LIVESTREAM IFAF World Junior Championship: Team Brazil vs Team Canada, June 23, 01:00 CET (1 am, 7 pm EDT)

Team Canada will open its defense of the IFAF U20 World Junior Championship Saturday, June 22 at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta, when they face Brazil.

Canada will be led by Warren Craney, the former York University head coach who guided his nation to a second world title in 2016, beating the United States 26-6 in Harbin, China. Craney was the team’s defensive coordinator in 2012 when they won for the first time in a 23-17 triumph over USA in Austin, Texas. He also won silver medals in 2009 as defensive coordinator and 2014 as head coach.

“I really thought in 2016 that gold medal was my retirement, and I would walk off into the sunset, but here I am again, and I’m delighted to be back as the head coach of Canada,” said Craney. “I just have so much passion for the Football Canada program and for international football as a whole. Seeing kids from other countries playing because of the of love they have for this sport is one of the great things about this tournament.”

Watch live. Team Canada vs Team Brazil, June 23, 01:00 CET (1 am, 7 pm EDT)

Canada boasts an unrivalled three titles and two second finishes at the international junior level. Their only championship game defeats have come at the hands of the United States. In 2018, hosts Mexico were defeated 13-7 as Canada became the first team to successfully defend a title and they now chase a threepeat.

“The pressure is the expectation,” says Craney. “It’s a lot easier not going in as the top-ranked team and having to defend our title on home soil. It will be very difficult and every year the quality of football around the world gets better. There is no easy route to the final anymore.”

Brazil make their IFAF U20s tournament debut under head coach Adan Rodrigues, who has been at the helm for the past two years. He won multiple state and national championships as a player with the Coritiba Crocodiles and then as a coach.

“We will represent Brazil with pride and excellence and be sure that after this process, everyone has become a better athlete and a better person,” says Rodrigues. “My philosophy for the Brazilian under-20 team is centered on the general development of the athletes, promoting resilience, team spirit, ethics and preparing in the best way for the World Championships in Canada.”

Watch live. Team Canada vs Team Brazil, June 23, 01:00 CET (1 am, 7 pm EDT)

Michael Preston (@PRMikePreston) is currently working with IFAF in a PR capacity. He recently covered Super Bowl LVII as a member of the NFL PR team as he has done for 20+ years. He has held communications positions with NFL Europe, the North