Canada’s roster features goalkeepers Karina LeBlanc and Erin McLeod, defenders Candace Chapman, Carmelina Moscato, Emily Zurrer, Robyn Gayle, Lauren Sesselmann, Chelsea Stewart and Rhian Wilkinson, midfielders Kaylyn Kyle, Diana Matheson, Kelly Parker, Sophie Schmidt and Desiree Scott, and forwards Jonelle Filigno, Christine Sinclair, Melissa Tancredi and Brittany Timko.
This marks Canada’s second participation in the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament. Canada is one of 12 teams focused on a podium result, with the competition split into three groups of four teams for the group phase.
Canada, a two-time CONCACAF champion, qualified for the London 2012 Olympics out of Vancouver, BC at the 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Vancouver, BC. In front of record-setting Canadian crowd at BC Place in January, Canada won a confederation silver medal after qualifying as one of two Olympic teams from CONCACAF.
Twelve of Canada’s 18 players also have experience from the last Women’s Olympic Football Tournament at Beijing 2008. That was the year Canada reached the quarter-final phase of the competition, only falling in extra time to eventual champion and CONCACAF rival USA. The six players hoping to make their Olympic debut at London 2012 are Sesselmann, Chelsea Stewart, Kelly Parker, Desiree Scott, Kaylyn Kyle and Carmelina Moscato.
Seventeen of Canada’s 18 players came up through the Canadian national youth program (all but Sesselmann). Six players won a silver medal at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2002: Sinclair, Timko, Chapman, Erin McLeod, Carmelina Moscato and Robyn Gayle. Six players also won a CONCACAF youth title with Canada, be it in 2004 (Timko and Emily Zurrer) or 2008 (Jonelle Filigno, Kaylyn Kyle, Sophie Schmidt and Chelsea Stewart).
Canada faces Japan on 25 July in Coventry, South Africa on 28 July in Coventry, and Sweden on 31 July in Newcastle. Both Japan (champion) and Sweden (bronze) were medal winners at the most recent FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011.
Either two or three teams will advance from each group, with eight teams participating in the quarter-final phase. The quarter-final matches are on 3 August, the semi-final matches are on 6 August, and the final medal matches are on 9 August.
GK- Karina LeBlanc
GK- Erin McLeod | SWE / Dalsjöfors G.o.I.F.
CB- Candace Chapman
CB- Carmelina Moscato | SWE / Piteå IF
CB- Emily Zurrer | SWE / Dalsjöfors G.o.I.F.
FB- Robyn Gayle
FB- Lauren Sesselmann
FB- Chelsea Stewart
FB- Rhian Wilkinson
M- Kaylyn Kyle
M- Diana Matheson
M- Kelly Parker
M- Sophie Schmidt | SWE / Kristianstads DFF
M- Desiree Scott | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
F- Jonelle Filigno | USA / Rutgers University
F- Christine Sinclair
F- Melissa Tancredi | SWE / Dalsjöfors G.o.I.F.
F- Brittany Timko | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC