TEAM CANADA PREVIEW AHEAD OF WOMEN’S WORLD CUP

2023-07-19 · 3 min read · FIFA Women's World Cup/Soccer
Christine Sinclair and the rest of Team Canada

One Soccer | Alex Grimm/FIFA | Action Foto Sport/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Though Canada is ranked No. 7 in the world, the odds aren’t exactly in the team’s favour. Being drawn into Group B with Australia, being down a few key players due to injury and facing turmoil with Canada Soccer over wage equality with the men’s team are all factors that could slow the team down.
But there are reasons to believe too, with several young players capable of emerging as stars on the global stage.
Christine Sinclair (The GOAT) is still here
At 40 years old, Christine Sinclair is back for her sixth Women’s World Cup, although her role isn’t what it has been for most of her career. The captain is slotting into more of a playmaking and facilitating role, allowing the team’s younger forwards to take over.
No Janine Beckie
Canada’s starting lineup should be largely unchanged from its Olympic gold medal win in 2021, with one big exception: Janine Beckie. The Portland Thorns forward tore her ACL earlier this year, ruling her out for the tournament.
Beckie’s absence will put added pressure on veteran forwards Adriana Leon, Nichelle Prince and 22-year-old Jordyn Huitema.
Opponents in Group Stage
Canada’s first match-up on Thursday is Nigeria. While Canada is a heavy favourite to take all three points from the opener, the Super Falcons should not be overlooked. Nigeria has won the Africa Cup of Nations a record 11 times and has qualified for every Women’s World Cup. Despite that record, it has advanced from the group stage just twice and reached the quarterfinals once, in 1999.
After Thursday’s match with Nigeria, Canada then faces the Republic of Ireland on Weds., July 26th at 8 a.m. and then finishes group-stage play against hosts Australia on July 31st at 6 a.m.
The match against Australia could very well be for the top spot in Group B if both teams hold serve in their first two games.
World Cup Prediction
Considering the women knocked off the heavily favoured Americans in the Olympic semifinals before taking the gold against Sweden in a penalty shootout, hopes are high. But, Canada’s history at the World Cup has been a sore spot for the team. Canada has made the semifinals just once back in 2003 and lost in its first knockout stage game four years ago.
With Group B considered this year’s Group of Death, Canada has a hard road ahead. Unless it can unseat co-hosts Australia and win the group, a date with powerhouse England could await in the Round of 16 as the likely winners of Group A.
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By: Aaron Cantin

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