Ranking Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team’s 2021 Olympic Squad by ‘Surprise Rating’

With the return of Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team ahead of the start of the 2021 Olympic Soccer tournament, we break down their latest squad, which was announced a few weeks ago, by ‘Surprise Rating’. 

After months of preparation, the big day is nearly here. 

For Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team, that big day is July 21st, the day on which they’ll officially kick off at the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics against hosts Japan, marking the start of what they hope is a long and prosperous trip to Asia. 

Having picked up bronze medals at back-to-back Olympics in 2012 and 2016 heading into this tournament, Canada is confident in their ability to not only reach the podium once again, but change the colour of the medal this time, something they’ve long talked about these past few months. 

To try and do that, they’re led by a new coach from those past 2 editions, as John Herdman is now coaching Canada’s Men’s team since the start of 2018, while his original replacement, Kenneth Heiner-Moller, resigned last summer after 3 years in charge. 

So with Herdman and Heiner-Moller out, in came former Canadian and England assistant, Bev Priestman, who was hired in October of 2020. At only 35 years of age, Priestman was brought in with more of a long-term vision, with aspirations of doing some damage at the 2023 World Cup, as she was tasked with transitioning a quickly aging squad into a new generation of players. 

But with it also being an Olympic year, it was hoped that Priestman could find a way to strike some gold and get a deep run out of a group that had seemed to stagnate under Heiner-Moller, despite Priestman having little preparation time ahead of the tournament compared to most of her peers on top teams. 

And to her credit, she’s so far appeared to have set them up to be able to do that. In just 3 camps together, they’ve already looked a lot better than they have in recent years, even securing their first win over a tier one team in years, doing so while overall playing a brighter, more positive brand of football. 

Their bread-and-butter might come defensively, as they’re still a team that relies on winning games 1-0 and 2-1, but they hold the ball much better than they did before, and have flashes where they can create a bushel of chances in a short span, allowing them to grab goals when they’re in-form. 

After there were early concerns that this Olympics might just be a participatory exercise, Priestman’s bunch has now reignited thoughts that they can make something of this tournament, potentially allowing them to add to some of the other memories they’ve made at past editions of the competition. 

To do that, she’s whittled down her group to 22 players, after having brought in almost 30 players to different camps throughout the year, testing out as many players as she was able to in her short time, finding a good mix of players. 

It was originally supposed to be 18 players (16 outfielders and 2 goalkeepers), along with 4 alternates, but thanks to a last-minute rule change, the 4 alternates were permitted to be part of the Olympic squad, which was extended to 22 players (19 outfielders and 3 goalkeepers). 

With all that in mind, here’s a closer look at those 22 players called up by Priestman for the Olympics, broken down by ‘Surprise Rating’. For those unfamiliar with ‘Surprise Rating’, it’s something we use to break down Canada’s squads, giving all players called-up a rating from 1-10, with 1 being so unsurprising that the player’s inclusion barely elicited a response, while a 10 is someone so surprising that their eligibility is almost brought into question. 

Along with a quick look at how the players have been performing as of late, it gives us a look of how the player is doing heading into this Summer Olympics, one where Canada is looking to create history. 

So without further ado, here’s what to expect from Canada’s 22-player squad when the tournament kicks off in just under a week’s time. 

GK- Stephanie Labbé | SWE / FC Rosengård


And to start, we’ve got Canada’s #1 in recent years, Labbe, who has continued to be solid for both club and country at 34 years of age. 

She wasn’t even supposed to start the year as Canada’s #1, as Kailen Sheridan actually started Canada’s first game of 2021 against the US in goal, but suffered a quad injury mere minutes into the game, paving the way for Labbe to go back in goal, a position she held for the next 5 games. 

In those games, Canada only conceded 2 goals, both of which came at She Believes Cup against Brazil, keeping 4 clean sheets in the process, putting up a pretty good account for herself. 

