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  • Writer's pictureElias Laradi

Soccer: Canada ready to face familiar foe Brazil at She Believes Cup

Updated: Apr 7

On Friday, Bev Priestman met the Canadian media virtually from Atlanta, Georgia to discuss the upcoming semi-final against Brazil, a team they know extremely well.

The Canadians unfortunately are banged up as they will be without the services of Quinn, Jayde Riviere, Nichelle Prince, Sydney Collins, or Olivia Smith.

“You can say it feels complete but also depleted”, Bev Priestman said when discussing the current state of her squad. “With losing Quinn, Olivia, Jayde Riviere, Sydney, and Nichelle there is some critical player missing.”

Priestman also spoke about the two major players returning from the injury in Janine Beckie and Desiree Scott.

“I think the quality of both players you can feel and see that and you can see Janine get some good minutes in Portland and in regards to Desiree she has had less minutes in the tank and that will be reflected in how much we see them on the pitch but both have done really well.”

“It’s great to have them back on and off the pitch in terms of what they can bring.” - Canada Head Coach, Bev Priestman

It was confirmed by Priestman that Quinn suffered a concussion in their last game and they didn’t recover in time to be available for the exhibition tournament.

Olivia Smith suffered a knee injury taking a knock but Priestman confirmed it wasn’t serious and it was more of a preventative measure.

This time last year Canada entered the She Believes Cup in a sensitive spot after declaring the team wouldn’t play due to a lack of financial support and a deal with CSB or Canada Soccer Business that was signed without their consent.

Canada Soccer threatened to sue each player personally which left a sour taste in the player's mouth and the team played the tournament under protest.

“ It was a little bit of a reflection moment coming into this”, Priestman responded when talking about last year's experience. “ As a staff we were talking about the She Believes and it was an absolute blur which is a sign of where it was and the group focused and they were on a journey and that’s what I hope to see.”

“There is an inside belief of what this group can deliver and it has been totally different this time around even for me as a coach and I can focus on football and the group feel committed and all in."

Priestman was asked about the challenges of playing a team like Brazil whom Canada has faced four times in the last year and Priestman gave them full credit.

Check out our interview with Atlanta radio host, Abe Gordon, including a SheBeiieves Cup preview!

“They did a really good job of matching us up when we played them in Halifax and we would have seen and felt that and made some tweaks and we have both learned something and it will be a tactical battle.”

“I’ve seen some consistency in what they put out in the Gold Cup and they have impressed me and historically when we play them we have big opportunities with spaces and their change of formation has got the best out of them so it will be a great matchup and it always is.”

The other two teams in the tournament are the host USA & Japan and Priestman was asked if this tournament in terms of team quality will be the toughest challenge this year.

“This is going to ask some different questions and there are a lot of challenges and it’s just part of the job that you have to adapt to and tweak and take some risks but it’s going to be a great challenge and a good test for the players and I am interested in our response.”

“This is a true test that we need before the Olympics and we need these games in front of us in terms of tactically and technically.”

Priestman did confirm they are in the final phase of confirming the next four matches after the She Believes Cup with two in the May window and two in July before the team departs for France for the Olympic tournament.

The winner of the Canada-Brazil match will play the winner of the USA-Japan match in the final while the two losers will play in a third-place game in Columbus, Ohio.

Editor's Note: At the time of publication, it has been noted that goalkeeper, Lysianne Proulx, has been forced to withdraw due to an injury incurred in training, per Canada Soccer. Anna Karpenko, who plays for Harvard (NCAA) will be joining the squad as her replacement.


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