Last Monday Canadian Women’s National team head coach John Herdman announced the 24 player roster for the Cyprus Women’s Cup Tournament that begins on Wednesday.
This tournament provides important exhibition preparation ahead of the Women’s World Cup in June. Like in past Cyprus Cups, the team will use this as an opportunity to develop cohesiveness among the group and unify their shared purpose.
Herdman understands the importance of continuing the momentum the team has created this year after winning three matches en route to capturing Bao’an Cup in China. “We've been on a roll and hope to continue that” Herdman said. “It’s great for the confidence of our players.”
Though it’s speculated that the roster for this tournament is a strong indication of who will represent Canada in the showpiece event this summer, Herdman hinted at it not being finalized. “We haven’t written anyone off […] there are still opportunities. The door is always open.”
Herdman will use Cyprus as a way to as build upon team chemistry and gauge who is ready to accept leadership roles and emerge as a starters.
When asked about potential formations for the tournament, the coach said that in order to be successful a team must have the ability to adapt tactics for different opponents. “What we tried in China will be different to what we try against Scotland or Italy.”
Canada has won the Cyprus Cup three times in the tournament’s seven year history. Their last championship was in 2011 against the Netherlands. Canada placed second in 2009, 2012 and most recently in 2013 with a loss to England. Canada’s first match of the tournament takes place Wednesday March 4th versus Scotland.
Diana Matheson is ahead of schedule in her recovery from a torn left ACL, an injury she sustained in October against Japan at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium. However, there isn't a timetable set for her return.
“Her recovery is head of schedule at this stage. We’ll have our fingers crossed and I think everybody wants to see her back” Herdman said on Tuesday from Cyrpus. “Diana is one of the most resilient women I have ever met.”
Canadian defender Lauren Sesselmann’s recovery from knee injury is “getting there” according to Herdman. Sesselmann suffered the injury prior to last year's Cyprus Cup. He hopes to have her rejoin the team in April ahead of Canada’s match against France on the 9th in Bondoufle.