Canada’s women’s soccer team will host Costa Rica in a pair of June friendlies in Winnipeg and Toronto.
The series starts in Winnipeg on June 8 before shifting to Toronto for a June 11 game.
Canadian midfielder Desiree Scott, who is from Winnipeg, says she’s excited to play in front of a home crowd again.
She and her teammates suited up in the city for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2014.
“I’m very fired up. I think any time I’m coming back to Winnipeg I’m excited,” Scott said.
“I know the fan support was here last time we played, was incredible, and I expect even better this time around. So always happy to come home, especially with Team Canada.”
There are some changes to the squad since then, with Melissa Tancredi, Marie-Ève Nault and Rhian Wilkinson announcing their retirements from the national team last month, but “the core group is still there” and they’re even more experienced, Scott said.
“We now have the experience of playing in an Olympic game. The young ones didn’t necessarily have that major tournament experience [before], but now they do,” she said.
The friendlies are the latest addition to a fixture list that sees the fourth-ranked Canadians defend their title at the Algarve Cup in early March in Portugal before playing No. 8 Sweden on April 6 in Trelleborg, Sweden, and No. 2 Germany in Erfurt, Germany, on April 9.
The Canadians will open play at the Algarve Cup against No.15 Denmark, No. 23 Russia and No. 38 Portugal.
Canada last played No. 29 Costa Rica in February 2016 at the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament in Houston, winning 3-1 to secure its berth in Rio, where it went on to win bronze.
“Getting to play in front of Canadian fans is really special, so we…