Five Things to Know About CanadaHydrated by BioSteel
Coming off a thrilling quarterfinal triumph over the Netherlands, the U.S. Women’s National Team returns to the field on August 2, taking on longtime Concacaf foe Canada in the semifinals of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The match kicks off at 5 p.m. local/4 a.m. ET at Ibaraki Kashima Stadium in Kashima, Japan and will be broadcast in the United States on the USA Network and Telemundo, with streaming coverage also available through NBCOlympics.com and the Telemundo App.
Here are Five Things to Know about Canada.
CANADA SEALS SPOT IN SEMIS WITH SHOOTOUT VICTORY
Canada will be making its third consecutive appearance in an Olympic semifinal, punching its ticket in the final four by topping Brazil on penalty kicks on Friday evening in Kashima. Deadlocked at 0-0 after regulation and extra time, the match proceeded to penalty kicks where Canada goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe saved the last two Brazilian attempts to send Canada through, 4-3.
Labbe also made six saves on the night as Brazil outshot Canada 16-13 with a 6-2 advantage on shots on target. Defender Ashley Lawrence and forward Deanne Rose led Canada with three shots apiece on the night and Lawrence also converted her penalty kick to help push the side through to the semifinal round.
Canada qualified for the knockout stages by virtue of a second-place finish in Group E, picking up five points with a win and two draws. After opening the competition with a 1-1 draw against hosts Japan, Canada topped Chile 2-1 in its second group stage match and played Great Britain to a 1-1 draw to close out group play. Janine Beckie scored both goals in the win over Chile, while forward and team captain Christine Sinclair scored against Japan an Adriana Leon found the back of the net against Great Britain.
INSIDE THE ROSTER
One of the most experienced and respected players in women’s soccer history, Sinclair is by far the most-capped player on Canada’s roster, making 302 appearances for her country. Just the fourth player in international soccer history to amass 300 caps, Sinclair reached the milestone in Canada’s opening match of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics – in which she also scored the opening goal – and joined USWNT standouts Kristine Lilly (354 caps), Christie Pearce Rampone (311) and Carli Lloyd (311) in the 300-cap club.
With 187 international goals, Sinclair is also the leading goalscorer – men’s or women’s – in international soccer history, passing the USA’s Abby Wambach for the title early in 2020 during Olympic qualifying. The 2020 Olympics are the fourth Olympics and ninth world championship event for Sinclair, who made her international debut in 2000 at age 16.
Midfielder Sophie Schmidt is the second-most capped player on Canada’s Olympic roster with 206 international appearances. Fellow midfielder Desiree Scott (164 caps), goalkeeper Erin McLeod (118) and defender Kadeisha Buchanan (107) also have over 100 caps while Lawrence will hit 100 caps in her next appearance for Canada.
The 25-year-old Buchanan leads Canada in minutes played this Olympics, going the distance in each of Canada’s four matches at Tokyo 2020. Beckie, who was born in Colorado, ranks second on Canada’s Olympic roster in overall goals, with 33 goals in 79 caps.
CANADA OLYMPIC ROSTER BY POSITIONGOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Stephanie Labbe (FC Rosengard, SWE), 18-Kailen Sheridan (NJ/NY Gotham FC, USA), 22-Erin McLeod (Orlando Pride, USA)
DEFENDERS (7): 2-Allysha Chapman (Houston Dash, USA), 3-Kadeisha Buchanan (Olympique Lyon, FRA), 4-Shelina (Tottenham Hotspur, ENG), 8-Jayde Riviere (University of Michigan, USA), 10-Ashley Lawrence (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA), 14-Vanessa Gilles (FC Girondins Bordeaux, FRA), 21-Gabrielle Carle (Florida State University, USA)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 5-Quinn (OL Reign USA), 7-Julia Grosso (University of Texas, USA), 11-Desiree Scott (Kansas City, USA), 17-Jessie Fleming (Chelsea, ENG), 20-Sophie Schmidt (Houston Dash, USA)
FORWARDS (7): 6-Deanne Rose (University of Florida, USA), 9-Adriana Leon (West Ham United, ENG), 12-Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns FC, USA), 13-Evelyne Viens (NJ/NY Gotham FC, USA), 15-Nichelle Prince (Houston Dash, USA), 16-Janine Beckie (Manchester City, ENG), 19-Jordyn Huitema (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA)
SERIES HISTORY: USA vs. CANADA
The USA and Canada are set to meet for the 62nd time overall in a series that dates back to 1986 when the USWNT was in just its second year in existence. Canada is the most common opponent in USWNT history and the USA leads the overall series 51-3-7.
