Women’s Soccer in Canada
Women’s soccer in Canada is growing in popularity although mostly in amateur leagues. There are several leagues – The Jubilee Trophy, Pacific Coast Soccer League, League 1 Ontario, United Women’s Soccer, and National Women’s Soccer League.
The national team is a member of the Canadian Soccer Association and represents the country in international cups and competitions. The team participates in different cups and competitions such as the Algarve Cup, Cyprus Cup, Pan-American Games, Torneio Internacional de Furebol Feminino, CONCACAF Championship, Olympic Games, and World Cup. The team won the gold medal in the 2011 Pan-American Games and the Bronze and Silver medal in 2007 and 2003, respectively. The team did not qualify for the 2004, 2000, and 1996 Olympic Games and came third in 2012. During the World Cup, the national team came fourth in 2003 and during the Algrave Cup, the team took seventh place in 2003, eight place in 2002, fourth place in 2001, and fifth place in 2000. The team has played against the teams of Colombia, Brazil, Costa Rica, England, France, Italy, Scotland, New Zealand, China, and other countries. The current squad is made of players such as Marie-Ève Nault, Allysha Chapman, Lauren Sesselmann, Rhian Wilkinson, Robyn Gayle, Emily Zurrer, and others, playing for teams such as Houston Dash, Portland Thorns, Washington Spirit, Western Sydney Wanderers, and West Virginia. The youngest member is aged 20, and the oldest member is aged 35. Recent call-ups include players such as Gabrielle Carle, Nkem Ezurike, and Janine Beckie, playing for teams like Dynamo de Quebec, Boston Breakers, and Texas Tech. The top goal scorer is Christine Sinclair with 158 goals and 232 caps, followed by top scorers such as Kara Lang (32 goals, 92 caps), Silvana Burtini (38 goals, 77 caps), and Charmaine Hooper (71 goals, 129 caps). The most capped players ever are Rhian Wilkinson, Diana Matheson, and Christine Sinclair. The current team coach is John Herdman while Christine Sinclair is the captain. Former coaches include Ian Bridge, Sylvie Béliveau, and Neil Turnbull.
There are the Women’s 15-U Team, Women’s 17-U Team, and Women’s U-20 Team. The 15-U Team consists of players such as Bryana Buttar, Nahida Baalbaki, and Teni Akindoju. The U-17 team has played at the CONCACAF Championship and FIFA World Cup in Baku, Montego Bay, Liberia, and Tibás, San José. Players include team members such as Devon Kerr, Rachel Jones, Anyssa Ibrahim, and Nadya Gill, playing for teams such as the Vaughan Soccer Club, London NorWest SC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite.
Canadian Soccer Association
The soccer association overseas national teams during championships, competitions, and plays and serves as the governing body in Canada. The association is affiliated with a number of different organizations such as leagues, youth sides, and senior level organizations. The CSA hosts various tournaments such as the FIFA Women's World Cup, FIFA U-20 World Cup, FIFA U-16 World Championship, and others. Club championships can be divided into several levels, including U-14, U-16, and U-18. The national under-20 team, for example, played at the quarterfinals in 2014 and 2004 during the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and took fourth place during the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship in 2010. Players include Sarah Feola, Martina Loncar, Ashley Moreira, and others. TVSoccer.ca offers Canadian an easy way to find soccer TV listings for their favorite teams.
Soccer – the Fastest Growing Canadian Sport
Soccer is a popular sport in Canada and in fact, it is the fastest growing sport with a huge following. Reports show that more than 44 percent of young Canadians play soccer, and there are more than 850,000 registered players. You can watch soccer on Canadian TV with many providers including Bell, Rogers, and Shaw Communications.
Soccer in Numbers
This is the most popular sport among girls and boys aged 5- 14. Soccer is also number 1 sport under age 12. Other sports, on the other hand, have experienced a decline in participation rates, including figure skating, gymnastics, volleyball, downhill skiing, swimming, baseball, and others. At the same time, participation is influenced by a number of factors such as immigrant status, geographic location, parents and their involvements in sports, parental educational level, household income, age, and gender, among others. While hockey is an essential component of Canada’s identity (much like maple syrup and beer), soccer is the most practiced sport by far. Other sports that rank high include volleyball (8 percent), baseball (14 percent), basketball (16 percent), and swimming (24 percent). Skiing, karate, and gymnastics are also popular sports among Canadian youth.
Leagues, Associations, and Members
When it comes to leagues and associations, examples include the Canadian Soccer League, W-League, Premier Development League, North American Soccer League, and Major League Soccer. The Canadian Soccer Association itself has two territorial and ten provincial member associations. There are also some 1,500 clubs, 144 districts, and 12 territorial and provincial members. The number of volunteers is also quite impressive – more than 2 million volunteers.
Teams compete in different competitions and championships such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the Canadian Soccer Association National Championships, Amway Canadian Championship, Local Club Sponsorship Program, Active Start Soccer Fests, and Wellness to World Cup, among others.
Soccer Teams and Championships
Canada has women’s and men’s national teams that participate in different cups and championships at the international level. The women’s national team, for example, posted a record of 6 losses, 4 draws, and 14 wins in 2011 while the men’s team has a record of 2 losses, 2 draws, and 6 wins. The women’s team has played against the teams of Costa Rica, the USA, Nigeria, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, China, and other countries. The men’s national team played against opponents such as Puerto Rico, Panama, the USA, and Belarus in competitions such as the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, CONCACAF Gold Cup, and International Friendly. The para soccer team also has a record of 5 losses and 8 wins. The National Championships also welcome thousands of athletes and hundreds of teams and are hosted in places such as Brossard, Lethbridge, Fredericton, and elsewhere. Both girls’ and boys’ competitions are held. Regional competitions are held as well across Canada, in places like Vancouver and Charlottetown. The Active Start Soccer Fests are also held across Canada, in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Alberta, British Columbia, and so on. The total number of participants has reached close to 99,000, with the largest number of participants in Ontario, followed by Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia, etc. There is a local club sponsorship program as well, which is tasked with community level growth and development across Canada. The program covered 300 teams and more than 4,500 participants in 2011 alone.