Six members of the Canadian women’s national team were either infants or not born at all the last time Canada beat the United States. It was at the 2001 Algarve Cup and Christine Sinclair scored in a 3-0 victory.
Since then, the United States have become a self-described ‘bogeyman’ team for Canada, consistently besting them at every turn. Some have been more painful than others, such as the now legendary 4-3 loss in the semi-finals of the 2012 Olympics.
During those 16 years, the Canadian program has also taken some big steps. They hosted a very successful World Cup in 2015 sandwiched between bronze-medal-winning efforts at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.
Now the team has loftier standards, rolled out during a pair of domestic friendlies this summer: they want to be number one in the world. Getting there will mean beating the best, which Canada has been able to do of late. The 2016 Olympics alone saw them beat the world #2 (Germany), #4 (France) and #6 (Australia).
But the United States have remained elusive. Now Canada will get their chance with a pair of friendlies on November 9 and 12 against the current top team in the world according to the FIFA rankings.
Canada named a very young roster today for those friendlies, including four players who will dress for the senior team for the first time: Jayde Riviere (age 16), Julia Grosso (17), Ariel Young (16) and Maegan Kelly (25).
Adding Jordyn Huitema (16), Deanne Rose (18) and Jessie Fleming (19) makes six teenagers on the roster as coach John Herdman gives some of his youngsters a chance to impress. The average age of the squad is just over 23.
The openings are largely a result of the fact that these matches are held outside of an official FIFA window, so European-based players - such as Sophie Schmidt, Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence - are not available.
Below is the full group that will be available to Herdman on November 9 in Vancouver and November 12 in San Jose. The November 9 leg will be broadcast live on TSN.
Goalkeepers: Stephanie Labbe, Sabrina D’Angelo, Kailen Sheridan
Defenders: Lindsay Agnew, Allysha Chapman, Jayde Riviere, Shelina Zadorsky, Rebecca Quinn, Ariel Young
Midfielders: Jessie Fleming, Julia Grosso, Maegan Kelly, Desiree Scott
Forwards: Christine Sinclair, Janine Beckie, Deanne Rose, Adriana Leon, Nichelle Prince, Jordyn Huitema