Elsewhere, she’s also been solid at the club level, as she’s helped Rosengard to 1st in the Swedish table ahead of the Olympic break, as they look to build off of a 2020 season where they finished 2nd behind Goteburg, while also making a nice run to the quarter-finals of the Champions League

So for Canada, even if it’s not yet decided if she or Kailen Sheridan will be in goal, the 2016 Bronze Medallist will be a pretty reliable option should Priestman turn to her in goal, as this Canadian team will be confident in what Labbe can bring to the table. 

GK- Kailen Sheridan | USA / NJ/NY Gotham FC


But as mentioned, Labbe has stiff competition in goal, and that’s thanks to the 25-year-old Sheridan, who has been excellent at the club level these past few years, allowing her to compete against Labbe for time in the Canadian goal, picking up 11 caps over her time with Canada. 

After bursting onto the scene at what was then known as Sky Blue in 2017, Sheridan has been a pillar of strength on a team that has seen its fair share of ups-and-downs over the years, as Sky Blue even rebranded to Gotham FC at the start of 2021 to drum up fan interest. Through that, though, she’s kept strong, and has quickly become one of the top goalkeepers in NWSL, even earning a nomination at the ESPYs this month for NWSL’s top player award. 

Because of that, she was actually expected to possibly grab the #1 spot to start the year, but a quad injury from that US game had other plans for her, leaving her to rehab for the first few months of the season, before returning to Gotham in time for the start of the season in May, after missing preseason (and the Challenge Cup) beforehand. 

Now, heading into the Olympics, she’s a candidate to fight for a starting spot with Labbe, making it interesting to see in which direction Priestman chooses to go in goal now. Does she go for experience with Labbe? Or does she go for the rising star, Sheridan?

Either way, there’s no bad choice, and Sheridan has done everything in her power to ensure that would be the case. 

GK- Erin McLeod | USA / Orlando Pride


Lastly, in goal, there’s the 38-year-old veteran, McLeod, who enters this Olympics as one of Canada’s most important veteran voices. Originally selected as an alternate, she will be expected to be a veteran voice from the sidelines even if she doesn’t dress, while being a tempo-setter in the dressing room. 

Having gone on loan last year in Iceland, McLeod is currently a key voice on an Orlando team currently tied for first in the NWSL, having started 2 games so far, winning them both. Even though she is the backup behind Ashlyn Harris, McLeod is a valued member of the leadership group, and tends to put up a shift when called upon, making her a perfect alternate for Priestman’s side. 

So even if she won’t be expected to make the bench in any of the games, let alone play, she also remains a key part of this Canadian leadership group, making her the perfect third goalkeeper, even if it meant leaving some really solid up-and-coming goalkeepers behind. 

CB- Kadeisha Buchanan | FRA / FCF Olympique Lyonnais


Moving to the centre backs, we’ve then got Canada’s reigning player of the year, and rock at the back, 4-time Champions League winner, Kadeisha Buchanan, who at 25, is really only starting to enter her prime here. 

She showed that this year for Lyon, making a career-high 20 appearances out of a possible 22 league games, scoring 4 goals, while also featuring in 6 Champions League games. Even though it wasn’t Lyon’s best year, as PSG broke their run of 14 consecutive league titles, after also having eliminated them from the Champions League, denying a run of 5 straight championships in that competition, that was no fault of Buchanan’s, who stepped up as a good partner for Wendie Renard at centre back this year. 

So for Canada, expect her to play a majority of the minutes at the back, as she’s one of Canada’s biggest stars, and will be expected to perform as such. Plus, having only played 2 games for Canada this year, as she missed the first two camps due to a mix of COVID restrictions and then the virus itself, she’ll be itching to don the Maple Leaf in Tokyo, making her one to watch. 

If what we saw from her in the two games she did play is any indication, she doesn’t mind living up to that moniker, either, so expect her to play a big role in any sort of success that Canada might have at the Olympics this summer. 

