The Canadian women's soccer team, led by Burnaby's Christine Sinclair, open their Olympic tournament Wednesday against Japan in Coventry.
The Canadians were sloppy and plodding for long periods while also failing to capitalize on their numerous scoring chances in settling for a 0-0 draw with Mexico in an international friendly.
Ranked seventh in the world, Canada won the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics and is the host country of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The fact that Mexico wasn’t far off will be troubling for Herdman, who has been experimenting with new tactics while giving younger players a chance to show they belong. One of the players who caught Herdman’s eye was 16-year-old defender Sura Yekka, who won her second cap.
Herdman has brought Kara Lang back into the fold after she retired nearly three years ago because of two serious knee injuries. Players on the Canadian women’s soccer team are planning to boycott future matches, possibly even World Cup fixtures, unless the Canadian Soccer Association and head coach Carolina Morace can settle their dispute over the future of the program. Morace submitted a letter to the CSA Friday indicating her intention to resign after the World Cup concludes in Germany in July, citing differences in philosophy with the governing body.
The players intend to travel to a training camp in Rome later this month and will prepare for the Cyprus Cup in March.
At the same time as the planned boycott, the players have hired a lawyer and plan to file suit for arbitration against the CSA for how the players are paid.
Sinclair said both issues are pressing, but the players will return to the pitch if a deal is in place between the CSA and Morace. The player uprising comes just days after the CSA passed a new governance model at a meeting in Ottawa on Saturday. Canucks caught up in alleged family murder conspiracyLinden Vey’s father, Curtis, is to go on trial with co-accused Angela Nicholson.
Toronto Blue Jays rally to tie in ninth with pair of homers, but fall to Texas Rangers 6-5 in 10 inningsRio Olympics: Schedule of events from Aug. Leading the red and white is captain Christine Sinclair, who brings her 153 international goals for Canada. Members of the Canadian women's soccer team pose for a pre-game photo before an exhibition game against the United States in September.
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The quest for one of two Olympic berths begins Thursday night in Vancouver for the Canadian women's soccer team.
Led by captain Christine Sinclair and new coach John Herdman, Canada plays Haiti at BC Place in their tournament opener before finishing group play against Cuba on Saturday and Costa Rica on Monday. The top two teams from each group in the eight-team North American, Central American and Caribbean (CONCACAF) event will advance to the semifinals on Jan.
Canada's biggest challengers for the two coveted Olympic spots figure to come from Group B, which features powerhouse United States - runners-up at last summer's FIFA Women's World Cup - and Mexico. This will be Canada's first time playing in front of a home crowd at a major tournament in almost a decade. The crucial test comes in the semifinal, where they'll play the second-place team in Group B, which will be either the U.S. Canada has looked impressive since Herdman took over the squad at the beginning of September and have beaten Mexico in the past, but upsets can happen.

