Dec. 20, 2011
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Redshirt junior Chelsea Buckland has been named to the Canadian National Team roster as part of the squad that will compete for a spot at the London 2012 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament.
Buckland just completed the Canadian Olympic training camp in Fullerton, Calif. The camp ran from Dec. 6-15 and she was one of 23 players chosen to compete at the camp and was one of 20 players chosen for the final roster.
“The camp was great and we went in there right away and got some good workouts in and started to peak for the qualifier,” Buckland said. “We trained really hard and made sure our minds were right for that situation. We got a game in against the LA Vikings and I got two assists. It was great to get involved.”
Canada’s 20-player roster for the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament includes 14 players who have won gold at the recent Pan American Games and five players that were all FIFA Women’s World Cup players. All games for the tournament will take place in Vancouver, B.C.
“I’m so blessed to be able to get this opportunity to play for my country and play in my home town,” Buckland said. “I am super excited. I am honored and humbled by the fact that I get this opportunity to go out and play and represent Oregon State and my country.”
This is not the first time that Buckland has been a part of the national scene in Canada. Last spring, Buckland trained with the Canadian National team for a month in Rome, Italy and was chosen as part of the team that would compete at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011.
“These are both top class world tournaments, first we had the World Cup and now the Olympics and you really can’t compare the two,” Buckland said. “It is fun to say that you are training to be an Olympian, but I am just training to play soccer.”
Buckland has been training with the Canadian team and playing in international friendlies since the Beavers finished their season in November. Buckland scored her first international goal during a friendly against Sweden on November 22.
Canada is part of the CONCACAF and will compete with seven other teams for two spots at the 2012 Olympics. Group A of the 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament consists of Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba and Haiti, while Group B features the United States, Mexico, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.
This year’s qualifying tournament will go down in history as the first time that the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament is held in Canada. The top-two teams from the eight team competition will qualify for the Olympics. The United States and Canada were the two qualifiers in 2008.
“We are all so pumped to be home,” Buckland said. “There are a lot girls on the team that are from Vancouver.”
Canada opens the qualifying tournament against Haiti on January 19. They will then take on Cuba on January 21 and Costa Rica on January 23. The semi-finals will take place on January 27, with the finals on January 29. All games will be played in Vancouver, B.C.
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