Canada is currently ranked fifth in the world, compared to No. 26 for Mexico. (File photo by BLACK PRESS)

Canadian defender Kadeisha Buchanan to miss Toronto friendly with Mexico

TORONTO — Canada will be without defensive linchpin Kadeisha Buchanan for its May 18 friendly with Mexico at Toronto’s BMO Field.

The 23-year-old centre back from Brampton, Ont., who has won 87 caps, will be otherwise occupied that day as her Lyon club side looks to defend its Women’s Champions League crown against Barcelona in Budapest.

The Toronto game serves both as a farewell match on home soil and warmup for the Women’s World Cup, which kicks off June 7 in France. The Canadian Soccer Association has not confirmed a reported May 24 friendly against 13th-ranked Spain in Pamplona.

Coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller will announce his final World Cup roster later this month.

Canada is currently ranked fifth in the world, compared to No. 26 for Mexico.

The Canadian women have dominated the series between the two with a 20-1-2 record. The 2-1 loss in 2004 cost Canada a trip to the 2004 Olympics.

“We have been improving throughout the year so we are excited about this test ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup,” Heiner-Moller said in a statement. “Mexico are preparing for next year’s CONCACAF Olympic qualifiers and want to find a way to get ahead of us in 2020, so we need to be ready to send a message that we are still one of the top-two nations in CONCACAF.”

Captain Christine Sinclair will earn cap No. 281 against the Mexicans as she looks for career international goal No. 181 in her pursuit of retired American Abby Wambach’s world record of 184 goals.

Sinclair has three goals in five internationals so far in 2019.

The 35-year-old from Burnaby, B.C., will be joined at the Mexico match by fellow veterans Diana Matheson (203 caps), Sophie Schmidt (182) and Desiree Scott (141).

Seven other players on the roster have 50 caps or more. The squad also includes 18-year-olds Julia Grosso, Jayde Riviere and Jordyn Huitema and 16-year-old defender Jade Rose, a first-time call-up.

The roster features nine players — Sinclair, Matheson, Schmidt, Scott, Allysha Chapman, Jessie Fleming, Stephanie Labbe, Ashley Lawrence and Adriana Leon — who were members of the Canada squad that finished sixth on home soil at the 2015 World Cup.

Canada opens World Cup play against No. 46 Cameroon in Montpellier on June 10 before facing No. 19 New Zealand on June 15 in Grenoble and the eighth-ranked Netherlands on June 20 in Reims.

Canada

Goalkeepers: Stephanie Labbe, North Carolina Courage (NWSL); Kailen Sheridan, Sky Blue FC (NWSL).

Defenders: Lindsay Agnew, Houston Dash (NWSL); Allysha Chapman, Houston Dash (NWSL); Vanessa Gilles, FC Girondins de Bordeaux (France); Ashley Lawrence, Paris Saint-Germain (France); Rebecca Quinn, Paris FC (France); Jayde Riviere, Markham SC; Jade Rose, Unionville Milliken SC; Shelina Zadorsky, Orlando Pride (NWSL).

Midfielders: Deanne Rose, University of Florida; Julia Grosso, University of Texas at Austin; Diana Matheson, Utah Royals FC (NWSL); Desiree Scott, Utah Royals FC (NWSL); Sophie Schmidt, Houston Dash (NWSL); Jessie Fleming, UCLA.

Forwards: Janine Beckie, Manchester City (England); Gabrielle Carle, Florida State University; Jordyn Huitema, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite; Adriana Leon, West Ham United (England); Nichelle Prince, Houston Dash (NWSL); Christine Sinclair (capt.), Portland Thorns (NWSL).

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