Canada has finally released their World Cup squad. There are a number of expected names, particularly among older players who will provide leadership, such as Stephanie Labbe, Sophie Schmidt, Desiree Scott, and, of course, Christine Sinclair. However, there are several younger players who are nevertheless seasoned internationals who may be Canada’s big difference makers, among them Kadeisha Buchanan, Jessie Fleming, Ashley Lawrence, and 18-year-old Jordyn Huitema.
This is a relatively younger roster than Canada has competed with in the past for big tournaments with an average age of 23.7. There are three teenagers on the roster, Huitema, Julia Grosso, and Jayde Riviere, all 18 years old, with Sinclair as the oldest player at 36.
Canada may have the best depth at goalkeeper, where Sabrina D’Angelo, Kailen Sheridan, and Steph Labbé all have good bona fides. Sheridan in particular should be a contender for the #1 spot regardless of who actually is named in that position based on her play in NWSL.
The player to watch, though, is 21-year-old midfielder Jessie Fleming, who could have easily foregone college to turn professional, but has been instead been dunking on her NCAA peers at UCLA.
This is also probably Canada’s last chance to get some serious hardware with Sinclair in the squad, although perhaps we’ll see her in next year’s Olympics before she finally retires. But you have to imagine there is some sentiment in the squad that time is running out to pay homage to their quiet, selfless leader of so many years. At the very least, it’s no doubt in the back of their minds that she is four goals away from breaking the all-time scoring record of 184.
Goalkeepers: Sabrina D’Angelo (Vittsjö GIK), Stephanie Labbé (North Carolina Courage), Kailen Sheridan (Sky Blue).
Defenders: Lindsay Agnew (Houston Dash), Kadeisha Buchanan (Olympique Lyonnais), Allysha Chapman (Houston Dash), Julia Grosso (University of Texas), Jenna Hellstrom (KIF Örebro), Rebecca Quinn (Paris FC), Shannon Woeller (Eskilstuna United), Shelina Zadorsky (Orlando Pride).
Midfielders: Jessie Fleming (UCLA), Ashley Lawrence (Paris Saint-Germain), Deanne Rose (University of Florida), Sophie Schmidt (Houston Dash), Desiree Scott (Utah Royals),
Attackers: Janine Beckie (Manchester City), Gabrielle Carle (Florida State University), Jordyn Huitema (Paris Saint-Germain), Adriana Leon (West Ham United), Nichelle Prince (Houston Dash), Jayde Riviere (Unattached), Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns).