TORONTO — Canadian coach John Herdman is confident backup goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo will recover in time for the Summer Olympics.
The 23-year-old from Welland, Ont., fractured her left wrist last week with the Western New York Flash, her NWSL team.
Herdman says the recovery time is six to eight weeks, with a return expected between July 20 and 30. The Canadian women open play Aug. 3 in Sao Paulo against Australia.
"So we’re pretty confident it’s not going to scupper her Olympics," Herdman said after training Wednesday at Varsity Stadium. "She’s had such a good season with Western New York Flash. She’s in great form. (It’s a) bit of a setback but we think she’s going to be good for the Olympics. That’s all the feedback I’m hearing."
Canada lost No. 1 ‘keeper Erin McLeod in March when she tore up her knee playing for her Swedish club team. The 33-year-old McLeod, who has 115 caps, is a long-term injury casualty.
That moved Stephanie Labbe into the starting role. The 29-year-old from Stony Plain, Alta., is an experienced ‘keeper who made her debut for Canada in 2008. But playing behind McLeod and the now retired Karina LeBlanc has restricted her to 28 caps. D’Angelo has two caps.
In addition to Labbe, Herdman has 20-year-old Kailen Sheridan of Whitby, Ont., in camp. The Clemson University ‘keeper has one cap.
Canada, ranked 10th in the world, is preparing for a pair of friendlies against No. 8 Brazil. The two play Saturday in Toronto and Tuesday in Ottawa.
Herdman is awaiting word on the status of teenage forward Gabrielle Carle, who was on crutches and in a walking boot Wednesday after taking a knock in an previous practice.
"She just seemed to land awkwardly on her ankle," said Herdman, adding he expected to learn Friday whether she would be available to play Saturday.
Despite the loss of McLeod, whom he considers perhaps the best goalkeeper in the world, Herdman believes Canada has good depth in goal with D’Angelo, Sheridan and Erin McNulty behind Labbe.
"They’ve never had much opportunity because of McLeod and LeBlanc. I guess they haven’t been really able to show good they are at the national level. And D’Angelo’s a great example of that."
"I’m not too worried about the ‘keeper situation. Surely it (an injury) can’t happen again. Surely," he added with a laugh.
Captain Christine Sinclair, who arrived Tuesday, trained Wednesday. Her playing time with the Portland Thorns this season has been limited by left Achilles tendinitis and a calf strain.