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Soccer Canada’s roster for women’s soccer friendly against Brazil blends experience and youth

Canada coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller has summoned a blend of experience and youth for a Sept. 2 soccer friendly with Brazil in Ottawa in advance of the October CONCACAF Women’s Championship.

Captain Christine Sinclair is set to win her 269th cap at TD Place in a rematch of the 2016 Olympic bronze medal game won 2-1 by Canada.

The 35-year-old Sinclair joins 30-plus Stephanie Labbé, Erin McLeod, Diana Matheson, Sophie Schmidt and Desiree Scott on the 23-woman roster. The six veterans have 934 caps between them.

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At the other end of the spectrum are teenagers Jordyn Huitema, Maya Antoine, Julia Grosso and Jayde Riviere, all 17, and Deanne Rose (19). And Rose (33 caps) and Huitema (11 caps) are no strangers to the senior side.

The Canadian roster features 15 of the matchday 18 who faced Brazil in Sao Paulo in 2016.

The roster also includes 19 of the 20 players chosen for the 3-2 loss to Germany in Hamilton on June 10 plus Huitema, Antoine and Riviere, who were with Canada at the CONCACAF U-17 Championship at the time, and third goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo. Fullback Emma Regan is not in the squad for Brazil.

The Canadian women will also play a closed-day match with Brazil in the Ottawa area.

Canada is currently ranked fifth in the world while Brazil is No. 10.

“They’ll definitely remember [the bronze-medal game],” Heiner-Moller said of Brazil. “They’re so skillful individually. They’ve got potentially the best forward line in the world. They’re so fast up front. That’s what they bring.

“It’s going to be exciting to watch our defence, but also how we can actually make them defend more than they might like.”

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The Canadian roster features six players currently based in Europe. A seventh, Schmidt, is out of contract with Germany’s FFC Frankfurt and looking for a new club. Schmidt has been in Vancouver working out with Heiner-Moller and some of the younger players.

Heiner-Moller welcomes the European influence, saying it will be a advantage despite the time spent travelling.

Heiner-Moller is using the Brazil games to assess his roster ahead of the Oct. 4-17 CONCACAF Championship, which will serve as a World Cup qualifier. He will take 20 players to the regional championship in Texas.

There will be few surprises in the CONCACAF tournament roster, Heiner-Moller suggested, saying it was “highly likely" that the players will be drawn from the 23 called up for the Brazil game.

The women will gather Aug. 27 in advance of to the Brazil game.

Roster

Goalkeepers: Stephanie Labbé, Stony Plain, Alta., Linkoping (Sweden); Erin McLeod, St. Albert, Alta., USV Jena (Germany); Sabrina D’Angelo, Welland, Ont., North Carolina Courage (NWSL).

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Defenders: Lindsay Agnew, Kingston, Houston Dash (NWSL); Allysha Chapman, Courtice, Ont., Houston Dash (NWSL); Ashley Lawrence, Caledon, Ont., Paris Saint-Germain (France); Jayde Riviere, Markham, Ont., Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite; Maya Antoine, Vaughn, Ont. Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite; Shannon Woeller, Vancouver, Eskilstuna United DFF (Sweden); Kadeisha Buchanan, Brampton, Ont., Olympique Lyonnais (France); Shelina Zadorsky, London, Ont., Orlando Pride (NWSL).

Defender-Midfielder: Rebecca Quinn, Toronto, Washington Spirit (NWSL).

Midfielders: Jessie Fleming, London, Ont., UCLA (NCAA); Julia Grosso, Vancouver, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite; Diana Matheson, Oakville, Ont., Utah Royals FC (NWSL); Sophie Schmidt, Abbotsford, B.C., unattached; Desiree Scott, Winnipeg, Utah Royals FC (NWSL).

Forwards: Jordyn Huitema, Chilliwack, B.C., Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite; Adriana Leon, King City, Ont., Seattle Reign FC (NWSL); Nichelle Prince, Ajax, Ont.; Houston Dash (NWSL); Deanne Rose, Alliston, Ont., University of Florida Gators (NCAA); Christine Sinclair (capt.), Burnaby, B.C., Portland Thorns (NWSL); Janine Beckie, Highlands Ranch, Colo., Manchester City (England).

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