Matheson on Canada's final Women's World Cup tune-up, young teammates to watch
TORONTO — Canada will play a friendly against Mexico on May 18 at Toronto's BMO Field before departing the next day for the Women's World Cup in France.
The match against the 27th-ranked Mexicans will be the last for the No. 5 Canadian women before they open the World Cup against No. 46 Cameroon on June 10 in Montpellier.
Canada's next game is April 5 in Manchester against fourth-ranked England in a rematch of the 2015 World Cup quarterfinal won 2-1 by England. Coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller hopes to organize another friendly April 8, during the same FIFA international window.
Canada is unbeaten in its last 12 matches with Mexico (10-0-2) since a 2-1 loss in the 2004 CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament that denied Canada a trip to the Athens Olympics.
Canada won all 10 meetings prior that.
The Mexico game does not fall during an international window but Heiner-Moller says he expects to have most of his players available.
Most European leagues will be finished and, in North America, NWSL teams have agreed to release their players. The Champions League final in Budapest is the same day, however, so Canada could miss out on Ashley Lawrence and/or Kadeisha Buchanan if Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon make the final.
The deadline for naming the 23-woman World Cup roster is May 24. Heiner-Moller may take 24 to Europe, with one extra player in case of injury. He will also have several players back home on standby.
Heiner-Moller has a good handle on his roster already, but knows competition remains for a few places.
"Those players coming into this camp (before the England game), they'll be so eager to perform and make sure they are convincing me and the other staff that they need to go," he said. "It's going to be an interesting camp this one."