TORONTO, Ont.—Canada’s women’s national team has announced its training camp squad for their upcoming 2020 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Championship, which kicks off on Jan. 28 in Edinburg, Texas.
The camp, which will feature a majority of familiar names, also includes 15-year-old forward Olivia Smith, who many expect to make the final 20-women roster which will be released later this month.
“It’s a crucial period for our Women’s National Team as we prepare for our opportunity to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” said Kenneth Heiner-Møller, Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team Head Coach. “It’s an exciting time for our players knowing the year that could be ahead for them. We want to qualify for Tokyo 2020 and deliver a massive performance at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in Japan.”
Part of the CONCACAF region, Canada will face St. Kitts and Nevis on Jan 29, Jamaica on Feb. 1, before taking on Mexico on Feb. 4 to round out Group A play.
#CanWNT announces their training camp squad ahead of the @Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Championship, which begins Jan 29. Roster includes 15-year-old F Olivia Smith.— Michael Singh (@MichaelSingh94) January 10, 2020
Only 20 players will make the final cut, which will be announced by @CanadaSoccerEN later this month pic.twitter.com/mnX0UpbkGu
What will likely be the Canadians most important match, however, will come on Feb. 7: a semifinal crossover vs. one of the top-two teams from Group B, which includes the United States, Costa Rica, Haiti, and Panama, as the finalists of the Qualifying Tournament will both automatically secure their place for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Canada, who earned Bronze at the last two Olympics Games, has qualified for the grand event three times through the Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, defeating Mexico (2008, 2012) and Costa Rica (2016) in the semifinals to earn their Olympic berth.
Of note, Jan. 29 will also likely present the first opportunity for soccer icon Christine Sinclair to overtake U.S. international—and the now-retired—Abby Wambach for the most international goals all-time (by a male or female). The Canadian striker sits one goal shy of tying Wambach’s record of 184, and two back of breaking the historic feat.