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Herdman eyes future with young December roster

John Herdman will evaluate young players in Brazil in December. (Photo Courtesy Canada Soccer)

John Herdman will evaluate young players in Brazil in December. (Photo Courtesy Canada Soccer)

Olympic qualifying is right around the corner, but Canada coach John Herdman already has an eye on the next World Cup cycle.

Herdman will use a young roster with a few core players when Canada plays in a friendly tournament in Brazil in December against Croatia, Mexico and hosts Brazil. The roster numbers could be light, with five players’ availability dependent upon their team’s progression in the NCAA tournament.

“The tournament in Brazil is part of the assessment phase, so we will be bringing in a lot of young players in November, and through into the tournament in Brazil in December,” Herdman said. “We know a lot about the players that have been with the team in the past, so some of the players coming to Brazil will be those we need to learn a little bit more about as we look to keep improving the team for Rio.”

While some of the younger players could feature at the 2016 Olympics — should Canada qualify — they are more likely to be pieces of Canada’s future heading into the 2019 World Cup.

Veteran players missing from the December roster include Desiree Scott, Kaylyn Kyle, Lauren Sesselmann and Emily Zurrer. Teenage wunderkind Jessie Fleming is not on the roster.

“This is really an important assessment period before we bring together the final group in January that will make up the Canadian team for our Olympic campaign,” Herdman concluded.

Canada will play Mexico on Dec. 9, Croatia on Dec. 13 and Brazil on Dec. 16.

CONCACAF Olympic qualifying will take place in February, with the top two teams advancing to the 2016 Olympics. The draw for that eight-team qualifying tournament will take place on Monday.

The following Canadian players will be entering Canada’s Women’s National Team camp on 21 November:

GK- Sabrina D’Angelo | USA / Western New York Flash
GK- Stephanie Labbé | CAN /
GK- Erin McLeod | USA / Houston Dash
CB- Shelina Zadorsky | SWE / Vittsjö GIK
FB- Allysha Chapman | USA / Houston Dash
FB- Kennedy Faulknor | CAN / Unionville Milliken SC
FB- Rhian Wilkinson | USA / Portland Thorns FC
M- Diana Matheson | USA / Washington Spirit
M- Deanne Rose | CAN / Scarborough GS United
M- Sophie Schmidt | GER / FFC Frankfurt
F- Gabrielle Carle | CAN / AS Chaudière-Est
F- Summer Clarke | USA / Louisiana State University
F- Marie Levasseur | USA / University of Memphis
F- Christine Sinclair | USA / Portland Thorns FC
F- Melissa Tancredi | USA / Chicago Red Stars

In addition, the following players currently competing in NCAA play may enter the camp and competition dependant on the results of their current season:

– Janine Beckie | USA / Texas Tech
– Kadeisha Buchanan | USA / West Virginia U.
– Ashley Lawrence | USA / West Virginia Univ.
– Nichelle Prince | CAN / Toronto Lady Lynx
– Rebecca Quinn | USA / Duke University

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