Canada Ready For Final Test Against France
On Monday Bev Priestman met the media ahead of their final international friendly on Tuesday night against France in Le Mans.
There was a bit of bad news released earlier in the day as Canada Soccer confirmed Kadeisha Buchanan had been sent back to London and won’t play tomorrow.
“We work with Chelsea,” Priestman said, land we deloaded her, and that was the plan. After an assessment, she couldn’t play, and she couldn’t get through what we needed. It’s not a WC injury, but it’s not a ‘we’ll be ready this week.’ It’ll need to be managed going into the World Cup.”
France is coming in with a new head coach Herve Renard who is fresh off leading Saudi Arabia to the World Cup in Qatar and even shocking Argentina in group play. Priestman gave her thoughts on the new opposition gaffer.
“With a new coach, it was insightful for us to see their evolution under their new manager the other night. They seem compact, not afraid to be in a block, but also aggressive.”
Renard met the French media in person earlier and confirmed 15,000 tickets have been sold at the Marie Marvingt Stadium in Le Mans which has a capacity of 25,000, and he hopes more will come.
Under Renard’s leadership, he was able to bring back some valuable veterans, most notably Eugenie Le Sommer, and I asked Priestman her thoughts on the French striker.
“We have to be aware of her quality. She has world-class movement and will be riding an absolute high. Our defenders are aware of her quality, and we have to nullify that. We have to be on defensively tomorrow with a clean sheet mindset.”
France played Columbia in a friendly last night and Priestman was able to go watch and scout her opponents, analyzing them for the Canadian media on the call.
“We know they have quality, and that’s what I saw the other night. Cacarino, Le Sommer – outstanding. They have quality, but we can still hurt them.”
Priestman was asked if the amount of injuries changes her approach to the game against France.
“If these players don’t become available, what is the identity of the team? We have some tweaks. We have to evolve and tweak, and this camp was always targeted for that. You’ll see tweaks in partnerships. We have to adapt.”
Canada has been training all week in Fougere, which is just outside Le Mans. Priestman gave her feedback on what has been a memorable experience.
“We’re in a remote location that allowed us to focus on us. The vibes of the squad and our environment—focusing on a ‘together’ team. We needed it after the February window. It was anything but light in February. Have to credit the staff.”
We even got an update on Quinn and Shelina Zadorsky, who are both out for the game tomorrow as well.
“Quinn shouldn’t be long-term, but not ready for this camp. Shelina, I’m proud of her. In Feb, you knew something wasn’t right. I had a good convo with her. We both agreed pushing her right now wasn’t the right thing. It’s not an overnight thing.”
A key thing to look at on the other side is set pieces and Priestman says that she something she will focus on.
“The France coach will have focused on how they conceded against Colombia. We are majorly focused on set pieces, and we know there’s an opportunity there. Renard is a good coach, and he’ll put attention on that.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 3:10 pm Eastern time and the game can be seen on OneSoccer.