Five girls from the Manotick-based Ottawa South United soccer program joined the Canadian national U17 women’s team for the CONCACAF (The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football) qualifying tournament last month.
Annabelle and Isabelle Chukwu, Bianca Hanisch, Reese Kay and Mya Angus were all part of the Canadian team that dominated its group at the tournament.
The Canadian team began its journey in the Dominican Republic for the 2023 CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Qualifiers on Sat., Aug. 26. The 2023 Women’s Under-17 Championship qualifying competition was played in four different countries with six different groups in the qualification competition. Canada coach Emma Humphries selected a group of 21 players to face group F opponents Dominica, Guyana and Bermuda.
The Canadian team opened up with a 9-0 win over Bermuda. That was followed by a lopsided 21-0 win over the Dominican Republic. Guyana pulled out of the tournament, citing funding difficulties to travel to the tournament to compete.
“I am really looking forward to getting this group together,” said Emma Humphries, Canada Soccer’s Women’s U-17 National Team Head Coach before the tournament. “This will be our first camp and the start of this next FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup cycle. It is a great opportunity to assess the player pool across the country and also gain valuable experience in a World Cup qualification tournament.”
The six group winners advance to the 2024 Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championship, joining Mexico and the United States, who have been seeded directly into the Championship’s group stage. Mexico is ranked first in CONCACAF with the United States second. Canada is ranked third in CONCACAF for women’s U17 soccer.
Canada are Olympic champions (Tokyo 2020), two-time bronze medal winners (2012 and 2016), and two-time CONCACAF champions (1998 and 2010). In all, Canada have participated in eight consecutive editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup (1995 to 2023) and four consecutive editions of the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament (2008 to 2021). At Tokyo 2020, Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team became the first Canadian team to win three consecutive medals at the Summer Olympic Games and just the third nation in the world to win three medals in women’s soccer.
Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Youth Teams, meanwhile, have won four CONCACAF youth titles: the 2004 and 2008 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship, the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship, and the 2014 CONCACAF Girls’ Under-15 Championship. Canada have qualified for eight editions of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup (including a silver medal at Canada 2002) and all seven editions of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup (including a fourth-place finish at Uruguay 2018).
Ottawa South United was well-represented as the Canadian women’s U17 team competed in the CONCACAF U17 qualifying tournament.