Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Women's Soccer Team to Face France, England in Exhibition Games

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Women's Soccer Team to Face France, England in Exhibition Games

Article excerpt

Canadian women's side to face France, England


Coach John Herdman doesn't want the Canadian women's soccer team to lose its Olympic swagger heading its first exhibition contest against France since last year's London Summer Games.

Canada faces France on April 4 in Nice for the first time since its 1-0 win over the French last summer to capture an Olympic bronze medal. The victory was historic as it secured Canada its first Olympic medal in a traditional team sport since 1936.

"The girls know this is going to be tough going into France on French soil after what happened at the Olympics," Herdman said during a conference call. "But at the same time, this is a team that beat the French only eight months ago so I wouldn't say anyone is too scared about it.

"At the same time as a team we want to protect the mindset we've worked so hard to establish. When you win a bronze medal, there's a little bit of fear that goes out to the teams you play against, 'Hey, this is a team to be reckoned with.' We want to keep that."

Three days after facing France, the Canadians will take on England in another exhibition game at Rotherham. Canada suffered a heart-breaking 1-0 loss to the English in the Cyprus Cup final March 13.

Herdman will take an experienced lineup headlined by star striker Christine Sinclair overseas for the two games. Canada's roster against France will feature 14 players who were in London and 17 that participated in the Cyprus Cup.

"The team is experienced," Herdman said. "You've got to take an experienced team into this group.

"But it also gives you a bit of an insight into the future as well with some of those younger players I've had a chance to look at . . . I'm starting to narrow that down to a smaller group I'm prepared to invest in when we go into these big games against France, who aren't going to take any prisoners. These next two games are going to be a real eye-opener. …

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