OTTAWA — Canada will go with a familiar roster for its women’s soccer friendly against host Japan next month.
Twenty-one of the 24 players on the roster for the Oct. 6 game in Shizuoka return from Canada’s World Cup squad.
The newcomers are defenders Vanessa Gilles and Jade Rose as well as forward Jessica De Flilippo, who will make her senior national team debut.
Forwards Nichelle Prince and Jenna Hellstrom are out with injuries. They’re the only players not making the trip from the World Cup squad.
"It’s very good opposition that we are going to face," Canada coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller said on a conference call. "We’re happy to get that."
Canada, which was eliminated in the round of 16 at the World Cup, is gearing up for the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament early next year. The top two teams there will qualify for the Tokyo Olympics next year.
Japan, which also lost in the round of 16 at the World Cup, already is assured of an Olympic berth as host.
The teams also will square off in a closed exhibition match on Oct. 7, ending a nine-day run overseas for Canada.
"Getting that familiarization with culture, food, transportation, logistics, all that stuff, that’s sometimes invaluable going into pinnacle events," Heiner-Moller said.
Canada is 4-6-3 against Japan all time, including a win in the most recent match last year at the Algarve Cup.