Whitby ‘keeper Sheridan earns ESPY nomination for best player


Published July 13, 2021 at 2:18 pm


Canadian ‘keeper Kailen Sheridan’s rise to the top of the soccer world got a boost last month when the Gotham FC star was nominated for an ESPY as Best NWSL Player.

That honour followed a performance in the 2020 Challenge Cup tournament where she won the Golden Glove as best goalkeeper.

Sheridan, a Whitby resident who turns 26 on Friday, didn’t win the ESPY – that prize went to Chicago Red Stars midfielder Julie Ertz – but couldn’t be on hand for the ceremony anyway. That’s because Sheridan is in Tokyo with the rest of her teammates on the Canadian National Team, preparing for the Olympics.

Olympic gold vs an ESPY? Go Canada and no contest, says Sheridan.

The fact that Sheridan is even here in Tokyo, was certainly no guarantee earlier in the year after the player tore her quad muscle in February.

It happened seven minutes into a match against the U.S. and Sheridan told Laura Armstrong of the Toronto Star she knew “right away” something was wrong. Following the surgery, doctors would give her no better than a “chance” of a full recovery.

A ‘chance’ is all Sheridan needed to hear.

Sheridan was walking the day of the surgery and a day later she was back with her teammates, sitting and catching balls on the field.

And now she’s in Tokyo, looking to earn the #1 spot in goal for a country looking to medal in Olympic soccer for the third Games in a row.

The passion to win here will burn especially hot in Sheridan, who was an unused alternate in Rio five years ago.

Soccer legend Christine Sinclair, who will wear the captain’s armband for Canada in Tokyo, said Sheridan’s time to shine on the international stage is now.

“Obviously I might be a little biased,” Sinclair told The Equalizer soccer website last year, “but I think she’s the best goalkeeper in the world.”

As for the ESPY voting, it’s tough to say if she should have won. The ESPYs are voted on by the fans, who get it right most of the time. Of course, those same fans gave the ESPY for Best NHL player to Patrick Kane over Connor McDavid, so there’s that too.

Maybe Sheridan’s fans on Twitter, like @mewdema and @allyssatorii, could have the last words on that subject.


There you go.

Photo: Brad Smith ISI

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