Canada Set To Face Brazil In Front Of Sold-Out Montreal Crowd
The Canadian Women’s National team face Brazil at Saputo Stadium on Saturday.
It hasn’t been that long since the Canadian Women’s National Team was in action beating Jamaica 4-1 on September 26th in Toronto to officially qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The goal now is to prepare for the defense of the gold medal and facing Brazil at home is a good start.
“I think the biggest challenge is we haven’t been in this situation before,” Bev Priestman told me today at the MD-1 media availability at Saputo Stadium when I asked her about facing a new coach.
“We have scouted his club teams and did some research on the last camp despite the fact they didn’t play a game and the first 20 minutes of the game will be adapting to what they are doing.”
After Pia Sundhage stepped down she was replaced by Gastao Elias, who has taken over the Brazilian Women’s team. This will be his first game on the touchline.
“The front end of the game will be figuring out what’s changed but at the end of the day where we are at and where we are trying to go with Paris 2024 in mind…we will see how we start in terms of adapting.”
Cloe Lacasse, who also joined Priestman, was asked to give her input on the game against Brazil and what to expect against a team that also is reeling off a disappointing World Cup.
“Brazil is a very strong team,” Lacasse told the media. “They are creative and their offensive game is similar to Jamaica and they are dynamic and powerful. It will be an interesting matchup.”
Lacasse also spoke about the new formation and building new relationships and tactics.
“It was important for us to create a new chemistry and try different players in different roles. After the Jamaica game we were able to see that evolution and try new things. We want to continue to grow.”
I had a chance to ask Lacasse about how satisfied she and the team were with how quick and successful the changes to the formation worked.
“I think it was just the mentality. After the World Cup we all had a period of reflection and we knew something had to change. Going forward, we wanted to represent Canada in the best possible way. We believed in what Bev was bringing to the table and we bought into that formation.”
I had a chance to catch up with Quebec native Gabrielle Carle, who is super-excited to be playing in Montreal in front of her fans.
“First of all, I am so excited to be playing in Montreal and Quebec,” Carle told me. “This is my home and for me, it’s an honour to play at Saputo Stadium. I grew up going to games in Montreal.”
In regards to Brazil, Carle is very cognizant of the team on the other side of the pitch.
“We play Brazil a lot so we know them well and they know us well, so it is always a good matchup. It’s going to be intense.”
I also got the opportunity to have a chat with Evelyne Viens, who is also ecstatic to be playing in Quebec.
“It feels pretty good,” Viens said. “We get to come here and I get to play in front of our fans with friends and family. It’s going to be fun.”
She also gave us her expectations of playing against Brazil with the likes of Marta and Debinha.
“I know they will look fresh and new since they hired a new coach. We need to be ready for everything they are going to throw at us, they are good in transition and very technical.”
I asked Viens about Canada’s change in formation and the tactics. She believes it was a good move to keep the team moving forward.
“I think the tactics are a way of playing and at the end of the day we have the talent and the quality to do it, it was time for us to keep pushing and getting better.”
Header Image Photo Credit: Canada Soccer