CB- Vanessa Gilles | FRA / FC Girondins de Bordeaux


But moving down the list of centre backs, we’ve then got the player who stepped up in Buchanan’s absence at the start of the year, Gilles, who has arguably been Canada’s biggest surprise of 2021 so far. 

At 25 years of age, she’s coming off of what was a huge year for Bordeaux, where she played 19 games for Bordeaux to help them finish 3rd behind the big 2 of Lyon and PSG for the 2nd year in a row, qualifying them to the Champions League for the first time ever with the competition’s expansion for next season. 

Because of that, she vaulted into the Canada conversation quite quickly this year, as Priestman didn’t hesitate in giving her an opportunity to showcase her skills right from the beginning of her tenure. Having only played once for Canada under Heiner-Moller, Gilles has shone under Priestman this year, putting up some huge performances at the back against the likes of the US, Wales, England and the Czech Republic, keeping 3 clean sheets, and only conceding 1 total across her starts. 

So now, even though she’s likely #3 on the depth chart behind Buchanan and Shelina Zadorsky, expect to see her play a fair bit both as a sub, and as a rotational piece, especially with there being such a short turnaround between games these Olympics. 

CB- Shelina Zadorsky | ENG / Tottenham Hotspur


And then to round off the centre backs there’s the 28-year-old Zadorsky, who helps complete Canada’s 3-headed monster at the back, having come off a solid first season in England with Tottenham. 

Having originally headed there on loan last year from Orlando, she impressed enough in her first 8 games with the club for them to want to make her deal permanent, as they then signed her for the rest of the year, where she played 12 games along the way. 

So although it wasn’t the year Tottenham would’ve wanted, as they finished 8th out of 12 teams in the 1st division, Zadorsky was one of the bright lights in their campaign, even captaining their side on a few occasions despite being a new arrival, showing how quickly she managed to get integrated into her new team. 

Because of that, expect her to be a key voice at the back for Canada at these Olympics, giving this younger group a key voice to rely on, while also being a big part of Canada’s defensive success that has defined their play for much of the last few years, with Zadorsky playing a big part in that. 

FB- Allysha Chapman | USA / Houston Dash


Shifting over to the full backs, we’ve then got Chapman, who at 32 years of age, is 1 of just 6 players aged 30 or over on this team, showing how young this Canadian team really is. 

Despite that, though, Chapman still has plenty of fight left in her, as she is most definitely Canada’s feistiest player, seemingly never backing out a duel when the opportunity presents itself. 

Because of that, she’s a key part of the Dash, who she played 9 games for last year as part of a big season for her team, one in which they brought home the trophy as first-ever Challenge Cup winners. That’s continued into 2021, as she’s so far made 6 appearances for them as of writing, playing some big minutes for a team that has so far taken a step back relative to last year, but is still a team that isn’t far off returning to the form that made them so deadly in 2020. 

So for Canada, where she’s projected to start at left back, expect something similar, as you always know what you’ll get from her when she plays, and that’s no-nonsense defending at the left back position, combined with some good forays forward when the opportunity calls. 

FB- Ashley Lawrence | FRA / Paris Saint-Germain


Moving down the list, we’ve then got Canada’s 2019 player of the year, and PSG standout, Lawrence, who played a big role in what was a massive year for her at the club level. 

As mentioned earlier, PSG not only broke Lyon’s 14-year reign atop the French league, winning their first title ever, but they knocked their rivals (and 5-time defending champs) out of the Champions League by away goals in the quarter-finals. They were then eliminated by eventual champions, Barcelona, in the semi-finals, souring their run a bit, but that shouldn’t take away the scope of their overall achievement, as make no mistake, it was a big one. 

Lawrence played a big role in doing all of that from full back, as well, playing 20 out of a possible 22 league games, as well as 6 Champions League games, scoring 1 goal in each competition. For Canada, she has also been solid when called upon, helping Canada keep 4 straight clean sheets from her return to the lineup in April all the way through June. 

