Tag Archives: blanks

Christine Sinclair injured as Canada blanks Wales in U.K. friendly

Canada blanked Wales 3-0, but lost captain Christine Sinclair to an injury in the first half of a soccer friendly Friday.

Sinclair, playing her first game for Canada in more than a year, had to leave two-thirds of the way through the first half after contact with a Welsh player with Canada leading 1-0.

The 37-year-old from Burnaby, B.C., was clearly in pain as she lay on the ground but hobbled off the field under her own power in the 32nd minute, holding one of her boots.

There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury.

Deanne Rose, Evelyne Viens and Jessie Fleming scored for Canada at Leckwith Stadium as coach Bev Priestman got the offence she has been looking for. Canada had scored just three goals in its previous seven matches (1-4-2).

It marked the first time the Canadian women had scored three goals or more since Feb. 1, 2020, when they blanked Jamaica 9-0 in Olympic qualifying play.

Canada plays No. 6 England Tuesday

Canada is ranked eighth in the world, compared to No. 31 for Wales. The two teams had met just once before, with a teenage Sinclair scoring twice in a 4-0 win at the 2002 Algarve Cup.

Canada heads 235 kilometres northeast next to Stoke-on-Trent for a game Tuesday against No. 6 England.

Canada turned its early superiority into a goal in the 25th minute with Quinn, who goes by one name, playing provider. Taking advantage of a poor clearance, the midfielder sliced open the Welsh defence with a superb looping ball from inside her own half that put Rose in all alone. The University of Florida forward smashed a high shot home for her 10th international goal.

Viens, who had replaced the injured Sinclair, made it 2-0 in the 58th minute with a nice touch at the near post to knock in a Janine Beckie cross for her first for Canada in her fourth appearance.

Fleming made it 3-0 in the 62nd minute, curling in a beautiful shot past goalkeeper Laura O’Sullivan for her 11th goal in Canadian colours.

Sinclair had not played for Canada since a tournament in France in March 2020. She missed the SheBelieves Cup in February due to injury.


Sinclair, who earned her 297th cap Friday after tweeting “It’s go time” prior to kickoff, is the world’s all-time leading goal-scorer with 186. She almost notched No. 187 in the 21st minute after a giveaway in a dangerous position by Rachel Rowe but a diving O’Sullivan was able to palm her shot around the post.

Controlling the tempo

Priestman fielded a more experienced starting 11 than she was able to at the SheBelieves Cup, with several veterans inured or unable to take part in the Florida tournament due to quarantine issues.

Her starting 11 Friday came into the match with a combined 939 caps — compared to 604 for the SheBelieves Cup finale 2-0 loss against Brazil on Feb. 24.

Only six of the starters against Brazil were back in the 11 Friday, with Sinclair, Jordyn Huitema, Ashley Lawrence, Vanessa Gilles and Quinn joining them.

The Canadians controlled the tempo early, moving the ball around and threatening on several corners. Quinn was influential in midfield.

Wales had a chance in the 29th minute but a deflected shot proved to be easy pickings for goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe.

Sinclair’s departure seemed to rattle Canada. Wales came on as the first half wore down, playing more in the Canadian end. Still Canada had 59 per cent of the possession in the first 45 minutes, outshooting Wales 6-4 (2-0 in shots on target).

Priestman brought on Beckie and Jayde Riviere in the 53rd minute with Beckie soon influencing play.

Wales argued unsuccessfully for a penalty in the 60th minute when Natasha Harding went down after contact with Labbe. Canada came close in the 69th but O’Sullivan tipped Viens’ powerful shot over the crossbar.

Canadian substitute Sarah Stratigakis had a good chance at the far post but was off target.

Friday’s game was the first as Wales coach for Gemma Grainger, who worked in the England setup with Priestman.

It was game No. 4 for Priestman at the Canada helm. She went 1-2-0 at the SheBelieves Cup, losing to the U.S. and Brazil and beating Argentina.

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Canada blanks Czech Republic en route to semifinals at world juniors

Quarter-finals in international hockey tournaments are tense affairs. A win means playing for a medal and a loss means not.

