Saturday, May 28, 2011

Canada defeat Holland

In Roma, Italy at Mancini Park, the Canadian women continue to prepare for the Women's World Cup which kicks off in 27 days. 

In a closed international friendly, Canada took on Netherlands. Despite not having captain Christine Sinclair in the line-up due to club commitments, the women defeated the Holland 2-0. 

“They were constantly on the move and put a lot of pressure on the ball,” Dutch coach Roger Reijner was quoted at “We did not adequately answer. It was a deserved victory for Canada. ”

22 year old forward, Jodi-Ann Robinson scored at the 55 minute mark. In the 61st minute she was then subbed off for Christina Julien.

Just 8 minutes later, Julien scored the second goal for the red and white.

Morace benched many of her regular starters giving time for other players to show what they have before the coaching staff decide their final roster

Some notable changes were on the back line. Rhian Wilkinson was replaced by Melanie Booth on right back. This was Mel's first match since March 7th, 2011 at the Cyprus Cup vs England.

Also Carmelina Moscato, normally a mildfielder, was moved to center back. Usually Candace Chapman plays that position but she's in Buffalo with the her WPS club Western New York Flash.

Canada's starting X1: 
                                                          Erin McLeod                                    
                 Melanie Booth, Carmelina Moscato, Emily Zurrer, Marie-Eve Nault
                           Diana Matheson, Brittany Timko, Sophie Schmidt
                           Jodi-Ann Robinson, Desiree Scott, Jonelle Filigno

Morace made one change--substituting Robinson for Julien (61')

Canada previously faced Holland March 3rd, 2011 in the Cyprus Cup final and won 2-1. 

This will be the last scheduled preparation game Canada has lined up before they face Germany in the opening match of the Women's World Cup. 

In other news:

  • Kelly Parker of the Western New York Flash was traded to the Atlanta Beat for Atlanta's third pick in the 1st round of the 2012 WPS Draft and the first pick of the second round. WNY Flash player Julianne Sitch was also part of the trade.
  • Candace Chapman was listed as injured on the WPS website. No word as to how serious the injury is. She is a vital member of Canada's back line. She also has a lot of international experience and is a leader on the team. Huge blow to Canada if she's not healthy in time for the world cup.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Western New York Flash remain unbeaten

On a day where the score could have easily been blown out, magicJack had a tough time putting one in the back of the net thanks to the crossbar and some outstanding goalkeeping by Ashlyn Harris.

In front of 8,076 fans at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester, the #1 and #2 teams in the Women's Professional Soccer League kick off for the first time in their club history.

Western New York didn't take long to get on the scoreborad. Just 77 seconds in Kandance Wilson carried the ball up the right flank and played a through ball to Marta who cut past Becky Sauerbrunn then shot it right into a sliding Hope Solo. The rebound fell right to Christine Sinclair who's volley hit off the woodwork but birthday girl Becky Edwards was there to finish it off.

The Flash kept pouring on the pressure but could not capitalize. A swing in momentum gave Shannon Boxx a scoring chance outside the 18 but ricocheted off the corssbar, something that seemed all too familiar to magicJack that evening.

Just before the first half ended captain Caroline Seger put her side up 2-0 in the 42nd minute. Sinclair played a long ball to Seges who ran down the center of the field, turned like she was going to play it wide but snuck it through the legs of magicJack defender Meghan Schnur and went in far post past Hope Solo.
“That was my fault,” Solo said.  “I thought Schnur was going to get the tackle in.  I took the opportunity to check my back post to check my angle and I came back and the shot comes.  So it was just bad timing on my part.”

In the 83rd minute WNY almost gifted magicJack their first goal after a misclear gave Ella Masar an opportunity near the penalty spot but her shot bounced off the crossbar. A tough night for Masar as she had countless opportunities but could not put one in the back of the net.

Just three minutes later, Seger would get her second goal of the game. Marta drew a penalty when Tina Ellerton took her down in the box. Rattled by the tackle, Seger stepped up to the plate burying it in the lower right corner.