So expect big things from Lawrence at these Olympics. Either playing as a full back, her main position, or as a midfielder, something she occasionally does (and many believe she should do more often for Canada), she knows how to influence a game offensively, which is something this Canadian team will rely on heavily if they’re to make some noise this summer.

Lawrence in action for Canada back in June of 2021 (Canada Soccer/Gerard Franco)

FB- Jayde Riviere | USA / University of Michigan


Elsewhere, Riviere is an intriguing pick as part of a solid full back group, as the 20-year-old has quietly been one of Canada’s players dating back to the start of 2020, where she was excellent at Olympic qualifiers for Canada, even scoring her first international goal at that tournament. 

At the club level, she’s still in college with Michigan, where she just completed her sophomore year, playing 8 games and picking up 1 assist from right back, as part of what was a pretty disappointing year for Michigan, who failed to qualify for the College Cup, soccer’s equivalent of basketball’s March Madness. 

Despite that, though, she shined at every opportunity she got for Canada, helping her make the original 18-player squad, showing how highly Priestman rates the attacking full back. 

Because of that, expect to see a lot of her this Olympics, even if it isn’t always as a starter, as she can bring a good spark to this Canadian team when coming off of the bench. Considering that she can play both as a full back and as a winger, she’s a great piece to have on the bench, adding to Canada’s strong overall depth. 

FB- Gabrielle Carle | USA / Florida State University


And then rounding off Canada’s full backs is Carle, a fellow college opponent of Rivieres, who at 22 years of age, is coming off of a big senior year at Florida, where she played 16 games, scoring 2 goals and adding 1 assist. 

Things didn’t end the way she and the rest of her teammates on the 1st-ranked Florida would’ve liked, as they ended up losing in the College Cup final to 11th-ranked Santa Clara in a penalty shootout, but just making it that far is a big experience. 

So now, it’ll be interesting to see what she does now that she’s done college, as she could be a good piece at left back for a professional team, but for now, she’ll keep her focus on Tokyo, where she should get some minutes under Priestman. 

Originally named an alternate, she may prove to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the roster rule change for these Olympics, as she could be a candidate for some minutes off of the bench now, especially given her positional flexibility, which is demonstrated in her ability to play both full back positions and in midfield. 

Having been an alternate at the 2016 Olympics at just 17 years of age, she knows what it takes to win at this level, so expect her to play a big role for Canada in this tournament. 

M- Jessie Fleming | ENG / Chelsea FC


Shifting over to the midfielders, we then have Canada’s rising star in the middle of the park, the 23-year-old Fleming, who is coming off a solid first professional season for Chelsea. 

She might not have started many games on a strong Chelsea side, but she often came into matches as a sub, making over 20 appearances across all competitions, including 14 in the league, where Chelsea was crowned champions for the 3rd time in 4 years, and 5 in the Champions League, where Chelsea finished as runner-ups to Barcelona. 

So because of that, expect Fleming to play a huge role for Canada this tournament, as she is their star piece in midfield, and we’ll be expected to set the tempo offensively. At 23, she is nearing the start of her prime, but having been on this Canada team since 2015, she is also a grizzled veteran, and will be expected to play that way.

We started to see that from her this year, as she had some top performances in midfield for Priestman, even scoring a goal of the year candidate against Wales, and she’ll be expected to continue that form right into the start of the Olympics. 

M- Julia Grosso | CAN / University of Texas at Austin


Moving down the list, we’ve got one of the youngest members of this squad, the 20-year-old Grosso, who was one of the big surprise inclusions to the original 18-player squad, but was a welcome surprise for many. 

Having impressed in flashes these past few years, she’s a player that is seen as a long-term piece for this program, but she really started to make the strides towards becoming a player of the present this year. 

