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Canada's Janine Beckie, left, and United States' Tierna Davidson battle for the ball during a women's semi-final match at the Tokyo Olympics, on Aug. 2, 2021.The Associated Press

Desiree Scott and Janine Beckie return after lengthy knee injury layoffs to join Canada at next month’s SheBelieves Cup.

The four-team tournament, which runs April 6-9 in Atlanta and Columbus, also features the fourth-ranked United States, No. 7 Japan and No. 10 Brazil.

The 36-year-old Scott earned the last of her 185 Canada caps in November 2022 in a 2-1 win over Brazil. Like Beckie, the Kansas City Current midfielder missed the 2023 NWSL season after knee surgery.

The 29-year-old Beckie, who has 36 goals in 101 appearances for Canada, underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee after going down in a Portland Thorns pre-season game in March 2023,

Both players have joined ninth-ranked Canada at recent camps, not seeing action but continuing their “return to play” protocols with the squad.

Earlier this month, Beckie celebrated her return to action with a pair of goals in a losing cause as Portland lost 5-4 to Kansas City in their NWSL regular-season opener.

‘I think Janine’s looked superb,” said Canada coach Bev Priestman.

Priestman hopes Scott, who has also had to deal with the death of her mother recently, will see some minutes with Kansas City this weekend.

“There is the reality as to what she might have in the tank to come in. I know that. I know what I’m getting into with that,” Priestman told a virtual availability. “But I also know what I’m getting with Desiree Scott.”

The Canadian women face Brazil on April 6 while the U.S. plays Japan at the SheBelieves Cup. The winners meet three days later to decide the title while the losers face off for third place.

Priestman named 23 players for the SheBelieves Cup, a roster she will have to trim to 18 for the Paris Olympics where Canada will open defence of its title in Group A alongside No. 3 France, No. 23 Colombia and No. 28 New Zealand.

Adding to the potential Olympic player pool are Sydney Collins, Nichelle Prince and Jayde Riviere, who are unavailable for the SheBelieves Cup due to injury.

The hope is all three might be available for the May 25-June 1 international window. Priestman’s hope is to play two games then with another two in the July 8-16 window that precedes the July 25 kickoff of the Olympic women’s football tournament.

The Canada coach has decisions to make before her team faces No. 3 France, No. 23 Colombia and No. 28 New Zealand in Group A play at the Olympics

“We’ve got more depth than we’ve ever had,” Priestman said. “I think I’ve got real (selection) headaches.”

The deadline for naming the 18-player Olympic roster is July 3. Priestman can also name four alternates. The alternates, one of whom will be a goalkeeper, can only be used in case of injury, and once replaced, a player cannot return.

Canada most recently made it to the semi-finals of the W Gold Cup, losing 3-1 to the U.S. on March 6 in a penalty shootout after extra time finished knotted at 2-2.

Adriana Leon was the tournament’s leading scorer with six goals while Olivia Smith won the Best Young Player Award. Leon, midfielder/captain Jessie Fleming and fullback Ashley Lawrence were named to the tournament’s Best XI.

Beckie joins a well-stocked attack that also includes Leon, Smith, Jordyn Huitema, Cloe Lacasse, Clarissa Larisey, Deanne Rose and Evelyne Viens.

“For the forwards, those who’ve shown they can play across the front line or can wingback, they become more and more valuable in an 18-player roster,” said Priestman.

“I don’t know how I get that (number) down,” she added. “Hopefully the SheBelieves (Cup) and the window in June will help me with that headache.

“It’s a great place to be. Goals are coming from different places and people are on form, but it makes (selection) a lot harder, that’s for sure.”

The roster features nine players from the NWSL, 12 from teams in Europe (including from England) and two from NCAA ranks.

Canada has an 11-11-9 all-time record against Brazil. The teams last met in a pair of friendlies in October with Brazil winning 1-0 in Montreal and Canada winning 2-0 in Halifax.

it marks Canada’s third trip to the SheBelieves Cup.

The Canadian women finished fourth at 1-2-0 in 2023 during the height of labour unrest with Canada Soccer. The Canadian women were third in 2021, also at 1-2-0.

Canadian roster

Goalkeepers: Sabrina D’Angelo, Arsenal (England); Lysianne Proulx, Bay FC (NSWL); Kailen Sheridan, San Diego Wave (NSWL).

Defenders: Kadeisha Buchanan, Chelsea (England); Gabrielle Carle, Washington Spirit (NSWL); Vanessa Gilles, Olympique Lyonnais (France); Ashley Lawrence, Chelsea (England); Jade Rose, Harvard (NCAA); Bianca St-Georges, North Carolina Courage (NSWL); Shelina Zadorsky, West Ham (England).

Midfielders: Simi Awujo, USC (NCAA); Jessie Fleming, Portland Thorns (NSWL); Julia Grosso, Juventus (Italy); Quinn, Seattle Reign (NSWL); Desiree Scott, Kansas City Current (NSWL).

Midfielder/Forward: Olivia Smith, Sporting CP (Portugal).

Forwards: Janine Beckie, Portland Thorns (NSWL); Jordyn Huitema, Seattle Reign (NSWL); Cloe Lacasse, Arsenal (England); Clarissa Larisey, BK Hcken FF (Sweden); Adriana Leon, Aston Villa (England); Deanne Rose, Leicester City (England); Evelyne Viens AS Roma (Italy).

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