Brampton, Whitby players to feature as Canada plays crucial Olympic qualifiers against Jamaica this month


Published September 11, 2023 at 10:45 am

Jordyn Huitema keeps her eye on the ball while teammate Adriana Leon looks on. Photo by Chad Hipolito, Canadian Press

Seven players from the GTA will try to help the Canadian National Women’s Soccer team shake off a disappointing World Cup in two huge win-or-go-home Olympic qualifying games against Jamaica this month.

The home match will be September 26 at BMO field in Toronto.

Brampton’s all-star fullback pair of Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence will return from the July 20-August 20 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, as will Kailen Sheridan (GK) and Olivia Smith (MF/F) of Whitby, Nichelle Prince (F) of Ajax and Jayde Riviere (FB) of Markham/Pickering.

Sabrina D’Angelo of Welland will serve as Sheridan’s back-up for the two games. Quinn, who hails from Toronto, is the seventh GTA player on the squad.

Allysha Chapman of Courtice, who has not played for her club team since the World Cup, was not named to the squad.

“I’m excited to get this roster together and get after the next chapter for this team. We all are itching to get back on the pitch and be together and want nothing more than to start our 2024 Olympic journey and solidify that in front of a home crowd in Toronto,” WNT coach Bev Priestman said.

Since 1991 Canada and Jamaica has squared up nine teams, with Canada winning each time. But this is a different Jamaica squad and the Reggae Girlz impressed at the World Cup, advancing to the quarter-finals (at the expense of Brazil), where they fell 1-0 to Colombia.

The Canadian team, which is still embroiled in a pay equity battle with Canada Soccer, qualified for this final phase of Concacaf qualifying for the Paris Olympics by virtue of finishing second at last summer’s Concacaf W Championship, losing in the final to the USA. Jamaica also made it by virtue of a 1-0 third-place match win against Costa Rica.

Canada is the defending Olympic gold medalist.

Also selected for the series are soccer legend Christine Sinclair and Jade Rose, who missed the World Cup to injury. Star forward Jeanine Beckie is still recovering from knee surgery and won’t be in the lineup.

The team includes 15 players playing professionally in Europe and eight more playing in the NWSL.

The night before the September 26 match at BMO national team fan group the Voyageurs are hosting a panel discussion on the state of women’s soccer in Canada and the quest to start a pro league at a pub in Liberty Village.

Diana Matheson

Panel members include former national team members Diana Matheson of Oakville – who is spearheading Project 8, a bid to launch an eight-team pro league in Canada by 2025 – Rhian Wilkinson and Amy Walsh. The panel discussion will be hosted by One Soccer’s Andi Petrillo.


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