Western New York Flash improved their record to 5-0-1 and magicJack remain second in the league with a 3-1-0 record. Their next match-up will be June 20th at Sahlen's Stadium

Canadian players: 

Kelly Parker: After progressively improving throughout the course of the season, Parker sat on the bench for the full 90, given a break after coming in late Friday afternoon from Rome.

Candace Chapman: Much like every game, Candace was a part of the starting XI. Playing in  a center back position, Chpaman used her athleticism and speed to cut off Masar and Wambach's physical presence. She made some huge defensive plays byt running down players and blocking shots.

Christine Sinclair: Although a striking force up front, Sinclair could not seem to keep the ball under the bar. Early in the first half, Christine had a breakaway chance but casually shot it for an easy Solo save. Christine seemed a little gased from all the traveling and didn't have her usual jump. Even on her worse day Sinclair still managed to assist the first two goals.

The three Canadians will remain with WNY Flash until the beginning of June where then they will return to Carolina Morace's squad for final World Cup preparations.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Canada defeats Switzerland

After playing below par three days ago, Canada bounces back to get the win versus Switzerland today. 

The game started off poorly for Canada as Switzerland's Ana Maria Crnogorcevic puts her side up 1 nil eight minutes in. Ramona Bachmann played the ball to Lara Dickenmann who took it down the left flank then crossed it to Crnogorcevic who knocked it in on a first touch. 

In the 31st minute, Swiss captain Caroline Abbé scored on her own net to give Canada the equalizer. Kaylyn Kyle gave the ball to Christine Sinclair who hit the ball across the face of the net and bounced off Abbé

"Matheson was taken down, so maybe they were thinking a penalty was going to be called," said Sinclair. "I just crossed it and it went off (Abbé)".

Going into the second half, Kaylyn Kyle was subbed out for Kelly Parker, making her first appearance for Canada after injuring her foot in training. Last time she played for the red and white was September 15th, 2010. 

Soon after, Canada took the lead on a great team effort. Schmidt gained possession then passed it wide to Marie-Eve Nault who then played it to Diana Matheson. Diana dibbled down the center of the pitch giving it to Sinclair who received the ball with her back facing the goal. Sinclair quickly played a through ball to Parker who cut towards the goal and played a square ball to Christina Julien for the easy tap in.  

In the 62nd minute Desiree Scott came in for Julien. A minute after, midfielder Marie-Eve Nault is replaced by Chelsea Stewart.

More subs for Canada as Brittany Timko makes her way on the pitch for Jonelle Filigno(68') up front and Robyn Gayle comes in for Rhian Wilkinson(72') on the backline. Both Rhian and Britt made their 98th appearance for Canada this evening. 

Finally, Carolina Morace used her sixth and final sub replacing Sophie Schmidt with Carmelina Moscato in the 81st minute. 

Canada created some more opportunities before the final whistle but could not capitalize. In the 84th minute, Emily Zurrer's goal was called back because she was offside. 

"We could have easily scored five goals," said Sinclair of the team's performance. "We're definitely showing signs of improvement which is all we're looking for heading into the FIFA Women's World Cup."

With the win, Canada improves their 2011 record to 7-1-2. Canada is expected to play in a few more friendlies leading up to the World Cup. Stay tuned for more details. 

SUI starting XI: 
                                                           Marisa Brunner
                        Selina Kuster, Rahel Graf, Caroline Abbé, Sandra Betschart
                                 Lara Dickenmann, Jehona Mehmeti, Marina Keller
                        Ramona Bachmann, Ana Maria Crnogorcevic, Martina Moser

Subs: Isabelle Meyer for Betschart (57'), Lara Keller for Bachmann (67'), Vanessa Bernauer for Mehmeti (72'), Vanessa Pittet for Keller (79'). 

