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Canadian women's soccer team heading south for SheBelieves Cup

Last Updated Jan 11, 2021 at 1:54 pm MST

Women's National Team Training Session 23 January 2020 - Austin, TX, USA Canada Soccer by Matthew Bradford

OTTAWA (660 NEWS) — The Canadian women’s soccer squad is ready to hit the pitch again.

Canada Soccer has announced the team will head to Orlando next month to participate in the SheBelieves Cup.

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“I’m excited to get the team together for the first time to kick off an important 2021 season as we build towards the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer,” Canadian head coach Bev Priestman said Monday in a release.

“The SheBelieves Cup gives us the opportunity to face some of the top football teams in the world in a tournament setting. It will be a great opportunity to get ourselves ready for the Tokyo Olympic Games, facing different styles of play and tight turnarounds.”

Canada will be taking on some of the world’s best: USA, Brazil, and Japan — all top 10 teams.

The most recent FIFA ranking has Canada tied for eighth in the world with Brazil.

The Canadian team hasn’t seen action since March of last year due to the pandemic. Canada Soccer says it will “closely monitor all COVID-19 developments in consultation with the Public Health Agency of Canada and relevant governing bodies through the Canada Soccer Sport Medicine Committee.”

READ MORE: ‘It’s only going to help’: Canada’s Bev Priestman hopes to inspire other women to consider coaching

This marks the first time Canada will be taking part in the SheBelieves Cup. The tournament was founded in 2016, and it’s been won by the Americans three times, including last year.

“I can’t wait for this tournament, and I know our players feel the same way,” USA head coach Vlatko Andonovski stated. “We put in all this work to play matches, so to get three great ones in this world-class event that resembles group play at an Olympics is something we’re very thankful for.

“It will be a bit different this year with limited fans, but with the Olympics once again on the horizon, our players will be highly motivated, and there’s no better way to prepare for the tournament than to play teams that will be in Japan. There’s some great history between these countries, and I know all six games will be fun to play in and to watch.”

Canada and USA last faced off a little over a year ago, when the Americans won 3-0 in the Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament final.