On June 8 and June 11the Canadian women’s national team will host Costa Rica for two international friendlies. Winnipeg will be the first destination for the two teams followed by a game in Toronto.
Canada and Costa Rica squared off in February last year with Canada winning the game 3-1 securing a spot in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Sky Blue FC’s own Raquel Rodriguez scored the lone Costa Rican goal in that contest. Rodriguez will hope to make the upcoming roster and continue to be a consistent contributor for the squad. She has been a part of the national team for seven years with 50 caps and 34 goals.
While Rodriguez is trying to make Costa Rica’s roster, Kailen Sheridan, Sky Blue FC rookie, will be trying to make Canada’s roster for the matches. Sheridan was the No. 23 pick in the 2017 draft and was recently allocated to SBFC as a Canadian subsidized player for the upcoming NWSL season. The goalkeeper received her first cap for Canada on March 7, 2016 and recently was an alternate during the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Canada is hoping to bring in large crowds for the games similar to the last time they played in Winnipeg, where 28,255 fans were in attendance. Canada’s Head Coach John Herdman is excited for the team to play at home and hopefully come away with two wins.
“Getting to play in front of Canadian fans is really special, so we are obviously thrilled to be coming home for another June two-match series,” said Herdman. “We’ll be coming off away games against both Sweden and Germany, Olympic Silver and Gold medalists respectively, so we’re confident the team will be in good shape to produce a winning performance for both sets of fans.”
Canada is currently ranked fourth in the FIFA world rankings, while Costa Rica is ranked 29th. Playing three quality opponents will help prepare Canada for a new cycle of players that will be vying for a spot in the 2019 World Cup and 2020 Olympic Games. Costa Rica will also be looking to improve upon their international play and move up in the FIFA rankings.
According to Herdman, the game in Toronto will have an extra incentive for Canada as they will try and secure a win specifically for the local fans. The last time the Canadian team played in Toronto they lost 2-0 to Brazil ahead of the 2016 Olympics.
“We’re looking forward to coming back to Winnipeg and Toronto,” Herdman said. “For the Toronto crowd especially, we want to deliver for the fans, they always come out and support us but we’ve yet to deliver a win for them. Rest assured we’ll be doing everything we can in the preparation to make that happen.”