8 Players to Watch from the GTA
by S. Ferguson
The FIFA Women’s World Cup will kick off in Australia and New Zealand on July 20th. While we recently saw Canada’s Men’s team make the World Cup and bow out early, the Women’s side has a chance to win it. They are after all the reigning Olympic Gold Medal winners and while the team has players from across the country, here are 8 local stars to keep an eye on when the tournament gets underway.
Games for Canada: 89
Midfielder Quinn is the only member of the roster from Toronto. They made international headlines when they became the first openly transgender, non-binary person to win an Olympic Gold medal. They also played in last World Cup. The 27 year-old’s club team is OL Reign out of Seattle which had the best record in the NWSL last year. On that team they play alongside American legend Megan Rapinoe and Canadian star striker Jordyn Huitema who is also on the World Cup squad.
PEEL REGION: BRAMPTON
Games for Canada: 131
Centre back Kadeisha Buchanan is one of the many Canadian stars from both the men’s and women’s teams to come from Brampton, Ontario. She plays for Chelsea in England where she has won the FA Super League and FA Cup and was also on our gold medal winning Olympic squad. She is a highly intelligent defender who is very difficult to beat one-on-one and also nullifies threats from the air with her heading ability.
Games for Canada: 117
Fullback Ashely Lawrence also plays for Chelsea and is also an Olympic Gold Medal winner. This will be her third World Cup. In the past she also played for PSG in France where she helped them win the title. She is described by Canada Soccer as “a world-class player with a fast-paced drive on the ball” with “the ability to pass, cross and shoot with both feet”.
Games for Canada: 96
Adriana Leon is another member of the Gold Medal winning team who is known for her mobility, great dribbling and passing skills, and can put the ball in the net. She plays for Manchester United and has been a consistently strong goal scorer for Canada over the past few years. This will be her third World Cup.
Games for Canada: 37
Jayde Riviere is a fullback who despite her young age will be playing in her second World Cup and was also on the Gold Medal winning Olympic team. Like Leon she also plays for Manchester United and the last time she played in the World Cup she was a teenager.
Games for Canada: 90
Nichelle Prince plays for Houston in the NWSL where she led all Canadians in goals (tied) and assists last season and won the 2020 Challenge Cup. She also scored a goal in the last World Cup. This will be her second World Cup finals and she was also part of the Gold Medal winning Olympic team. She is good in one on one situations and has great movement on and off the ball.
Games for Canada: 2
Olivia Smith is the youngest player on the team and made her debut for Canada at just 15 years old. She was born in North York in Toronto but grew up in Whitby. She has done exceptionally well for the Canada under-20 team scoring 20 goals in just 18 games and is expected to be a big part of the team’s future. This will be her first World Cup.
Games for Canada: 35
Clean Sheets: 17
Kailen Sheridan is also from Whitby and is expected to be the number one goalkeeper at the World Cup. She currently plays in the NWSL for San Diego and was named the 2022 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year. This is her second World Cup and she also won the Olympic Gold Medal.