Coming off of a pretty solid year individually for Texas, where she scored 5 goals and picked up 4 assists in just 12 games, she’s quietly grown into form as the year has gone along, leading to more minutes for Canada. Even if Texas didn’t make the College Cup, Grosso stood out enough to earn minutes in 3 of Canada’s last 4 games before picking their Olympic squad, showing enough to be selected by Priestman. 

She’s yet to start a game yet under Priestman, so don’t expect to see her in that sort of role during the Olympics, but she’s shown to be a solid super sub when called upon, making her the perfect sort of player for Priestman to use one of her 5 subs on late in games. 

M- Quinn | USA / OL Reign


Then, we’ve got one of Canada’s standout players this year, Quinn, who has quietly grown into an indispensable presence in the heart of Canada’s midfield. 

Having played as a backup centre back in 2020 under Heiner-Moller, they had become a quietly forgotten part of this Canada squad heading into 2021, but Priestman quickly changed that, making them a starter in midfield in her first game in charge against the US, and since then, Quinn has become a lock with their strong play. 

So although minutes at the club level have sometimes been hard to come by with how deep the Reign are in midfield, Quinn has been a force whenever they donned the Canada shirt, showing a balance of defensive and ball-playing ability that is much-needed in the middle of the park. 

Because of that, they’re arguably one of Canada’s most important players heading into this tournament, as their two-way ability plays a big role in Priesmtan’s tactics, so expect to see a lot of them in Tokyo. 

Quinn in action for Canada back in June of 2021 (Canada Soccer/Gerard Franco)

M- Desiree Scott | USA / Kansas City NWSL


Elsewhere on the list of midfielders, there’s Scott, who at 33, shows no signs of slowing down for Canada, as she gets set to play in her 3rd Olympics. 

Playing as a #6, she quickly became a lock in Priestman’s preferred midfield trio along with Quinn and Fleming this year, operating as the destroyer that allows her teammates to play with a bit more freedom offensively. 

In the midst of a year that has seen her play 5 games for the new Kansas NWSL team (formerly known as the Utah Royals), she’s managed to stay consistent despite a rough year for her side, who sit last in the NWSL with just 3 points from 10 games. 

So for Canada, expect to see some big defensive performances from her, as she plays a big role in her team’s ability to keep clean sheets. She might not venture forward often, as there is a reason why she hasn’t scored in over 160 games for Canada, but she knows her job description to a tee, and that’s to destroy opponents and progress the ball forward whenever possible. 

M- Sophie Schmidt | USA / Houston Dash


Then, to round off the midfielders, there’s another veteran, the 33-year-old Schmidt, who enters this tournament as the second-most capped Canadian player on this team, currently sitting with a whopping 205 caps for her country. 

Despite her experience, though, she remains in good form heading into her 4th Olympics, playing 7 out of a possible 9 games for the Dash in 2021, picking up 2 assists along the way. 

She may have narrowly just missed out on the original 18-player squad, as Canada elected to go with Grosso’s youth and versatility to give themselves a bit more tactical flexibility, but they’ll be ecstatic to now have her back with the roster change, as she can still be a great piece to have on the bench. 

Even if her days as a regular starter might be behind her for Canada, she can still make a difference when she’s on the pitch, as she’s shown for the Dash, so look for her to make an impact in cameos off of the bench in Tokyo. 

F- Janine Beckie | ENG / Manchester City FC


Moving up front, we’ve then got one of Canada’s leaders of their new generation, and that’s the 26-year-old Beckie, who has quickly become a big part of this Canadian team these past few years. 

Looking to build off of a 2016 Olympics where she scored 3 goals as a 21-year-old, she comes into this tournament in good club form, as well, having scored 5 goals in 22 games across all competitions, including 4 in the league and 1 in the Champions League. Her Manchester City side may have fallen just short in both competitions, losing the league to Chelsea by 2 points, while bowing out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals to eventual champions, Barcelona, but despite that, it was a pretty solid season from the Manchester-based outfit. 

