Canada set to make waves at FIFA U-17 Soccer World Cup — with 4 Quebecers named to team

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While Canadian soccer followers are specializing in the success of the senior males’s and ladies’s groups, they’ll anticipate to see younger Quebec expertise coming down the pipeline this month. 

Sixteen groups will journey to India for the seventh version of the U-17 World Cup, that includes among the finest feminine youngsters on the planet, together with 4 Quebecers.

Coach Emma Humphries says Canada is trying to enhance on its fourth place end in 2018 — the nation’s finest lead to seven appearances at the match.

“We’re going out to win each recreation that is in entrance of us,” Humphries mentioned from Goa, India. 

Terrebonne’s Jade Bordeleau says pulling on the Canadian equipment is an honour.

“It was fairly wonderful if you stroll within the locker room and also you get the jersey with your quantity and every little thing,” she mentioned. “It was actually particular.”

It should not be shocking to see Jade rising to the highest of the expertise pool when you think about her household’s athletic roots.

Her grandfather, Paulin Bordeleau, performed within the NHL within the Seventies. Her father, Sébastien Bordeleau, performed seven years within the league, together with elements of three seasons with the Montreal Canadiens. Now, her brother, Thomas Bordeleau, is following go well with. He has already performed a handful of video games with the San Jose Sharks final season. But Jade knew early on that Canada’s nationwide winter sport wasn’t for her.

“My dad requested me after I was younger if I needed to play hockey as a result of, you realize, my brother was enjoying. I by no means needed something to do with it. I did determine skating, however by no means hockey.”

Striker Jade Bordeleau comes from a household of athletes. (Submitted by François Sauvé)

Canadian soccer followers are grateful Jade selected cleats over skates as a result of she’ll be referred to as on to assist carry the squad to a deep run on this match. As a striker, she shall be requested to step up within the absence of scoring sensation Rosa Maalouf, who’s out with an harm. The Ottawa native discovered the again of the online 12 instances to lead all gamers within the CONCACAF U-17 championship within the Dominican Republic final spring. Canada earned a bronze medal, which assured the team a spot within the World Cup. 

Humphries mentioned the team has blended up its assault in Maalouf’s absence, and a committee of gamers has been selecting up the slack.

“We’ve now performed 4 World Cup opponents and scored 5 targets [without Rosa,]” Humphries mentioned. “We will completely miss her … however this team is greater than able to scoring with out her.”

And Humphries likes what she sees in Jade.

“She’s a extremely thrilling participant who performs with an enormous quantity of struggle and keenness,” mentioned the New Zealander. “She has an actual eye for objective.”

Worth the sacrifice

Playing at this excessive degree of soccer takes self-discipline each on and off the pitch. Goalkeeper Coralie Lallier and midfielder Félicia Roy dwell on Montreal’s South Shore and are too younger to drive. Every day after faculty, they use the BMW technique (bus, metro, stroll) for the three-hour spherical journey to their coaching facility in Laval.

Coralie says the sacrifice is price it, particularly when the payoff is a variety to the nationwide team.

“[It] was like a dream. I used to be like, ‘oh, sooner or later I would like to play for Canada’ and now it is actual,” she mentioned.

Coralie performed scores of minutes within the spring match because the team’s primary keeper and Humphries says she’ll be backstopping the team once more in India.

Emma Humphries is teaching Canada’s ladies’s under-17 team for the 2022 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India. (Canada Soccer)

Félicia has been dreaming of representing Canada for years however hopes that is only a step in her path to the highest. Her objective is to finally make the senior team and signify Canada within the Olympics whereas carving out knowledgeable profession in Europe.

“She’s a technical midfielder,” mentioned Humphries. “She retains the sport one, two contact when it wants to be and likewise [has the] bravery to give you the option to attempt to beat individuals by way of the center.”

An opportunity to win 

Canada has nearly as good of an opportunity as any nation to win, nevertheless it will not be simple. The path to victory might doubtless run by way of the US, a team that beat Canada 3-0 within the CONCACAF spring — a loss, Félicia says, that also stings.

“The US is our largest rival on this match. We need to play them once more and beat them,” mentioned the St-Bruno-de-Montarville teen. “We have to play higher as a team as a result of we have been a bit misplaced within the match and performed too individually.”

First, Canada can have to get out of its pool, which incorporates soccer powerhouses Japan and France. Both of these international locations have already received a World Cup at this degree.

Canadian defender Janet Okeke, 15, likes her team’s possibilities. 

A girl wearing a jersey holds a soccer ball.
Janet Okeke, 15, who can play centre-back and full-back, brings plenty of power to the group and is impressing on the pitch, says her coach. (Submitted by François Sauvé)

“I believe that if everyone places their thoughts to it and trains with the imaginative and prescient of us profitable the World Cup, I believe that we will win the World Cup,” mentioned the Laval teen.

Humphries says Janet, who can play centre-back and full-back, brings plenty of power to the group and is impressing on the pitch.

“When she joins in with the assault — a lot pace, a lot willpower and she will be able to beat individuals one-v-one on the within or exterior,” Humphries mentioned.

Janet is thrilled to be representing her nation, however she wasn’t too thrilled about the way in which she came upon she made the team. Her father despatched her a easy textual content whereas she was in school.

“In particular person can be significantly better,” she mentioned with fun. “I simply requested my instructor if I might go away to name him to make certain that it was actual.”

When requested why she was on her telephone in the course of class, she correctly declined to remark.

On Oct. 12, Canada will open the match towards France and play Japan three days later. Canada will end the group stage towards Tanzania, a rustic making its first U-17 World Cup look.

Humphries says Canadian followers ought to listen to this match and this technology of soccer expertise. She thinks the standard at the ahead place specifically is deeper than ever earlier than.

“We need to excite Canada about these people that might sooner or later be enjoying for the senior team,” she mentioned.

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