As the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France draws closer, Canada is set to play a final tune-up match on home soil this Saturday before June’s tournament.
Visiting Toronto this weekend for the Reds’ send-off game is Mexico, a squad that didn’t qualify for the World Cup. Even so, that won’t deter what’s always a great battle between the Concacaf rivals.
Here’s a closer look at the history between the North American sides over the years ahead of Saturday’s exhibition game at BMO Field.
1 — Canada has only lost one time to Mexico. The defeat came in early 2004 during the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying tournament in Costa Rica. Mexican legend Maribel Dominguez bagged a brace for her team.
5 — Ranked fifth in the world, the Canadian side will look to continue its momentum from earlier performances in 2019. The squad has not lost a match this year and has only conceded one goal in seven games.
10 — Canada’s roster for this friendly features 10 players suiting up in the National Women’s Soccer League this season. Both goalkeepers, Stephanie Labbe and Kailen Sheridan, have had strong starts to the year. Sheridan leads the league in saves, while Labbe has one of the lowest goals against average (.500) of starters. Christine Sinclair continues to pride herself as one of the best players in the league, as she’s in the top five for goal scoring.
19 — Jordyn Huitema is one appearance away from the 20-game milestone while wearing the red and white kit. In 19 caps, the 18-year-old has scored six times.
23 — The final roster number for the World Cup. The Canadian selections will be revealed in the week following the Mexico friendly. In 2015, then-coach John Herdman picked three goalkeepers, eight defenders, seven midfielders and five forwards. Janine Beckie didn’t make the final cut, and she clearly used it as a motivating moment in her career as she’s now likely going to be a starter in France.
25.09 — The average age of the Canadian roster versus Mexico. Coach Kenneth Heiner-Møller has brought in a mix of experience and youth ahead of next month’s World Cup. The oldest player is Christine Sinclair at 36, while the youngest player is 16-year-old Jade Rose.
26 — Mexico currently sits 26th in the FIFA world rankings. The program had a rough year in 2018, as Mexico failed to qualify for the World Cup. Christopher Cuellar is now at the helm after coaching Mexico’s women’s youth programs for a number of years. His father, Leonardo, coached the senior women’s team from 1998 to 2016.
180 — Christine Sinclair’s current international goal total, five away from breaking Abby Wambach’s all-time record of 184. She’s scored three goals in 2019 with tallies against Norway, Scotland and England. Versus Mexico, she’s found the back of the net on 16 occasions over the span of her career.
1994 — The first time Canada and Mexico faced one another was the summer of 1994 in Montreal. The home team’s 6-0 victory featured a five-goal performance from Silvana Burtini, while Wendy Hawthorne earned the clean sheet.
22,954 — The number of spectators on hand at Vancouver’s B.C. Place to watch Canada defeat Mexico 3-1 at the 2012 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying tournament. The victory secured the Canadians a spot in London, and the win was the start of a historic year for the national program that saw the women’s team capture Olympic bronze. Christine Sinclair would later be awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy, an annual honour given to Canada’s top athlete.