Canadian goaltender Devon Levi’s big-picture perspective helped him post a 29-save shutout in a 3-0 win over the Czech Republic on Saturday.

“I’m just taking every moment and savouring it because I know this is my last world juniors,” Levi said. “I’m going to be able to look back on this for the rest of my life.

“I’m just trying to enjoy it as much as I can and I think that really takes the pressure off.”

The Canadians await the outcome of the late quarter-final between the United States and Slovakia to know their semifinal opponent Monday.

WATCH | Canada moves on to semis at world juniors: 

Bowen Byram, Dylan Cozens and Connor McMichael each scored in Canada’ 3-0 victory over the Czech Republic in quarter-final action at the world junior hockey championship. 0:30

An American win would have Canada facing Russia on Monday, but the host country would draw the Slovaks in the event of them upsetting the U.S.

Dylan Cozens had a goal and an assist Saturday against a tenacious Czech side.

Connor McMichael scored into an empty net and defenceman Bowen Byram also scored at Rogers Place.

Russia reached the semifinals with a 2-1 win over Germany, while Finland downed Sweden 3-2 on Saturday to advance.

WATCH | Finland’s late winner over Sweden: 

Roni Hirvonen, selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs 59th overall in the 2020 NHL Draft, sends Finland to the world juniors semifinals with a 3-2 victory over Sweden. 0:28

The gold and bronze-medal games are Tuesday.

Canada was the lone team to go undefeated in the preliminary round at 4-0 to top Pool A. The Czech Republic (2-2) ranked fourth in Pool B.

Nick Malik, who spend part of last season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, stopped 22 shots in the loss.

Canada led 2-0 after the opening period on goals from co-captains Cozens and Byram.

WATCH | Sweden’s Soderblom shoots and scores between-his-legs again: 

Elmer Soderblom shoots and scores from between-his-legs to put Sweden up 2-0 during their quarter-final against Sweden. 0:28

The defending champions didn’t dominate puck possession like they did in a 4-1 win over Finland to cap the round robin, however.

The Czechs battled hard along the boards for the puck to make Canada chase them, blocked shots and often clogged the neutral zone to force the Canadians to dump and chase.

“It’s a plus for me the way the Czechs play us, the way we played and the way we had to dig in and figure it out,” Canadian head coach Andre Tourigny said. “I think that’s a good thing.”

WATCH | Russia advances to world junior semis:

Vasili Ponomaryov and Danil Bashkirov scored for Russia as they defeated German 2-1 at the world junior men’s hockey championship. 0:29

Canada was outshot for the first time in the tournament and really leaned on the 19-year-old Levi from Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que.

Facing a dozen shots in the opening period Saturday was the most rubber he’d faced in a single period.

“It was super fun,” Levi said. “To be busy in the first period really keeps you in the game.

“The past games, it was a bit harder to stay focused. I found in this game it was easy to have fun and just go out and play for sure.”

Top defensive pairing contains Czechs

Tourigny gave a lot of minutes to the top defensive pairing Byram and Jamie Drysdale — almost 25 and over 23 respectively — to contain the Czechs and shrink their chances of a comeback.

Czech coach Karel Mlejnek pulled Malik for an extra attacker with five and a half minutes to play in regulation, but McMichael scored into an empty net at 17:11.

“The game was influenced by the first period where we allowed two quick goals, which obviously put us on a back foot,” Mlejnek said. “We kept fighting. We were trying to keep it as close as possible.

“”We wouldn’t say we’re a totally defensive team. We don’t have a system where we don’t want to score goals, but Canada played really well and they didn’t let us [have] those chances that we needed.’


Team Canada continues their perfect run with a 3-0 victory over Czech Republic in the quarter-finals of the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press)

With a hard-working backcheck, Canada’s Peyton Krebs prevented an odd-man Czech chance off a turnover late in a scoreless second period.

“I think he was one of our best players if not our best forward,” Tourigny said.

Neither team scored on its one power-play chance but seconds after Adam Raska’s interference penalty expired, Byram squeezed a shot under Malik’s right armpit at 11:39 of the first period.

Canada’s Cozens leads the way

Cozens scored Canada’s first goal for the second time in as many games.

