Canada Soccer announced on Wednesday the 23 players that will represent the women’s national team at the inaugural edition of the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup, and the first squad since Christine Sinclair retired from international duty last year.
Kailen Sheridan, Sabrina D’Angelo, and Lysianne Proulx return in net for Canada, with Sheridan expected to be the starter again as she has been for the past couple of years. In front of them, centre-backs Kadeisha Buchanan and Vanessa Gilles are part of a group that also includes Shelina Zadorsky and Jade Rose. Sydney Collins returns after another impressive showing in the last international window, along with fellow fullbacks Gabrielle Carle, Ashley Lawrence, and Jayde Riviere.
In midfield, Jessie Fleming — who recently made a record-breaking move to Portland Thorns after a few years at Chelsea — is expected to be named the national team’s next captain. She’ll be joined in the middle of the park by Simi Awujo, Julia Grosso, and Quinn. The attacking group features Olivia Smith, Jordyn Huitema, Cloé Lacasse, Clarissa Larisey, Adriana Leon, Nichelle Prince, Deanne Rose, and Evelyne Viens.
There are no real surprises in Bev Priestman’s squad, other than maybe a few absences from players in strong form at the moment — namely back-to-back A-League Player of the Month goalkeeper Rylee Foster, and Benfica’s Marie-Yasmine Alidou — who has been scoring for fun this season.
The Concacaf W Gold Cup will run from February 20 to March 10, and will be held in the United States. Canada kick off their tournament at Shell Energy Stadium in Houston, and will remain there for the entirety of the group stage. Canada’s group includes Costa Rica, Panama, and the winner of a qualifier between El Salvador and Guatemala.
While an important competition for Canada in its own right, the tournament also serves as vital preparation for the Summer Olympics in Paris this summer.
“It’s great to kick off an exciting year with some meaningful competition,” said Bev Priestman in a press release. “Just like the Olympics, the Gold Cup offers great challenges that serve to test us as a team, including managing quick turnaround and travel. Added to that, this window will also require us to manage players in and out of season to get through a tournament setting.
“We hope to build on the strong performances from the back end of 2023 as well as move towards where we hope to be by July, both in terms of squad selection and what we look like on the pitch. We can’t wait to get going!”
Before the games kick off, Canada will also hold a pre-tournament camp in Texas to get the out-of-season players based in North America ready to play. Goalkeeper Laurence Gladu, defender Megan Reid, and midfielder Desiree Scott will all be part of the pre-camp to train with the team, but are not in the final 23-player squad. Janine Beckie misses out after training with the team late last year as she looks to return from a long-term injury.
Canada will face El Salvador or Guatemala on February 22, Paraguay on February 25, and Costa Rica on February 28. If they advance out of the group, they’ll move onto the quarterfinals in Los Angeles a few days later.
Full Canada squad:
GK- Sabrina D’Angelo | ENG / Arsenal FC
GK- Lysianne Proulx | AUS / Melbourne City FC
GK- Kailen Sheridan | USA / San Diego Wave FC
D- Kadeisha Buchanan | ENG / Chelsea FC
D- Vanessa Gilles | FRA / FCF Olympique Lyonnais
D- Jade Rose | USA / Harvard University
D- Shelina Zadorsky | ENG / West Ham United FC
D- Sydney Collins | USA / NC Courage
D- Gabrielle Carle | USA / Washington Spirit
D- Ashley Lawrence | ENG / Chelsea FC
D- Jayde Riviere | ENG / Manchester United FC
M- Simi Awujo | USA / University of Southern California
M- Jessie Fleming | USA / Portland Thorns
M- Julia Grosso | ITA / Juventus FC
M- Quinn | USA / Seattle Reign FC
M/F- Olivia Smith | POR / Sporting CP
F- Jordyn Huitema | USA / Seattle Reign FC
F- Cloé Lacasse | ENG / Arsenal FC
F- Clarissa Larisey | SWE / BK Häcken FF
F- Adriana Leon | ENG / Aston Villa FC
F- Nichelle Prince | USA / Kansas City Current
F- Deanne Rose | ENG / Leicester City FC
F- Evelyne Viens | ITA / AS Roma