CAN starting XI:
                                                          Karina LeBlanc
                    Marie-Eve Nault, Emily Zurrer, Cance Chapman, Rhian Wilkinson
                       Sophie Schmidt, Diana Matheson, Jonelle Filigno, Kaylyn Kyle
                                            Christina Julien, ChristineSinclair

In other news: Canada will host CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Vancouver B.C is the lucky city to host all games at the newly built BC Place. The tournament will run from January 19-29, 2012. Canada and seven continental opponents will compete for two berths to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Canada draws vs Switzerland

Sunday May 15th, Canada played in a closed international friendly against Switzerland in Roma, Italy.

On paper, Canada would be the obvious favourite heading into this match. Canada kept the majority of the possession but the Swiss were prepared and were  able to hold off the Canadians and limit their chances offensively.

29 minutes in, Canada's Sophie Shmidt hit the cross bar.

In the 38th minute, Caroline Abbe scored for Switzerland.

Kaylyn Kyle equalized for Canada in the 66th minute, snagging her firs full international goal.

Canada had an opportunity to take the lead in the 77th minute, but Desiree Scott's shot hit the cross bar.

Also, congratulations to Chelsea Buckland on making her first appearance for Canada.

The two nations will square off again on May 18th in Niederhasli 6:00pm local. 

Canada is expected to play in another World Cup tune-up against Holland at the end of the month. Stay tuned for more details. 

40 days until the Women's World Cup kicks off. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Update: May 10th 2011

Back to camp:
  • After a 10 day break, the women are back in Rome for final WWC preparations
  • After suffering a foot injury, Kelly Parker is back with the team in hopes she'll make the cut.
  • WNY Flash teammates Candace Chapman and Christine Sinclair will also be in Rome for a week. They'll head back to WNY until the beginning of June then return with the national team for final prep before June 26th. 

Unfortunate turn of events:
  • Early May, Steph Labbe injured the posterior cruciate ligament in her right knee.
  • Surgery is not needed just three months or less rehab
  • By her tweets you can tell she's staying positive and still looking to get back to training with Canada. 
  • It has not been officially announced what Steph's status is. She had an MRI and will meet with doctors Tuesday night for the prognosis
  • Pitea currently has two back-up 'keepers, Hanny Wikstrom and Anna Carlsson but the club continues to hunt for a new goalkeeper. 
  • The Club won't be able to sign a new player until a transfer window opens in August. 
New face at camp:
  • Due to Labbe's injury, Morace was forced to call up a new 'keeper to Rome.
  • Teenager Rachelle Beansland got the nod to train with Canada's finest.
  • Beansland attended this past winter's national U-18 camp in Brazil and backstopped the Ottawa Furry U-17 girls to the 2010 Super Y-League Championship. 
  • Congrats on the opportunity, Rachelle. 
  • Last weekend WNY Flash defeated Sky Blue FC 3-1
  • Parker and Candace both got the start.
  • Sinclair was in Montreal receiving her green card. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Labbe suffers knee injury vs Kristianstad

Pitea IF faced former head coach Elizabeth Gunnarsdottir and the Kristianstad DFF on Sunday May, 1st.

Unfortunately for PIF, in the 25th minute, Stephanie Labbe injured her knee in a collision with a Kristianstad player. Unsure how serious the injury is. Labbe tweeted today "knee is stable but hard to tell for sure with the swelling... icing it lots till doc again tomorrow..."

There are 54 days left until Canada takes on Germany, a little less until Morace announces her World Cup roster so still some time left for her knee to heal.

The show must go on.

It's hard for any 'keeper to come in cold for an injured teammate. Imagine doing that at 16 years of age. That's what  Hanna Vicstrom was faced with when she stepped in for Labbe.

Seven minutes before full time, June Pedersen put Pitea on the score board.

The last minute effort was a little too late as PIF fell short to Kristianstad. Margret Lara got the hat trick for her side.

Stay tuned for Labbe updates.

