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Canada Nominates Olympic Roster

John Herdman looks positive and so should you.  The Olympics are only a month away!  (via <a href="">canadasoccer</a>)
John Herdman looks positive and so should you. The Olympics are only a month away! (via canadasoccer)

Earlier today the CSA unveiled the roster that John Herdman and the Canadian Women's national team would be taking to the London 2012 Olympics. The group of 18 women will represent the nation in the games with their first match slated for July 25th when they take on reigning World Cup champions Japan. It will certainly be a tough task to start off the tournament but that is why the team has been together in training for several months now and have kept a busy schedule of friendlies this year. The next stop in their preparation will be a friendly down in Salt Lake against the USWNT before the team heads over to Europe.

The 18 ladies that have been named to the roster bring with them a wealth of international experience that they will rely on to try and steal a few big results and maybe make it to the medal round. The team features 12 carryovers from the last Olympics in 2008 when the team suffered an extra-time defeat to the US in the tournaments quarterfinal stage. That experienced group also boasts 6 players from the silver medal team in the U-20 World Cup back in 2002 and 14 that won a CONCACAF Championship back in 2010.

Herdman will be counting on his more experienced players to provide a solid core and will be hoping that they can continue to put the disaster of the last World Cup behind them. The likes of Christine Sinclair, Diana Matheson, Rhian Wilkinson, Brittany Timko, Candace Chapman, and Karina LeBlanc will be the names that Canada is going to rely on as they have all made over 100 international appearances. They are the reliable veterans who you can basically count on game in and game out.

For this team to have success though it is going to need some of the other names to really step their game up to the next level. Desiree Scott was great for Canada in CONCACAF qualifying and last years Pan Am games and she will need to be a force in holding mid against the likes of Japan when Canada will have to disrupt their passing flow. Scott, along with Sophie Schmidt, will have to elevate from being good players to being great players and really control the middle of the park if Canada wants to be anything more than an also ran in London.

Another player who will be key to Canada but comes in with a number of question marks is Jonelle Foligno. The forward is just making her way back from an ankle injury and was in doubt for even making the 18 woman roster as Herdman made it clear that she would only be included if she was fit enough to contribute. She seems to have passed that test and now she is going to need to contribute big time and provide that secondary scoring options that Canada so dearly needs. After the less than stellar finishing that Timko and Melissa Tancredi have shown in recent matches the stop up front should be Foligno's to claim if she can prove she is fit and able to score.

With the teams first Olympic match now only a month away the pressure will be on for the 18 ladies called to make sure they are ready as a slow start could see their tournament over before it ever really begins with games against Japan, South Africa, and Sweden all certain to provide stiff tests.

GK- Karina LeBlanc
GK- Erin McLeod
CB- Candace Chapman
CB- Carmelina Moscato
CB- Emily Zurrer
FB- Robyn Gayle
FB- Lauren Sesselmann
FB- Chelsea Stewart
FB- Rhian Wilkinson
M- Kaylyn Kyle
M- Diana Matheson
M- Kelly Parker
M- Sophie Schmidt
M- Desiree Scott
F- Jonelle Filigno
F- Christine Sinclair
F- Melissa Tancredi
F- Brittany Timko

Oh look, the CSA also did another fancy video that is well worth checking out.