A glut of injured players leaves Canada with several question marks across the squad with 100 days to go until the Women’s World Cup, head coach Bev Priestman told reporters on Tuesday.
The sixth-ranked Olympic champions lost 2-1 to fifth-ranked France in their friendly in Le Mans on Tuesday, with several veterans missing, including midfielders Desiree Scott and Quinn, centre back Kadeisha Buchanan and forward Janine Beckie.
Beckie was ruled out of the quadrennial tournament after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury last month.
“In many ways as a coach you would like to get rid of the clutter early. I don’t have that luxury,” said Priestman.
“I’ll be probably taking an extended group into the preparation camp and making a call from there because of the timelines on some of the injuries that we’ve got.”
Priestman said she would keep a close eye on upcoming National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) games and the rest of the European season.
“I have to try and get the best team possible to Australia and New Zealand,” she said. “(Planning) with and without some very critical players who, you know, did get us on the podium and have a massive amount of caps and experience.”
France, playing only their second match since Herve Renard was named head coach last month, scored minutes into the second half with a header by Grace Geyoro before substitute Lea Le Garrec added to their lead with a shot from outside the box.
OL Reign forward Jordyn Huitema scored for Canada minutes later with a shot into the bottom right corner.
“We’ve stretched ourselves and we’ve been stretched with the absences we’ve had,” said Priestman, pointing to the level of competition France brought along with recent opponents at the SheBelieves Cup – Japan, Brazil and the United States.
“I’m just so glad we’re learning these lessons now.”