Canada builds on Brazil’s experience en route to the FIFA U-17 World Cup

Canada Soccer’s U-17 team is building an important experience in Brazil as part of preparations for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Indonesia 2023, despite back-to-back losses to the reigning South American champions. Canada lost 3:1 on Friday and 5:0 on Sunday, their first international matches since the Concacaf Men’s Under-17 Championship in February.

„This was the right type of opponent for our youth team to measure us and grow,” said Canada Soccer Men’s National Youth Excel Director and U-17 Coach Andrew Olivieri.

Having qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup for the first time in a decade, Canada heads to Indonesia this November for the biennial 24-nation world tournament. Whether Canada’s young players spend the summer playing for their clubs at the academy or professional level, this is the first time they’ll be teamed up with the best players from the country. In Brazil, Team Canada only had two full sessions together before they went toe-to-toe with their opponents.

„We are fortunate that Brazil gave us this opportunity to assemble the group before the FIFA U-17 World Cup,” Olivieri said. „It may have been months without being together, but we will transfer the necessary learnings to reach our goal of reaching the knockout stage for the first time at the FIFA U-17 World Cup.”

Canada has competed in seven previous editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup since 1987, but they have yet to win or escape the group stage. They will open this year’s tournament against Spain on November 10th, then face Uzbekistan on November 13th and Mali on November 16th. Unlike the September trip to Brazil, Canada hopes to have more than a week together in Indonesia before kicking off their tournament at the Manaham Stadium in Surakarta, Indonesia.

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„We’re all looking forward to this, but if I think about the players, it must be very exciting for them to finally put a flag on the chest of that opponent because they’ve been imagining it across them,” Olivieri said. After the official draw. „It’s suddenly become more real, and now we can focus on what’s in front of us.”

Since September’s trip to Brazil, Olivieri and his staff have had the chance to assess their players’ progress since the CONCACAF tournament, integrate some new players into the squad and identify gaps and opportunities ahead of November’s FIFA tournament. On the pitch, the players were given the opportunity to compete against the famous yellow, green and blue of Brazil, helping young Canadians on their journeys throughout professional and international soccer.

The Canada Soccer Men’s EXCEL program brings our nation’s exceptional players to the best soccer environments. Canada Soccer Pathway works with our provincial and territorial partners as well as professional clubs and academies. For Canada’s elite players, the program emphasizes player development on the path to representing Canada’s men’s national team in international soccer.

Canada Soccer Men’s National Team Program
The Canada soccer men’s national team are three-time Concacaf champions, having previously won the 1985 Concacaf Championship, the 2000 Concacaf Gold Cup and the 2021–22 Concacaf qualifiers. Canada most recently qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and has previously featured in the 1976 and 1984 Olympic Games, the 1986 FIFA World Cup and the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup.

The Canada soccer men’s national youth teams have won two Concacaf titles: the 1986 and 1996 Concacaf Men’s Youth Championships. Canada has qualified for 16 FIFA men’s youth tournaments: eight editions of the FIFA U-20 World Cup and eight editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Canada recently qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Indonesia 2023 in February this year.

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Photos by CPF / Renon Carmarco

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