Canada coach Bev Priestman has stayed loyal to her World Cup squad, selecting 21 of the 23 tournament players for an Olympic qualifying playoff with Jamaica later this month.
The Olympic champion Canadian women, who fell to 10th in the world rankings from seventh after failing to survive the group stage in Australia, open the two-game series Sept. 22 in Kingston Jamaica, before hosting the 37th-ranked Reggae Girlz four days later at Toronto's BMO Field.
Canada has won all nine previous meetings, outscoring the Jamaicans 60-1. But the Reggae Girlz lasted longer at the World Cup, reaching the round of 16 where they were edged 1-0 by Colombia.
Jamaica beat Panama 1-0 and tied France and Brazil 0-0 to finish runner-up in its group. The tournament run saw the Jamaicans climb six places in the world rankings. Canada exited after tying Nigeria 0-0, edging Ireland 2-1 and losing 4-0 to Australia.
The Jamaicans made headlines off the field with Cedella Marley, daughter of the late reggae giant Bob Marley, raising funds to help keep the team afloat.
Priestman has named a 25-woman squad with only fullback Allysha Chapman and midfielder Sophie Schmidt missing from the World Cup roster. The 35-year-old Schmidt, who has won 224 caps for Canada, retired from international play after the World Cup while the 34-year-old Chapman has not featured for the Houston Dash since returning from the tournament.
Defender Jade Rose, who missed the World Cup through injury, returns to the squad. The other additions are defenders Bianca St-Georges and Sydney Collins and midfielder Marie-Yasmine Alidou.
Alidou took part in Canada's pre-World Cup camp in Australia but did not make the final roster.
Collins made her senior debut in April in a 1-0 loss to France in Le Mans, Canada's final World Cup tune-up.
Collins is an Oregon native who holds dual Canadian-U. S. citizenship. Father Brett played three seasons in the NFL as a linebacker with the Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams while mother Susan played volleyball in Canada.
Collins was selected by the North Carolina Courage in the first round (eighth overall) of the 2023 NWSL draft out of Cal.
Canada and Jamaica were paired in the Olympic playoff after finishing second and third, respectively, at the CONCACAF W Championship in Mexico in July 2022.
The U.S. qualified directly for the Paris Olympics by virtue of defeating Canada 1-0 in the CONCACAF W Championship final. Jamaica, which lost 3-0 to Canada in the semifinal, defeated Costa Rica 1-0 after extra time in the third-place playoff.
Host France, Brazil and Colombia have also already qualified for the 12-team Olympic soccer field.
Goalkeepers: Sabrina D'Angelo, Arsenal (England); Lysianne Proulx, SCU Torreense (Portugal); Kailen Sheridan, San Diego Wave (NWSL().
Defenders: Kadeisha Buchanan, Chelsea (England); Gabrielle Carle, Washington Spirit (NSWL); Sydney Collins, North Carolina Courage (NWSL); Vanessa Gilles, Olympique Lyonnais (France); Ashley Lawrence, Chelsea (England); Jayde Riviere, Manchester United (England); Bianca St-Georges, Chicago Red Stars (NWSL); Jade Rose, Harvard University; Shelina Zadorsky, Tottenham (England).
Midfielders: Marie-Yasmine Alidou D’Anjou, Benfica (Portugal); Simi Awujo, USC; Jessie Fleming, Chelsea (England); Julia Grosso, Juventus (Italy); Quinn, OL Reign (NSWL);
Midfielder-Forward: Olivia Smith, Sporting CP (Portugal).
Forwards: Jordyn Huitema, OL Reign (NWSL); Cloe Lacasse, Arsenal (England); Adriana Leon, Manchester United (England); Nichelle Prince, Houston Dash (NWSL); Deanne Rose, Leicester (England); Christine Sinclair, Portland Thorns (NWSL); Evelyne Viens, AS Roma (Italy).
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 8, 2023
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press