Canada, U.S. to play women's soccer friendly in Winnipeg
Canadian squad will take to pitch May 8 in Manitoba
The Canadian women's soccer team will get another chance this year to try and beat the United States when the rivals meet May 8 in Winnipeg.
Canadian midfielder and Winnipeg native Desiree Scott is thrilled the team will play in her hometown for the first time since 1990.
"I'm beyond excited," she said. "I've been waiting for this day to come."
Canada lost to the No. 1-ranked Americans 1-0 in Texas on Friday and hasn't managed to beat them since 2001.
"Obviously we didn't play our best match but we had our opportunities in that game and I think we're inching ... closer to the Americans," said Scott, a member of the 2012 bronze-medal Olympic team.
Winnipeg has already been named as one of the six host cities for FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015, but fans in the Manitoba capital won't see the home squad in that competition.
Canadian head coach John Herdman was also on hand for Monday's announcement and said the team has been in a talent development and refocusing phase since the Olympics, which is starting to show results.
"Last year was a huge learning curve for the team and we did all right but this year's about stepping forward and I hope when we play the big teams we can get a [win] and that should put us in a good place heading into 2015," he said. "The opportunity to beat a team that hasn't been beaten in 12 years by Canada? Man, the script's already been written I think."
Anxious to play
The Canadian team, which is ranked seventh in the world, is announcing its friendly schedule piecemeal and will make a stop in Edmonton on Tuesday.
Scott said she's anxious to play in front of friends and didn't shy away from trying to twist a few arms to ensure a good crowd at Investors Group Field, the home of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
"It's going to be a great game and I hope all of Winnipeg comes out," she said. "You really have no excuse not to be there."
Scott currently plays for FC Kansas City as part of the new National Women's Soccer League.
Meanwhile, a new study predicts women's World Cup soccer events this year and next in Canada will create about $337 million in overall economic activity.
Six provinces will get a share, ranging from a high of $80 million in Alberta to a low of about $26 million in Manitoba. Tournament games will also be played Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and New Brunswick.
Most of that $337 million will be generated by Women's World Cup, with about $70 million coming this year from the under-20 women's World Cup. Winnipeg won't see any under-20 action this year.
The preliminary report prepared by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance looks at out of town visitors, capital construction costs and the costs of hosting competitions. It said the net economic activity for Canada would run about $169 million.