CanWNT to play England in international friendly in April

The Canadian women’s team’s preparations for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics will extend beyond competing in this month’s SheBelieves Cup.

Canada Soccer announced on Thursday that the women’s side will face England in an away international friendly on April 13, with the location to be announced at a later date. The game will take place during FIFA’s international window.

Canada is tied for eighth in the current FIFA world rankings, two spots below England.

These two teams aren’t strangers, as they’ve met 13 previous times dating back to their first meeting at the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Sweden, a 3-2 win for England in the first round. Both nations made their World Cup debut at that tournament. They also met faced off at the 2015 World Cup staged in Canada, with England earning a 2-1 win in the quarter-finals in Vancouver.

Canada came out on top in most recent match between the two nations, notching a 1-0 victory on April 5, 2019 in Manchester, with captain Christine Sinclair scoring the lone goal. Canada has won six of the 13 matches against England, with no draws.

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A number of Canadian national team members play professionally in England, most notably defender Shelina Zadorsky (Tottenham), midfielder Jessie Fleming (Chelsea), and forwards Janine Beckie (Janine Beckie) and Adriana Leon (West Ham United). Goalkeeper Ryle Foster, who has yet to earn a cap but was recently called into Canada’s preparation camp for the SheBelieves Cup, plays for Liverpool FC.

Ben Priestman served as an assistant coach with England under Phil Neville before taking over the head coaching job for Canada last October.  Also, former Canadian assistant coach Rhian Wilkinson (who earned 181 caps for Canada as a player) recently joined the coaching staff of the England team.

Before playing England, Canada will compete at the SheBelieves Cup invitational tournament in Orlando from Feb. 18-24. The Canadians will face the United States (Feb. 18), before taking on Argentina (Feb. 21) and close things out versus Brazil (Feb. 24).