

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

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