WNY Flash win home opener

WNY snag a 3-0 win over Atlanta with goals by Christine Sinclair and Alex Morgan

The Flash dominated play right from the start with attacks coming left and right by Marta, Sinclair and Caroline Seger, while The Beat struggled to find a rhythm.

23 minutes in, for the third time this season, Sinclair scored the first goal of the macth for the Flash.  After a series of saves by the two-time WPS Player of the Week, Alli Lipsher, the ball bounced infront of Sinclair who headed the ball in the back of the net.

The second half looked much like the first with WNY controling play.

In the 55th minute Seger made an incredible individual play to find Sinclair alone who shot wide. But four minutes later Sinclair would make up for the missed opportunity when Marta played a perfect chip ball that fooled Lipsher for an easy tap in.

The hat trick would have to come another day as Morgan was subbed in replacing Sinclair in the 66th minute. Morgan quickly made an impact scoring her first professional goal just seven minutes later.

Despit allowing 3 balls pass her, Alli Lipsher played a great game making great athletic saves. The score could have been a lot different if it hadn't been for Lipsher.

Unlike last week, WNY were too much for Atlanta to handle.

Breaking down Canadians play:

Candace Chapman: Played a relatively easy match today with not much to do as her side out shot the opposing team 20- 3. WNY played a 3-5-2 formation today pushing Champan to the right side instead of center back.

Kelly Parker: Got her first start this season and made an impact being the spark plug on the right side. Earned quiete a few corners and assisted on Morgan's first goal sending a through ball splitting Atlanta defenders.

Christine Sinclair: Clicked a lot better with her teammates are got many more touches this week. Scored two goals making her the lead leading goal scorer thus far with four.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Monthly Wrap: April 2011

They lost their second game of the year:

  • April 2nd, Canada faced Sweden in a closed friendly. They lost 1-0 form a 9 minute goal by Rohlin.

Rome camp continues:

  • Camp began March 23rd through April 20th
  • The women were on a 10 day break - some went to visit family and friends others took a vacations around Europe
  • The team will meet back in Rome May 1st to continue WWC preparations and head to Germany from there.

Few more friendlies before the big dance:

  • Canada will play Switzerland on May 15th in Rome
  • The two nations will square off again on May 18th in Niederhasli, Switzerland.
  • May 28th Canada will play in their final friendly vs. Netherlands. Location has yet to be confirmed.

WPS regular season kicks off:

  •  Sinclair, Chapman and Parker all play for WNY Flash
  • Great start to the season with a 2-1 Win over Boston
  • 2nd game a little less intense coming out with a 2-2 draw vs. Atlanta Beat.
  • Sinclair scoring a goal in each a game assisting and assisting on Marta’s first goal of the 2011 season.
  • Chapman getting the start in both games
  • Parker who recently came off a foot injury is easing in to the season coming on as a sub in the first two matches.
  • Next match: Sunday May 1st at Sahlen Stadium vs. Atlanta Beat at 4pm ET.

Injuries and surprises:

  • After suffering an ankle injury in January 2011, Josee Belanger won’t recover in time for the Women’s World Cup. Unfortunate for Josee as she was looking forward to competing in her first WWC.
  • Fortunately Oregon State Junior, Chelsea Buckland will take her spot on the World Cup roster. Buckland who traveled with the team to the Cyprus Cup as a reserve and trained with them in Rome last month is looking forward to earning her first cap with Big Red
  • Even though the roster has not yet been made public, Morace probably has a good idea of who she will be taking to Germany. So it should be noted that Buckland could still be cut as there are 23 players in camp and 21 will be selected to represent Canada this summer.

The athletes won’t be the only Canadians representing Canada this summer:

  • Carol Anne Chenard is one of 51 officials selected to officiate at the Women’s World Cup. ‘
  • In 2010 she officiated for the championship game at the U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany.

  • Every three days leading up to the world cup CSA’s  official website will do a feature on the players.
  • Karina LeBlanc and Jonelle Filigno were the first two features posted.