McMichael flipped the puck up ice to Cozens on a breakaway. The Buffalo Sabres prospect shovelled the puck between Malik’s pads at 8:22.

Byram and Cozens are alternating the captaincy in the absence of injured Kirby Dach. Cozens has a team-leading seven goals and six assists in five games.

With 22 combined points from both the 2020 and 2021 world junior tournaments, Cozens ranks sixth all-time for Canada ahead of John Tavares (20) and behind Jason Allison (24).

Canada was minus forward Alex Newhook, who injured his shoulder in the Finland game.

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905 Derby: York9 blanks Forge in dominant performance

York9 FC saved their best performance against their provincial rivals for last.

Y9 put in a dominant and complete performance in their home finale on Saturday, earning a convincing 4-0 win over Forge FC at York Lions Stadium in the final 905 Derby of the CPL campaign.

The Nine Stripes were winless in all four previous meetings against Forge, with just one draw (back in the league’s inaugural match). The victory also allowed York (20 points) to leapfrog Valour FC (19 points) for third place in the table.

With the loss, Forge (34 points) remains behind league leaders Cavalry FC (35 points) in the Fall standings. Forge and Cavalry meet next Wednesday at Tim Hortons Field in a game that could decide the Fall championship for the Calgary-based club. Forge and Cavalry will also square off in the Canadian Premier League Finals – first leg on Oct. 26 in Hamilton, second leg on Nov. 2 in Calgary.

Di Chiara opens scoring

With Finals 2019 looming, Forge coach Bobby Smyrniotis rested several starters vs. Y9, including defender David Edgar, goalkeeper Triston Henry, and league top scorer Tristan Borges (who came on as a second-half substitute).

Forge carved out the first chance of the game in the third minute as Chris Nanco’s curler from 25 yards out hit the crossbar.

Y9 opened the scoring, with Joseph Di Chiara converting from 12 yards out after being hauled down by Forge defender Monti Mohsen to earn the penalty. It was Di Chiara’s first goal of the CPL season.

Simon Adjei doubled York’s advantage early in the second half, latching onto a ball played over the top by teammate Morey Doner, and slotting it past Forge goalkeeper Quillan Roberts.

Diyaeddine Abzi netted his first goal of the season, making it 3-0 for the hosts with a piledriver of a shot from the edge of the six-yard box that beat Roberts.

Rodrigo Gattas completed the rout late in regulation time, scoring a highlight-reel goal off of a volley from inside the box.

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Norway blanks Nigeria without Hegerberg

Ada Hegerberg was not needed as Norway kicked off their women’s World Cup Group A campaign with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Nigeria on Saturday.

Without Ballon d’Or winner Hegerberg, who quit international soccer in 2017 due to a dispute with her home federation, the 1995 champions relied on goals by Guro Reiten, Lisa-Marie Karlseng Utland and an own goal by Osinachi Phale to prevail.

The result put Norway in second place in Group A behind hosts France, who thrashed South Korea 4-0 on Friday in the opening game of the month-long tournament in Paris.

Reiten put Norway in front after 17 minutes when she volleyed home from a corner.

Utland doubled the tally with a powerful shot from close range after being set up by Reiten in the 34th.

Three minutes later, three-times African champions Nigeria were completely overwhelmed as Ohale deflected Isabell Herlovsen’s cross into her own goal.

Norway next face France in Nice on Wednesday while Nigeria take on South Korea in Grenoble the same day.

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U.S. blanks Canada to capture CONCACAF qualifying crown

Rose Lavelle is still trying to regain some of the confidence that was shaken when she was injured.

Lavelle has been back to full strength for a while since battling a nagging hamstring injury, but it's the mental part that she's been working hard to overcome.

On Wednesday night she scored within the first two minutes and the U.S. women beat rival Canada 2-0 in the championship match of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying tournament.

"It's a little weird because it's been a while since I've been back, I've been back for a couple of months now. I really didn't think it would take that long," said Lavelle, who at 23 is one of the team's young stars. "I think when I'm playing my best I'm not thinking, and things are coming naturally. I'm not quite there yet. I think I'm getting there, and I know I'll get there, but I'm not there yet."

