Kailen Sheridan and NWSL commissioner Jeff Plush at the league’s college draft. (Photo courtesy of Sky Blue FC)
Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan Wednesday was named to the Canadian women’s national team roster for the Algarve Cup in Portugal.
The 21-year-old Sheridan, who was chosen as the the 23rd overall pick in this year’s National Women’s Soccer League college draft, will help the Maple Leafs defend their title. She hails from Whitby, Ontario.
The 24th edition of the Algarve Cup will take place from March 1-8. Canada faces Denmark March 1, Russia March 3, and hosts Portugal March 6, with the final match scheduled for March 8.
The roster is a blend of youth and experience.
“This tournament will be our first opportunity to play consecutive competitive fixtures since the 2016 Rio Olympics and a chance to get our whole squad back together. The focus will be on winning the tournament, by firstly shaking off some rust and then pushing to recreate the tactical cohesion and off-field chemistry we saw in Rio,” Canada head coach John Herdman said. “We have six new additions to our squad, players who showed well on our assessment camp and who will add depth to key positions and challenge the Olympic core players for places. This is a fast paced tournament where we will face one day turnarounds between games, so we will need to hit the ground running and maintain a high pace if we want to win back-to-back Algarve titles.”
The Canadians won last year’s Algarve Cup, its first appearance at the tournament since 2003 behind a 2-1 victory over Brazil. They reached the final after winning Group A with six points. Canada went on to face Brazil three more times in 2016, splitting a two-game home series in June before defeating Brazil for the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
“There are a lot of really strong teams in this tournament including our first match against Denmark, a team we lost to last year, but we have a good opportunity to reach the final,” Herdman said. “Many of these teams are looking to peak for the European Championships later this year but our goal is clear: win the group and win the Algarve Cup. Our players are committed to taking Canada forward over these next four years and this is the first real test of that commitment”.
The Algarve Cup groups:
Group 1: Canada, Denmark, Portugal, Russia
Group 2: Iceland, Japan, Norway, Spain
Group 3: Australia, China PR, Netherlands, Sweden