Soccer may not be as popular as hockey, basketball or even the upcoming PanAm games BUT now’s the time to start taking an interest as the Women’s Soccer World Cup is taking place in Canada next week! After months of preparations the stadiums across Canada are ready and the players are preparing for the biggest tournament of their lives.
Most soccer fans we know have only watched the men’s world cup in past years, a tournament where Canada sadly does extremely badly, HOWEVER that’s not the case with the women’s competition. Canada is one of the better teams and we definitely have a chance of winning, as do our old rivals the US…
A total of 552 players will attend the event, with each of the 24 teams announcing squads of 23. Canada’s team is overflowing with sheer talent and head coach John Herdman has selected a mix of veteran and youth players to don the maple leaf shirt. Captain Christine Sinclair and her 153 international goals for Canada will lead the team. She’s joined by a number of players who were part of the bronze medal winning team from the 2012 London Olympic Games, including veteran goalkeeper Erin McLeod, midfielders Diana Matheson, Desiree Scott and Sophie Schmidt.
Here are some interesting facts that may persuade you to switch the channel over from the Stanley Cup to the Women’s Soccer World Cup:
- Known as “the female Pelé”, Marta will be the most famous face. The 29-year-old Brazil forward is five times winner of Fifa’s female Footballer of the Year award and is contesting her fourth World Cup.
- Canada – grouped with Holland, China and New Zealand – are excited about their 17-year-old midfielder Jessie Fleming. Canada’s most precocious young star made her senior international debut at 15.
- The US are eager for victory. They last won the title in 1999 but are nervous that their former coach, the highly regarded Pia Sundhage, is now in charge of her native Sweden.
- This will be the first football World Cup – either female or male – to be played on artificial turf. A contingent of leading women’s stars mounted a legal challenge against Fifa’s decision not to grass the Canadian venues but it failed to gain sufficient traction and the case was eventually dropped. Should players suffer serious “non impact” injuries though, the underfoot conditions will inevitably become a contentious topic.
- This is the largest, and longest, event in the history of a tournament which first took place in 1991. Comprising 24 teams, it starts on 6 June in Edmonton, where Canada play China, and concludes on 5 July. Eight countries are making their debuts: Cameroon, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ivory Coast, Holland, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand.
Here’s a little more information about the Canadian team:
GK- Stephanie Labbé | unattached / sans club
GK- Karina LeBlanc | USA / Chicago Red Stars
GK- Erin McLeod | USA / Houston Dash
D- Kadeisha Buchanan | USA / West Virginia University
D- Allysha Chapman | USA / Houston Dash
D- Robyn Gayle | unattached / sans club
D- Carmelina Moscato | unattached / sans club
D- Marie-Eve Nault | unattached / sans club
D- Lauren Sesselmann | USA / Houston Dash
D- Rhian Wilkinson | USA / Portland Thorns FC
D- Emily Zurrer | unattached / sans club
M- Jessie Fleming | CAN / London NorWest SC
M- Selenia Iacchelli | unattached / sans club
M- Kaylyn Kyle | USA / Portland Thorns FC
M- Ashley Lawrence | USA / West Virginia University
M- Diana Matheson | USA / Washington Spirit
M- Desiree Scott | ENG / Notts County Ladies
M- Sophie Schmidt | unattached / sans club
F- Josée Bélanger | unattached / sans club
F- Jonelle Filigno | USA / Sky Blue FC
F- Adriana Leon | USA / Chicago Red Stars
F- Christine Sinclair | USA / Portland Thorns FC
F- Melissa Tancredi | USA / Chicago Red Stars
Name | Birth year | Hometown
Bélanger, Josée | 1986 | Coaticook, QC, CAN
Buchanan, Kadeisha | 1995 | Brampton, ON, CAN
Chapman, Allysha | 1989 | Courtice, ON, CAN
Filigno, Jonelle | 1990 | Mississauga, ON, CAN
Fleming, Jessie | 1998 | London, ON, CAN
Gayle, Robyn | 1985 | Mississauga, ON, CAN
Iacchelli, Selenia | 1986 | Edmonton, AB, CAN
Kyle, Kaylyn | 1988 | Saskatoon, SK, CAN
Labbé, Stephanie | 1986 | Stony Plain, AB, CAN
Lawrence, Ashley | 1995 | Calendon East, ON, CAN
LeBlanc, Karina | 1980 | Maple Ridge, BC, CAN
Leon, Adriana | 1992 | Maple, ON, CAN
Matheson, Diana | 1984 | Oakville, ON, CAN
McLeod, Erin | 1983 | Edmonton, AB, CAN
Moscato, Carmelina | 1984 | Mississauga, ON, CAN
Nault, Marie-Eve | 1982 | Trois-Rivières, QC, CAN
Schmidt, Sophie | 1988 | Abbotsford, BC, CAN
Scott, Desiree | 1987 | Winnipeg, MB, CAN
Sesselmann, Lauren | 1983 | Green Bay, WI, USA
Sinclair, Christine | 1983 | Burnaby, BC, CAN
Tancredi, Melissa | 1981 | Ancaster, ON, CAN
Wilkinson, Rhian | 1982 | Baie d’Urfé, QC, CAN
Zurrer, Emily | 1987 | Crofton, BC, CAN
GO CANADA GO!