So for Beckie, it’s hoped that this can be a big tournament for her with Canada. Having not scored an official goal yet for Canada under Priestman, she’s been fired up as of late, even scoring a brace in a recent closed-door friendly against the Netherlands, so you know that she’ll want to build off the 31 goals that she so far has for her country in just 75 caps. 

On a Canadian team that needs goals on a more consistent basis, Beckie can be one to help make those happen, both via her chance creation and via her finishing, making her a player to watch for Canada at these Olympics. 

F- Adriana Leon | ENG / West Ham United FC


Next, moving down the list there’s the 28-year-old Leon, who despite being one of the older faces on this Canadian team, is making her first appearance at the Olympics this summer, as she’s continued her late rise up to the top levels of the professional game. 

Currently at West Ham, it was a rough year for her and her club, as she suffered a foot injury earlier in 2021, marring what was overall a tough year for the Hammers as they finished 9th in the league, avoiding relegation by just 3 points. After scoring 5 goals in 11 league games the year before, she only had 1 goal and 1 assist in 13 games in 2020-2021, as she nor her club just couldn’t find the form that saw them pick up 16 points in 14 games the year prior (compared to 15 in 22 this year). 

Despite that, though, she’s continued to be a spark plug on the wing for Canada, and should be a good depth piece for Priestman to have in these games, where having a deep squad will go a long way. 

So even if she might not be a locked-in starter, she should get some good minutes here in some form or another, showing why Priestman originally had her on the 18-player roster before the rule change. 

F- Nichelle Prince | USA / Houston Dash


After, we’ve then got one of just 5 players to score an official goal under Priestman this year, the 26-year-old Prince, who is looking to build off of a strong past few years for Canada, where she’s quietly become one of their more important players. 

As one of the many Canadians currently at the Dash, she’s been big for them this year, playing 6 games in 2021, scoring a goal, helping them push up the league table. 

For Canada, though, she’s been huge for Priestman, playing both as a #9 and in her more natural winger position when required, showing her versatility as a player. 

Heading into her 2nd Olympics, having been part of the group as a 21-year-old in 2016, expect to see a lot of her in Tokyo, as she’ll look to build off of what has been a pretty good year for her with her country. 

F- Deanne Rose | USA / University of Florida


Moving down the list, we’ve then got the 22-year-old Rose, who despite her young age, was on Canada’s team last Olympics, even scoring the opening goal in the Bronze Medal game against Brazil despite being just 17 at the time. 

Now, though, she’s quietly been one of Canada’s best performers this year, going from an afterthought to a regular starter under Priestman, with her speed and technical ability causing problems for defences on a regular basis this year. 

Having graduated from college, where she finished her last season with 2 goals and 3 assists in 9 games, she finds herself currently without a club, as she’s waiting to sign a pro deal in Europe after deciding not to sign in the NWSL, where the North Carolina Courage drafted her 10th overall in their college draft this year.

So for now, look for her to continue to impress under Priestman at these Olympics, before heading to Europe to begin her overseas adventure in the fall. Either as a starter and as a super sub, she should get a healthy dose of minutes in Tokyo, showing her value to this Canadian team. 

Rose in action for Canada back in June of 2021 (Canada Soccer/Gerard Franco)

F- Evelyne Viens | USA / NJ/NY Gotham FC


Next, we’ve got another one of Canada’s big breakout players in 2021, and that’s the 24-year-old Viens, who has burst onto the scene in a big way for her country under Priestman. 

Having been ignored by Canada in recent years despite scoring an obscene 73 goals in 77 games at the college level for the University of South Florida, she became too hard to ignore this past season, her first professionally, as she scored 11 goals in 14 games on loan for Paris FC in France’s Division 1, before returning back to her parent club Gotham this spring. 

