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Canadian WNT Roster named for the Yongchuan Cup - Four Nations Tournament

This afternoon Canadian WNT coach John Herdman named the squad that he's taking to the Yongchuan Cup - Four Nations Tournament in China this month. Focusing on a mix of youth and veterans there were a few surprises as the team strives to build upon their Olympic success heading into the 2015 Women's World Cup.

Will we see the same jubilation in 2015?
Will we see the same jubilation in 2015?
Jamie Squire

As the road to the 2015 Women's World Cup continues, the first stop of 2013 for the Canadian WNT will be the Yongchuan Cup - Four Nations Tournament in China later on this month. Today, coach John Herdman named a squad with a mix of veterans and youth players as of yet un-capped by the senior team. There are a few surprises, most notably Christine Sinclair, included for her veteran presence even though she can't play due to suspension, and Melissa Tancredi, not included as according to Herdman she's asked to focus on school for the moment though he was quick to point out she remains very much part of the overall squad/plans.

Here's the roster that will leave for China on Sunday, with the new call-ups noted:

GK - Karina LeBlanc

GK - Erin McLeod

CB - Kadeisha Buchanan - First Cap

CB - Shelina Zadorsky - First Cap

CB - Emily Zurrer

FB - Robyn Gayle

FB - Bryanna McCarthy

FB - Lauren Sesselman

FB - Rhian Wilkinson

MF - Kaylyn Kyle

MF - Ashley Lawrence - First Cap

MF - Diana Matheson

MF - Christabel Oduro - First Cap

MF - Sophie Schmidt

MF - Desiree Scott

MF - Chelsea Stewart

F - Tiffany Cameron - First Cap

F - Adriana Leon - First Cap

F - Nichelle Prince - First Cap

F - Jodi-Ann Robinson

F - Christine Sinclair

Notable exclusions to the squad (other than Tancredi) include Candace Chapman, Carmelina Moscato, Mel Booth, Jonelle Foligno and Brittany Timko among others. Far from being a lack of respect or appreciation for those players, "It is the start of a new journey and it is time for new players who want to be a part of that journey", said Herdman. And while some may be surprised at the number of younger players named to the roster Herdman stated that "We are giving some of our young players the chance to shine as we start on our new journey". He made it clear that in order to be successful in the future (most specifically 2015) the program may need to take a few steps back as younger players develop and the team works to forge a new tactical identity.

"We are trying to achieve a style of play and performance that the country can really enjoy and be proud of. We have identified some gaps in our performances and we need to begin exploring the changes that will allow us to close those gaps."

The women play on January 12th against China (midnight PT, 3am EST), January 14th against Korea Republic (5am PT, 8am EST) and January 16th against Norway (3am PT, 6am EST)