Alex Morgan also scored for the United States, which outscored the field 26-0 to improve to 16-0-2 so far in 2018. The team has gone undefeated in 26 straight matches (23-0-3) dating to last year.

Canada falls to the U.S. in CONCACAF Championship final:

The Americans scored early on their way to a 2-0 win over Canada. 1:32

Both had already secured spots in next year's World Cup in France with victories in the semifinals. CONCACAF sends the top three finishers in the tournament to the World Cup.

Jamaica earned a trip to France on penalties after a 2-2 draw with Panama in the third-place match at Toyoda Stadium earlier on Wednesday. Panama will still have a chance to qualify for France with a two-legged playoff against Argentina next month.

It will be Jamaica's first trip to the World Cup, and the island nation is the first team from the Caribbean to earn a spot.

The United States, the top-ranked team in the world, is the defending World Cup champion. The Americans beat Japan in the 2015 World Cup final in Canada.

'Canada made it hard for us'

Lavelle's left-footed goal from distance came less than two minutes into the match. It was the sixth of her career, and third of the tournament.

Lavelle, who played at Wisconsin, was the first pick of the National Women's Soccer League draft in 2017. She currently plays for the Washington Spirit. She's made 18 total appearances for the national team.

The game between the two rivals was tense from the start, and Tobin Heath was handed a yellow card after exchanging words and pushes with Canadian defender Allysha Chapman.

Morgan collided with Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe on a good U.S. chance in the 61st minute. Morgan recovered to take a shot that was diverted away by Shelina Zadorsky.


Morgan was just wide on another effort in the 80th minute, but finally broke through with her goal in the 89th. She has 24 goals in her last 24 games.

Morgan was the top scorer of the tournament with seven total goals. The United States did not concede a goal in the five matches.

"Canada made it hard for us at times tonight. I just think part of this, when you play your rivals in a tournament like this, it's sometimes very much about heart, and will. So I think to get the late goal was incredible rewarding for the mentality piece. It's something you can take away and lean on later."

Leaving everything out there

The match was played in steady rain and temperatures in the 50s. Attendance was announced a 6,986.

Canada, ranked fifth in the world, has seen its profile raised in recent years with back-to-back bronze medals at the Olympics. The two teams met in an epic semifinal match at the 2012 London Games, with the United States coming out on top 4-3 in overtime.

The U.S. defeated Jamaica 6-0 on Sunday in the semifinals, with Morgan and Heath scoring two goals apiece. Christine Sinclair scored twice in Canada's 7-0 semifinal victory over Panama.

The two teams most recently met last year. They played to a 1-1 draw in Vancouver before a 3-1 U.S. win in San Jose, California, on the return leg. Overall, Canada and the United States have met 58 times, with the United States holding a 48-3-7 advantage.

Both teams dominated group play, and went into the final with 24 goals apiece, for an average of six goals per game. The teams also had the tournament's top scorers: Canada's Adriana Leon and Morgan each had six goals.

It was the first time Canada coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller faced the United States in his new job. He took over the women's national team in January after coach John Herdman moved to the men's side.

"It was a final and you could see it," Heiner Moller said. "I think we left everything we could out there."

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D.C. United blanks Impact to close playoff gap

In the biggest game of the season, the Montreal Impact faltered badly in the second half.

Luciano Acosta had a goal and three assists, Wayne Rooney and Paul Arriola each scored two second-half goals, and D.C. United beat the Impact 5-0 on Saturday night.

United (10-11-8) closed within two points of the Impact (12-15-4) for the sixth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. D.C. has two games in hand.

United scores easy win over Impact:

Wayne Rooney and Paul Arriola each scored a brace as D.C. United blanked the Montreal Impact 5-0. 1:07

"In the first half, I wasn't under the impression that we would play such a horrible second. There are certain behaviours we need to correct," said Impact coach Remi Garde. "These are important games in which we need all 11 players on the field to be at their best physically, mentally, and in their aggressiveness. Today, we were outclassed by our opponent in these categories."

Acosta turned on Yamil Asad's lead pass with a right-footed shot to open the scoring in the 17th minute.

