Canada’s U20 Women beat Norway in Denmark

2 wins in games show great preparation for next year’s U20 World Cup
by Henrik Lonne   |   Thursday, August 01, 2013

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Tuesday morning the Under-20 Canada Women’s National Team Canada’s team faced off against Norway’s U-19 side in Copenhagen, Denmark, and found a 1-0 victory.

The 1st half was even, but too often Canada lost possession through long passes, which allowed Norway to create big chances, including one that hit the post. Canada played really well when possessing the ball and playing short passes to one another, but had difficulties producing anything.

About 15 minutes into the 2nd half, Katie Krautner got the goal for Canada in the box after a set piece and this changed Canada’s performance. The Canadian ladies showed more aggression and pressured the Norwegian team more. Canada also became better at passing shortly, which it was good at rather than kicking it far, which often lost them possession.

The Norwegians came close to equalizing, when Kailen Sheridan had gotten a bit too far out of her goal and was only saved by another shot on the post from the Norwegians.  Just before the end of the game, Sheridan came up big as she saved the penalty that had been called on Nicole Waters.

This match came after a 6-1 victory over local club team on Monday. Manager Andrew Olivieri was very happy about the experience and a good win against a quality Norway team, especially after beating a local club team 6-1 a couple of days before.

"I was bit disappointed about the level of the side we played Monday,” he said.

Canada, Norway and Denmark played a round robin, but Canada added the extra game on Monday to get 3 games in 5 days to give players a tournament-like experience ahead of the Women’s U20 World Cup in 2014. Because of the tight schedule, Olivieri also expects a strong challenge from Denmark on Friday, who will have been rested since Monday.

Defender Kadeisha Buchanan was also happy about the win and added about the performance that she felt that the Canadian team was under control during the 1st half and more pressured by the Norwegian team in the next half. Good for Canadian fans to see a Canadian team reacting well to pressure!

Having debuted for the full women’s team this January, I asked Buchanan how it is to play for the full team. To this she replied that playing for the full side gives her confidence and experience to grow more on the U-20 level.

She also said how it is important for her to take the experience from the team and share it with her U-20 teammates both on and off the field.

“I don't need an armband to be a leader,” she said.

She is also looking forward to the U-20 World Cup in 2014 and the full World Cup in 2015 – both in Canada. When asked about how it would be to play in the 2015 World Cup: “Obviously, its my hope and my dream,” but added with a bit more confidence, “I think I'm in a good spot to play on that team.”

For a moment it was easy to forget that I was actually talking to a young woman who won’t even turn 18 until December. She explained how it had been a busy summer flying straight from Jamaica to the camp Denmark, and as soon as the camp is over she will go straight to the University of Western Virginia to study criminology.

She explained how she wants to work in law enforcement, but dreams of being a pro. When asked about her playing career, Buchanan said she would consider pro soccer in Europe, but the priority is on graduating and going to the NWSL, if it survives that long: “I pray and dream that it will be there when I graduate.”

Buchanan seemed like a bright young woman, in addition to being a talented soccer player. For her sake and for all the young women and girls like her, I really hope her dreams come true.

Henrik LONNE

Nationality:
Denmark
College:
Copenhagen Business School
Club Domestic:
AGF Aarhus
Club Foreign:
Toronto FC
Born and raised in Denmark, the US performance in the 2002 World Cup dragged Henrik into the world of North American soccer. Subsequent trips to Canada made him a Toronto FC fan from abroad. The passion he now has for MLS outshines most European leagues.
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