Because of that, Priestman gave her a first cap in March, and since then she’s been one of just a few players to play in every game so far under the new coach, scoring 2 of Canada’s 6 official goals this year, including the winning goal against England back in April. 

So even if she might not start, expect Viens to be one of the first names off of the bench for Canada these Olympics, as she’ll be relied upon as a crucial super sub for Priestman in Tokyo, where she’ll be expected to score a goal or two in Canada’s quest to reach the podium. 

F- Christine Sinclair | USA / Portland Thorns FC


And nearly last, but most definitely not least, there’s Canada’s captain, the 38-year-old Sinclair, who heading into her 4th Olympics and 9th major tournament for Canada, is still hungry to bring home her country’s first major competition. 

The all-time international top goalscorer with 186 goals, Sinclair is getting set to play her 300th game for Canada in Tokyo, having made her debut for her country all the way back in 2000. Despite that, she’s continued to be a force despite her age, as she’s got 4 goals in 9 games (all competitions) for Portland this year, helping them win the Challenge Cup, while also helping them push up to 3rd in the league title as of writing. 

Coming off of a 2020 season where she scored 6 goals in 10 games for Portland, as well as 3 goals in 7 games for Canada, she’s clearly still got a lot in the tank heading into these Olympics, despite what might some suggest.

So expect to see a lot of her and her iconic #12 in Tokyo, leading the line for Canada. Yet to score under Priestman, she’ll be hungry to change that this summer, and no better place to do so than among the world’s best, on a stage where she’s showed up time and time again for her country in the past. 

F- Jordyn Huitema | FRA / Paris Saint-Germain


Lastly, we then have Canada’s youngest player on the squad, the 20-year-old Huitema, who despite her young age, already has 13 goals in 37 appearances for Canada, including 7 at the qualifiers for this Olympics, where she won the tournament’s Golden Boot at just 18 years of age, scoring the goal that punched Canada’s ticket to Tokyo. 

Since then, her form has varied for club and country, as she’s struggled to pick up starts on a good PSG team, but still played a big part in their big season, scoring 5 goals in 22 games (all competitions), including the insurance goal in a 3-0 win over Dijon that clinched the title, but hasn’t been so successful for Canada, with her last goal coming back in February of 2020.

Because of that form, though, she was originally left out of Canada’s 18-player squad, having been selected as an alternate, making her one of the big beneficiaries of the roster rule change. 

So while she finds herself behind a few names on the pecking order at the moment, she’ll have a chance to claw her way back into the starting conversation in training and in games, where she can be a useful sub for Canada with the spark that she can bring coming off the bench. 

It’s not yet sure how much she’ll play in Tokyo, but Priestman will surely be happy to now have her services if needed, giving them yet another bench option on a team filled with good ones, giving her flexibility late in matches, depending on the state of the game. 

Looking Forward:

So now, Canada will continue to train ahead of the opener against Japan next week, officially kicking off their Olympic quest. 

Having recently played that aforementioned training match against the 4th-ranked Netherlands, drawing the 2019 World Cup runner-ups 3-3 in a supposedly entertaining game, Canada seems ready to make noise at these Olympics, with these 22 players looking to play a big role in that. 

It’s too early to say if this Canadian team will be able to match or eclipse the high bar set by past Canadian teams at this tournament, but on paper, they certainly have the talent to do the job, but they just need to find a way to show that in the games. 

That’ll start with their opening game against Japan, and go into their next 2 games after that against Chile and Great Britain, before hopefully reaching a crescendo in the quarter-finals and beyond, should they make it that far. 

But having done a lot of good work in a short time to get this far, Priestman’s squad has every reason to be able to dream, with the goal being now to actually turn those dreams into a reality, making history along the way. 

Up Next: Canada vs Japan, Wednesday, July 21st, 2021, 3:30 AM PDT, 6:30 AM EDT (Sapporo Dome, Sapporo)

Cover Photo via: Canada Soccer/Gerard Franco

Join the Conversation!