Rooney swerved past Acosta's cross, created an opening with his first touch and slotted it back inside the left post to make it 2-0 in the 48th.

United made it 3-0 in the 61st when Rooney found Acosta open on the left side of the area and Acosta sent a pinpoint pass to Arriola for the tap-in. Arriola chipped home Acosta's pass in the 78th and Rooney caught the goalkeeper out of the net in the 82nd.

Bill Hamid had five saves for his second shutout of the season.

"When we look back on the season, this will be the moment that we decided if we stepped up or we crumbled," said Impact striker Quincy Amarikwa. "I'm confident of the quality we have in the locker room, and we're going to use this as motivation to move forward into the playoffs."

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Champions League: Messi scores hat trick as Barcelona blanks PSV Eindhoven

If the World Cup had given the impression that Lionel Messi was slipping down soccer's pecking order, the Argentine star made it clear he remains at the top of his game.

Messi scored a record eighth Champions League hat trick on Tuesday in Barcelona's 4-0 win over PSV Eindhoven as Europe's top club competition got underway. Meanwhile, Kylian Mbappe, the teenage star widely viewed as the man capable of dethroning Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in a near future as the best player in the world, endured a frustrating night in a 3-2 loss with Paris Saint-Germain at Liverpool.

The World Cup winner scored a second-half equalizer but then gave the ball away in stoppage time, a costly mistake that paved the way for Roberto Firmino's winner.

Messi once again failed in his bid to lift the World Cup trophy this summer in Russia, where he did not play at his best and Argentina lost to France in the round of 16. But Messi is a different player in the Champions League, a competition he has won four times, and in which he has scored 103 goals.

With his hat trick on Tuesday, he now leads Ronaldo 63-60 in total group-stage goals.

"We were up against Messi, the best in the world," PSV coach Mark van Bommel said.

Ousmane Dembele also scored for Barcelona, which was already 3-0 up when it was reduced to 10 men as defender Samuel Umtiti was sent off with a second yellow card for a hard foul in the 79th. The Group B result extended Barcelona's unbeaten run at home to 27 matches in the Champions League.

In the group's other match, Mauro Icardi volleyed in a superb equalizer for Inter against Tottenham and Matias Vecino headed in the winner in injury time to complete a 2-1 win for the Italian club on its return to Europe's top competition.

Liverpool prevails

At Anfield, Mbappe scored his 11th Champions League goal since he made his debut in the tournament during the 2016-17 season.

His mistake in stoppage time proved costly for his club, though.

After netting PSG's equalizer in the 83rd minute, Mbappe was dispossessed by James Milner in the closing stages of the match, giving Liverpool a chance to mount a final attack. Firmino collected a pass from Virgil van Dijk and fired a low shot into the far corner to seal the Reds' victory.

PSG was down 2-0 after 36 minutes following goals from Daniel Sturridge and Milner but managed to fight back as Thomas Meunier pulled one back before Mbappe leveled. PSG, whose main goal this season is to win the Champions League after repeated failures, next plays Red Star Belgrade, which drew 0-0 with Napoli.

A year after making it to the final, Liverpool showed it might be capable of challenging for the title once again by finding a way to tame Neymar and Mbappe for much of the game.

Pulisic scores

Christian Pulisic celebrated his 20th birthday by scoring on his return from injury to give Borussia Dortmund a late 1-0 win at Club Brugge in group A.

"It was great to come back after injury to and to be back with the team," said Pulisic, who made his 100th appearance for the club.

The American, who hadn't played since Aug. 26 due to muscular problems, came on with around 20 minutes remaining and scored in the 85th when Matej Mitrovic's attempted clearance rebounded off his shin and looped in over Brugge goalkeeper Karlo Letica.

"It was a bit lucky but I'll take it on my birthday," said Pulisic, who had missed two Bundesliga games for Dortmund and the U.S. friendlies against Brazil and Mexico.

Monaco loses again

In the other Group A game, Monaco was handed yet another home defeat, losing 2-1 to Atletico Madrid.

After losing all three home games in the group stage last season, Leonardo Jardim's side grabbed an early lead against the run of the play with a goal from Champions League debutant Samuel Grandsir. However, Atletico dominated for long spells and struck back before the interval through goals from Diego Costa and Jose Gimenez.

Eternal Casillas

Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann saved one penalty but was beaten by another as Porto salvaged a 1-1 draw in their Champions League-opening game on Tuesday. Galatasaray defeated Lokomotiv Moscow 3-0 at home in the other Group D game.

In Germany, Porto keeper Iker Casillas started his 20th Champions League campaign, more than any other player.

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Belgium blanks England to finish 3rd at World Cup

Belgium and England both leave the World Cup happy to have reached the semifinals. Belgium may be a little happier, though.

The Belgians earned their highest World Cup finish by beating England 2-0 in the third-place match on Saturday. Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard scored a goal each.

"These players didn't want to rely on talent anymore, wanted to work as a team," Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said. "Their standards have been magnificent. They wanted to make the country proud, every single Red Devils fan proud."

France and Croatia will play in the final on Sunday at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The French beat Belgium on Tuesday in the semifinals, while the Croats defeated England on Wednesday.

Meunier's early goal matched a World Cup record for Belgium by having 10 different players score in a tournament, something only done before by France in 1982 and Italy in 2006.

Both Belgium and England were playing for the seventh time in 26 days, but the Belgians entered the match with an extra day of rest.

Meunier scored in the fourth minute, knocking a cross from Nacer Chadli past England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. Hazard added the other off a pass from Kevin De Bruyne in the 82nd.

Toby Alderweireld denied England's best chance of the game, sliding on the goal line to clear a shot from Eric Dier.

Room for improvement

England matched its best World Cup result — fourth in 1990 — since winning the tournament for the only time in 1966.

"Today shows there's room for improvement. We're not the finished article. We're still learning. We're still getting better," England striker Harry Kane said. "We don't want to wait another 20-odd years to get into another major semifinal."

Belgium's previous best finish at the World Cup was fourth, but the team outplayed England in the midfield to go one better this time.

The Belgians could easily have scored more, with Pickford making a good save to stop a shot from De Bruyne in the 11th and Alderweireld volleying narrowly over the bar in the 35th.

England made set pieces the cornerstone of its run to the World Cup semifinals and created chances for Harry Maguire and Dier in the second half. Neither hit the target with their headers.

It was the second time England and Belgium met in this year's tournament. In the group stage, both teams had already qualified before Belgium's 1-0 win in Kaliningrad.

Fresh legs

England coach Gareth Southgate made five changes to face Belgium, but Danny Rose and Fabian Delph made little impact while Dier started slowly but threatened in the second half.

Phil Jones failed to intercept the pass which led to Hazard's goal.

The two replacements in Belgium's lineup were more effective. Meunier scored and Youri Tielemans dominated the midfield.

Golden Boot in sight for Kane

England forward Harry Kane is still placed to win the Golden Boot with a tournament-leading six goals ahead of Sunday's final.

Kane last scored in England's win over Colombia in the round of 16. On Saturday, he slipped as he shot wide in the first half, then failed to make contact with Jesse Lingard's cross early in the second.

Romelu Lukaku couldn't add to his four goals for Belgium and was substituted shortly after misjudging a through ball by De Bruyne.

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El Salvador blanks Canada in men's soccer friendly

Denis Pineda scored in the 75th minute as El Salvador beat Canada 1-0 on Sunday in a men’s soccer friendly.

Keven Aleman had a solid shot on net two minutes later for the Canadians, but it went straight into the waiting arms of the El Salvadroan goalkeeper.

“I don’t feel good any time we don’t accomplish our goals which is to win games,” said head coach Octavio Zambrano, who is working to become familiar with a team he took over seven months ago. “Sometimes you have to swallow a hard pill but come up with some good evaluations and we did that.

“We are looking for players that are up to par but at the same time we are looking to see if players we think are up to par but may not be.”

Canadian 16-year-old Alphonso Davies sat out the match after earning a red card in Canada’s 2-0 win over Jamaica in September.

The senior men’s national team is ranked 96th, while El Salvador is No. 99 in FIFA’s rankings.

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