This will be the third meeting between the USA and Canada at the Olympics, with the USWNT winning each of the previous two meetings, both of which came in the knockout rounds and went to extra time. In 2008, the USA bested Canadain the quarterfinals, 2-1, thanks to a dramatic diving header from Natasha Kai in the 101st minute. The teams met again in the 2012 Olympic semifinal at Wembley Stadium, a 4-3 victory for the USA in a thrilling affair, punctuated by a header from Alex Morgan in the 123rd minute – which still stands as the latest goal in FIFA and Olympic history – to send the Americans through to the final. Sinclair tallied a hat trick for Canada, but a Megan Rapinoe brace and a penalty kick from Abby Wambach kept the match level until Morgan’s header in the waning seconds.
The most recent meeting between the teams overall came on February 18, 2021, at the Cup in Orlando. Rose Lavelle scored in the 79th minute to lift the USA to a 1-0 victory to kick off the three-game tournament. The USA threatened on a number of set piece opportunities throughout the evening, earning 13 corners to Canada’s five and several free kicks in dangerous territory. After creating quality chances and knocking on the door for much of the night, the USA finally broke through off a free kick when Lavelle, a second-half substitute, pounced poor clearance in the penalty box and fired home for the game’s lone goal.
THE ROAD TO TOKYO
Canada qualified for the Tokyo 2020 by virtue of its runner-up finish to the USA at the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Canada secured its spot in Tokyo by defeating Costa Rica, 1-0, in the semifinal before falling to the USA, 3-0, in the title game at Dignity Health Sports Park. Canada’s Jordyn Huitema was awarded the Golden Boot as the top scorer in qualifying with seven goals while Labbe won the Golden Glove. Buchanan and Lawrence were named to the Best XI, along with Crystal Dunn, Lindsey Horan and Christen Press – who won the Golden Ball as the overall top performer -- from the USA.
This is Canada’s fourth Olympic appearance, having qualified for every tournament since 2008. After an eighth-place finish in Beijing in 2008, Canada has captured bronze at each of the last two Olympics – beating France, 1-0, in the Third-Place Match in 2012 and topping Brazil, 2-1, in 2016 to earn a second consecutive medal.
International competition aside, there is a very high degree of familiarity between the two sides as nearly every player on Canada’s roster has played in the United States at one point either professionally or collegiately. Canada’s roster features four current collegians in Deanne Rose, Julia Grosso, Jayde Riviere and Gabrielle Carle and nine players plying their trade in the NWSL. Allysha Chapman, Nichelle Prince and Sophie Schmidt play for the Houston Dash where they are club teammates with the USA’s Kristie Mewis and Jane Campbell. Evelyn Viens and Kailen Sheridan play for NJ/NY Gotham FC with Carli Lloyd, Erin McLeod is at Orlando Pride with Alex Morgan, Quinn plays for OL Reign with Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle, Christine Sinclair is club teammates with Crystal Dunn, Becky Sauerbrunn, Adrianna Franch and Lindsey Horan at Portland Thorns FC, and Desiree Scott plays for Kansas City.
Additionally, Kadeisha Buchanan and the USA’s Catarina Macario are club teammates for Olympique Lyon in France while Janine Beckie and Abby Dahlkemper are both at Manchester City, which was the club home of Rose Lavelle and Samantha Mewis prior to their return to the NWSL. Labbe also had a long spell with the North Carolina Courage before signing in Sweden while was teammates with Alex Morgan at the Orlando Pride and then later with Tottenham Hotspur.