Canada to learn Women’s World Cup first-round foes at Saturday’s draw in Paris

Canada coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller learns his team’s road map at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Saturday at the tournament draw in Paris.

Heiner-Moller will carry the Canadian colours at the draw along with Ashley Lawrence, who plays her club soccer for Paris Saint-Germain. The World Cup, which unlike the 2015 tournament in Canada will be played on grass, runs June 7 to July 7 in nine French cities.

Mia Hamm, Didier Deschamps, Kaka, Steffi Jones, Michael Essien, Alex Scott, Aya Miyama, Louis Saha and Carli Lloyd are among the stars who will take part in the draw at La Seine Musicale arts centre. Four years ago, the draw was held at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que.

The four pots for the draw were allocated based on world rankings released Friday.

“It’s good we’re finally in Pot 1,” Heiner-Moller said with a chuckle prior to jumping on a plane to Paris.

The Canadians earned that elite status this time. Canada was ranked eighth in the world going into the 2015 tournament but was slotted into Pot 1 for the draw as host country.

The Canadian women, currently ranked fifth, join the top-ranked and defending champion Americans in Pot 1 along with No. 2 Germany, No. 3 France No. 4 England and No. 6 Australia. Those teams will avoid each other in the opening group phase.

For Heiner-Moller, the only certainty is that his team won’t be drawn with Jamaica, which is also in CONCACAF. Teams from the same confederation can’t be placed in the same group, with the exception of Europe, which has nine entries in the 24-country field.

And that’s not a plus given the Reggae Girlz, at No 53, are in Pot 4 as the lowest-ranked team in the field. Canada is 7-0-0 all-time against the Jamaicans, outscoring them 48-1, although the most recent meeting — in October at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament — was only a 2-0 victory.

The Women’s World Cup has a generous structure with the winners and runners-up from each of the six groups, as well as the best four third-placed teams, advancing to the knockout round,

Pot 2 is strong with the seventh-ranked Netherlands, No. 8 Japan, No. 9 Sweden, No. 10 Brazil, No. 12 Spain and No. 13 Norway. Japan made the final in 2015, losing 5-3 to the U.S. before a crowd in excess of 53,000 at B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver.

“We know all these teams,” said Heiner-Moller. “We have a good record against all these teams.”

Canada beat Brazil, Japan, the Netherlands and Norway last time out, split its last two matches with Sweden and lost to Spain.

Saturday’s draw allows the Canada coach to plan his pre-tournament schedule, which likely will involve teams similar in style to his first-round opponents. There are four FIFA international breaks before the tournament and Heiner-Moller plans to use all of them, including a return to the Algarve Cup in Portugal.

In 2015, Canada was drawn alongside China, the Netherlands and New Zealand. The host country finished atop its pool after beating China 1-0 — on a 92nd-minute Christine Sinclair penalty — and tying New Zealand 0-0 and the Netherlands 1-1.

The Canadians went on to edge Switzerland 1-0 in the round of 16 before losing 2-1 to England in the quarterfinals.

Chile, Jamaica, Scotland and South Africa are making their first World Cup appearance.

Brazil, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Norway, Sweden and the U.S. have taken part in every World Cup since the tournament’s inception in 1991. Canada failed to qualify for the first tournament, which featured just 12 teams with the U.S. as the lone CONCACAF representative.

The Canadian women are 8-4-0 this year, with losses to the U.S., Germany, France and Sweden.

Heiner-Moller will take 23 players to the World Cup.

Draw Pots (with world ranking)

Pot 1

1. U.S. 2. Germany 3. France 4. England 5. Canada 6. Australia

Pot 2

7. Netherlands 8. Japan 9 Sweden 10. Brazil No. 12 Spain No. 13 Norway

Pot. 3

14. South Korea 15. China 16. Italy 19. New Zealand 20. Scotland 29. Thailand

Pot 4

36. Argentina 38. Chile 39. Nigeria 46. Cameroon 48. South Africa 53. Jamaica.

Follow ↕NeilMDavidson on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shaun Janse van Rensburg, a Red Deer resident, said he is tired of changing clocks twice a year. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff
After COVID, Kenney may consider referendum on daylight savings

Albertans may be divided on several issues today, but there’s a consensus… Continue reading

COVID-19-death toll in Alberta reached 309 according to numbers posted on the province’s website Tuesday afternoon. (Image courtesy CDC)
Another 422 COVID cases reported in Alberta and two more deaths

The Alberta government confirmed 422 COVID-19 cases Tuesday and two more virus… Continue reading

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
COVID-19 death toll verges on 10,000 as second wave continues to surge

Nearly 10,000 Canadians have died due to COVID-19, a mark of the… Continue reading

The Red Deer RCMP has filed another set of charges after an alleged assault at an anti-racism rally on Sept. 20. (File photo by Advocate Staff)
More assault charges filed after Sept. 20 anti-racism rally in Red Deer

Trevor Lyle Roy faces a second set of charges stemming from the event

Your weather forecast for Thursday, August 1st, 2019. (Pixabay)
Expect a slightly windy day in Red Deer Tuesday

Expect a slightly windy day in Red Deer. Although as of noon… Continue reading

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

Reimagining ‘The Craft’ for a new batch of aspiring witches

Reimagining ‘The Craft’ for a new batch of aspiring witches

Fresh Air Experience owner Jon Digney poses for a photo in his store Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Businesses, cities look to give Canadians outdoor rec options during pandemic winter

Businesses, cities look to give Canadians outdoor rec options during pandemic winter

Indigenous fishermen head from the harbour in Saulnierville, N.S. on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. A First Nation in Nova Scotia that was struggling to sell its lobster harvest amid tensions over its self-regulated fishery says it has managed to find a buyer for a portion of its catch. THE CANADIAN PRESS /Andrew Vaughan
Another First Nation in Nova Scotia plans to start a self-regulated lobster fishery

Another First Nation in Nova Scotia plans to start a self-regulated lobster fishery

The TMX Group logo, home of the TSX, is shown in Toronto on June 28, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim
North American stock markets flat a week ahead of U.S. election

North American stock markets flat a week ahead of U.S. election

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau adjusts his mask as he leaves a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. About 130 tech CEOs in Canada are accusing the prime minister of ignoring the needs of the innovation economy and being slow to enact data and intellectual property policies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘We need a champion in government’: Tech CEOs want prosperity strategy from Trudeau

‘We need a champion in government’: Tech CEOs want prosperity strategy from Trudeau

The corporate logo of Teck Resources Limited is shown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
Vancouver miner says sale of oilsands stake more likely as output allowed to rise

Vancouver miner says sale of oilsands stake more likely as output allowed to rise

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Feds split rapid-housing cash between big cities, offer up rest for projects

Feds split rapid-housing cash between big cities, offer up rest for projects

Most Read