A winless World Cup followed by their coach Carolina Morace's resignation left the team reeling. Playing against some of the lower-ranked CONCACAF teams is enough to pull your ponytail out. Presumably Las Tricolores will finish second in Group B, putting them in line for a semifinal date with Team Canada. You can't mention the Canadian women's national team without breathing the name Christine Sinclair. Matheson's leadership and experience (third all-time in appearances with 130) will be missed. The only player who wasn't part of the team that lost to Japan in penalty kicks in that memorable final last summer is a Canadian.
Drew Stubbs homered with two outs in the 10th inning, helping the Texas Rangers beat Toronto 6-5 on Saturday night after the Blue Jays rallied with consecutive homers in the ninth to force extra innings. A rough start for Canada's world pole vault champion translated into a third-place finish on Saturday at the IAAF Diamond League event in Shanghai, China.
Canadian Olympic swim team nominees Chantal Van Landeghem, Kylie Masse and Santo Condorelli took home gold medals Saturday at the fifth stop on the U.S.
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning got off to a chippy start in the Eastern Conference finals on Friday.
We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. While the 27-year-old is still a long way off from seeing game action, it’s clear that outside of captain Christine Sinclair, Canada is still starving for goals. Team Canada captain Christine Sinclair said the players are backing their coach — the team voted unanimously Monday to walk out on any upcoming games in support of Morace — and are demanding the CSA try to smooth things over with Morace so she will stay with the team long-term. However, if a deal is not in place with Morace before their first game March 2, the boycott will commence. The women’s team rattled off 11 games without a loss between September 2010 and January 2011, including eight straight wins and the CONCACAF championship. They are willing to let the compensation fight work itself out through the courts, if there is no immediate resolution. They have been charged with conspiracy to murder their spousesBrazil soccer great Rivaldo tells tourists to skip Olympics due to violence: 'You'll be putting your life at risk here'‘You'll be putting your life at risk here.
Sinclair is joined by a number of players who were part of the Bronze Medal winning team from the 2012 London Olympic Games, including goalkeeper Erin McLeod, midfielders Diana Matheson, Desiree Scot and Sophie Schmidt, and forward Melissa Tancredi. Going into the CONCACAF qualifiers for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, the Americans and Canadians were the odds-on favourites to snap up the two automatic berths to Germany. They beat a decent Brazil squad en route to gold at the Pan American Games, defeated Sweden in an exhibition, and were very competitive in a two-game set with the U.S. Herdman and his staff, including renowned New Zealand sports psychologist Ceri Evans (who has worked with the All Blacks rugby team) have helped rebuild the players physically and mentally.
Mexico boasts some experienced talent in striker Maribel Dominguez and is well coached by Leonardo Cuellar.
The team's all-time leader in caps (168) and goals (120) has been a fixture with the senior side since she was a teenager. The team has what Herdman calls two 'world-class goalkeepers' in Karina LeBlanc and Erin McLeod.

The midfield maestro hasn't recovered from off-season knee surgery in time for the tournament and was replaced by former U-17 team member Alyscha Mottershead. Look to Sophie Schmidt, arguably Canada's best player at the 2011 World Cup, and Saskatchewan natives Kelly Parker and Kaylyn Kyle to pick up the slack in midfield. Signa Butlera€™s childhood dream was to one day wear the glamourous orange and powder blue sports coats at CBC. A victory over Miami in Sunday's do-or-die Game 7 will put the Raptors into the NBA's Eastern Conference final for the first time in the team's 21 years. However, what may be more surprising was the emergence of American Sam Kendricks, who beat both Barber and three-time European champion Renaud Lavillenie. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the comment box to report spam or abuse.
Sinclair said the boycott will last “as long as it needs to” and the team is willing to sit out the World Cup, if it comes to that. The squad has just three losses in its past 21 games and has high hopes for the upcoming World Cup.
This is without even speaking about the state of public hospitals and all the Brazilian political mess’Canucks head into key off-season: Five things they should do and five they should notIt should be an off-season of considerable discontent. Playing in front of a home crowd will be a boost but also a testing ground, as Canada hosts the next FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015. But Mexico pulled off a stunning upset over the Americans in the semifinals, forcing the two-time World Cup champions to play Italy in a playoff for the final spot in Germany. Forgetting mistakes and moving on will be crucial to keep those unwanted memories of World Cup disappointment at bay. Calm and confident defender Candace Chapman (97 caps) will play her 100th game for Canada during the tournament. Nineteen of the team's 20 players on the Olympic roster were members of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup team in Germany. A Torontonian by nature, but Haligonian at heart, shea€™s our Jill-of-all-trades and resident bionic woman. 61 South Africa, the real minnow in the pool and the lowest ranked team in the 12-team tournament.
41 Costa Rica is a main challenger for top spot in Group A, while Haiti (62) and Cuba (96) are just happy to be there. Since then, she's become a prolific scorer with the Under-20 program and just this month, she was drafted first overall by Women's Professional Soccer's Atlanta Beat. The former All-Canadian soccer player with the SMU Huskies has been toiling the web at since 2000 and occasionally graces the air waves at the network. Olympic sports, soccer, hockey are her passions a€¦ and dona€™t get her started on Fantasy Football.

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