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  • Writer's pictureElias Laradi

Soccer: Canada set to open Inaugural W Gold Cup campaign vs El Salvador.

Updated: Apr 7

By Elias Laradi


Image credit: CONCACAF

After a brief delay due to traffic, Bev Priestman and newly appointed captain Jessie Fleming met the media in person and remotely on Wednesday evening.


Canada will face El Salvador on Thursday night in Houston, Texas looking to begin the tournament on the right track.


“We have high expectations of ourselves”, Bev Priestman told the media in her opening answer. “ The margins are very fine so on any day anything can happen.”


“We want to deliver and perform and as the tournament goes along and we will be ready for when big games come our way and we need to deliver and our standards are high.”


Jessie Fleming echoed the message from her coach.


“We need to control what we can control as a team”, she responded. “ Looking at the group stage and wanting to keep the clean sheet and hopefully grow through the tournament, we are excited to play some good games against different opposition.


It’s the first time we will see teams from CONCACAF and South America in the same tournament as Canada will also face Paraguay and Costa Rica.


“This group will throw three different challenges our way with different styles with South American and  CONCACAF region and what we have seen from El Salvador is they can be dangerous and they can score and we have to respect that and all three teams will be well organized.”


Unfortunately, news earlier today broke of a lawsuit as the CSPA filed a suit against current and former board members of Canada Soccer but Priestman confirmed the team is focusing on the task at hand despite the unfortunate timing of the news.


“We learned a lot in the past 12-18 months and being in our environment and the news broke today you wouldn’t have known that and that tells you that the team is focused on what’s in front of them.”


After the retirement of one of the greatest soccer plays to don a Canadian jersey in Christine Sinclair it was announced by Canada Soccer that Jessie Fleming was going to take over as captain and Priestman was asked about the nomination.


“ The leadership is by committee and even if Jessie is wearing an armband there is a group of players and I know Jessie is the type of player to take players with her and a team first captain and that was a big part of it.”


Finally, there was an update on player availability and one major change was announced earlier with Bianca St Georges taking the spot of Sydney Collins who suffered an ankle injury but Priestman confirmed that it is short-term.


“My thoughts are with Sydney and my heart broke in that moment when we knew that she was out because she has been an unbelievable addition to this team and she really has stepped up as a young player.”


“Bianca always does an outstanding job when she puts on the shirt for Canada and she was a natural replacement for Sydney and really comfortable in this environment.”


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