It goes without saying that Christine Sinclair is the face of the Canadian women’s team. With the long-time captain on the cusp of breaking Abby Wambach’s international scoring record, she is undoubtedly one of the players to watch on Canada at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
However, the world’s fifth-ranked squad features a number of dynamic players who will hopefully propel the Canadians to the Round of 16 and beyond.
Here are three Canadian players you should watch in France 2019:
The midfielder turned fullback plays a style that’s wise beyond her years and is one of Canada’s most valuable, yet underrated players.
When she debuted with the senior team in early 2013, she did so as a midfielder. However, with then-coach John Herdman searching for what he called a ‘modern fullback,’ he saw something in Lawrence that fit the bill: Pace, skill and smarts. When the Canadians play with a four-defender formation, the 23-year-old usually lines up on the right side, but she’s ambidextrous and can seamlessly switch over to the left.
Lawrence provides excellent service from the flank, whether it’s deep in her own third or delivering a ball into the 18-yard box. Look for Lawrence to see a lot of minutes throughout the Women’s World Cup. She will play a crucial role in the team’s success.
Beckie was a surprising omission from the 2015 edition of the tournament hosted by Canada. No doubt, she took the roster snub as motivation to become a more complete player, and she has since blossomed in front of our eyes, now suiting up professionally with Manchester City.
In 56 appearances, she has scored 25 times, already putting her in the top 10 for all-time scoring wearing a Canadian kit (She sits sixth, trailing long-time forward Melissa Tancredi by just two goals). More importantly, her scoring prowess has taken much of the pressure off of Sinclair.
Keep your eye on the 24-year-old, who will help balance the Canadian attack and will be called upon for set pieces. She, along with Lawrence, is part of the 2014 U-20 Women’s World Cup group that is forming the new core of the women’s program (Nichelle Prince, Rebecca Quinn, Jessie Fleming, Kailen Sheridan, Kadeisha Buchanan, Lindsay Agnew).
The work Beckie has put in over the years to get to this point is a testament to her never give up attitude.
No back line is complete without strength in the middle.
Zadorsky has provided stability since she emerged as the starter beside Kadeisha Buchanan, with whom she has formed a formidable partnership. Zadorsky, who is making her World Cup debut, is a player who quietly goes about her business, and she will likely lead the Canadian team in minutes by the time the tournament wraps.
While not flashy, she’s aggressive both on the ground and in the air, and she rarely shies away from contact. She leads by example through tremendous communication and positivity, along with her consistent play and situational smarts.