Canadian women have France on their mind at CONCACAF U-20 qualifier
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Gabrielle Carle and Jordyn Huitema will lead Canada at the CONCACAF U-20 women's soccer championship in Trinidad and Tobago.
The eight-team tournament, which runs Jan. 18-28, will send three teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean to the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup France 2018 in August.
Canada opens Jan. 18 against Costa Rica before facing host Trinidad & Tobago on Jan. 20 and Haiti on Jan. 22.
Carle and Huitema are two of six women on the under-20 roster that have won caps for the Canadian senior team. Carle, a 19-year-old Florida State forward from Levis, Que., has won nine senior caps while Huitema, a 16-year-old forward from Chilliwack, B.C, who plays for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX, has seven caps.
The others with senior experience are Sarah Stratigakis (2), Julia Grosso (1), Jayde Riviere (1) and Ariel Young (1).
"Our main objective will be to qualify for the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup to ensure this group will again experience major tournaments, but we have also set some goals in terms of how we want to play and how we want to represent Canada as a team," coach Bev Priestman said in a statement.
"Some of these players have had the opportunity to play with Canada Soccer's women's national team so they've experienced the unique culture that has been created within the women's national team. Our hope is they will bring some of that experience back to this group, not only on the field tactically but also off it."
Host France, China, England, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, North Korea and Spain have already qualified for the 16-country U20 World Cup. Africa and South America will hold their qualifying tournaments later this month.
Canada has made it to six of seven editions of the U20 World Cup, hosting the event in 2002 and 2014. Its best showing was in 2002 when it was runner-up to the U.S., losing the final 1-0 after extra time.
The Canadian women made the quarter-finals in 2014, losing 2-0 to eventual champion Germany.
Teni Akindoju, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer REX, Halifax; Maya Antoine, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer REX, Vaughan, Ont.; Tanya Boychuk, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer Rex, Edmonton; Gabrielle Carle, Florida State University, Levis, Que.; Ashley Cathro, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer REX, Victoria; Malikae Dayes, University of Maryland, Brampton, Ont.; Jessica De Filippo, Quebec REX, Saint-Lazare, Que.; Shana Flynn, Unionville-Milliken SC, Brampton, Ont.; Rylee Foster, West Virginia University, Cambridge, Ont.; Julia Grosso, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer REX, Vancouver; Jordyn Huitema, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer REX, Chilliwack, B.C.; Nadege L'Esperance, University of Louisville, Candiac, Que.; Jessica Lisi, University of Memphis, Woodbridge, Ont.; Lysianne Proulx, Syracuse University, Boucherville, Que.; Emma Regan, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer REX, Burnaby, B.C.; Jayde Riviere, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer REX, Pickering, Ont.; Caitlin Shaw, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer REX, Coquitlam, B.C.; Sarah Stratigakis, University of Michigan, Woodbridge, Ont.; Hannah Taylor, University of Oregon, Edmonds, Wash.; Ariel Young, Ottawa Fury, Ottawa.