World Cup Ready
The 2015 Women’s World Cup on Canadian soil was a landmark achievement in the intangibles for women’s soccer. Despite the tournament’s leadup being laced with controversy regarding turf disputes – especially from the lips of legendary talents like Abby Wambach – the product itself was a major success. The energy behind the women’s game was well felt during and well after the tournament ended. A record attendance rate was realized having officially set the highest attendance records in the history of the tournament. For the Canadian women though, these kinds of sporting achievements have happened often. The team has spent the better part of its international history within the top 10 world rankings. However, putting these crowning achievements on display not only in the global eye but on home soil can crumble a nation’s competitive edge. Under the tenure of the ever-inspiring John Herdman, the Canadian women learned to believe even if in reality, what they believed was far from what could be true. Despite this grip on belief, Herdman’s women fell short in the quarterfinals against England and watched on as their bitter rivals – the U.S. – ultimately lifted the 2015 Women’s World Cup. But now, four years on, the Canadian Women’s national team have changed in many ways. The changes include the departure of beloved coach John Herdman, who now spearheads the Men’s national side and the matured sight of youngsters like Jessie Fleming. The Canadian side has seen themselves grow into a hybrid of old and new, veterans and up comers since the 2015 Pan Am games and the 2015 Women’s World Cup. With favourites like Ashley Lawrence and Kadeisha Buchanan both going pro in France shortly after their World Cup feats, the level of competition within the squad looks to drastically change for the better. Now it feels as though the side have finally settled into their contesting nest as they head to France for the 2019 Women’s World Cup next year. Canada not only qualified for the tournament but did so in devastating fashion. It was a 7-0 thrashing of Panama that saw the Canadian women cruise to victory, despite the opening goal coming after a full 44 minutes. Captain Christine Sinclair scored two bringing her international goal tally up to a whopping 177 international goals. Sinclair’s goal tally brings her within the top two behind Wambach (184) in both the men’s and women’s divisions respectively. Canada’s current fifth place in the world rankings and impressive qualification feat tells of promise and perhaps another potential run for gold heading in the 2019 Women’s World Cup.