Carolyn’s College Corner Week 3

By Carolyn Duthie

August 30th, 2018 · No comments

University of South Florida

Canada U23?

The Nordic U23 tournament is happening over the course of this FIFA break, involving the US, England, Sweden and Norway (this is a… loose definition of ‘Nordic’ but is still a better name than SheBelieves). There are other iterations of little tournaments like this every so often, involving different countries, in which Canada participates precisely never.

I’m not here to complain about that per se—there are a ton of reasons why this doesn’t happen. It wouldn’t be free, and while I think there would be benefits to assembling a group of U23 players not on the national team every so often, I am not anyone to be telling the CSA how to spend their budget. The CSA did sort of do this for the last Pan American Games team, and even that short tournament proved important in vaulting several players further onto the national team—Shelina Zadorsky and Janine Beckie were standouts for Canada in that tournament and then at the 2016 Olympics. There was also a U23 camp at the end of 2015, but that is the last one I can find record of.

It feels to many that if a player is not involved with the Canadian National Team setup by U17 (or U20, at the latest), they won’t ever be involved at all. The national team pool at times feels precisely as large as the national team. A lot of this stems from the lack of professional opportunities in Canada, but it also feels as though players that do continue to play after college rarely get looked at later for the national team unless they are extreme standouts or there is enough injury/retirement that Canada is suddenly in dire need of outside backs. Again, scouting costs money, but so does having a successful national team. With the exception of spots 20-23 (likely to go to teenagers) and the third goalkeeper, I could have named you Canada’s roster for the 2019 CONCACAF WWC qualifiers the day after the 2016 Olympics ended, and so could most of you, and perhaps with the exception of Shannon Woeller, we all would have been correct.

Assembling a group of U23 players every so often does not fix this problem, but it at least would cast a slightly wider net than we have now. (The men’s side is almost lucky in this respect, because the Olympics are a U23 tournament (sort of), so they have to assemble a U23 team for the qualification tournament). So I thought it would be fun to pick a roster for an imaginary U23 camp myself.

This relates to NCAA mostly because that is where I will draw these players from. I tried to limit it to players that have graduated from the U20 level, because the kids younger than that have other camps to attend. It also excludes everyone presently with the national team that is under 23 (Buchanan, Lawrence, Quinn, Prince, Agnew, Fleming, Rose, Huitema, Riviere, Antoine), because they are not who this is for. Players who were recently invoveld in camps but were not invited to this one are included, because in my imagingary game this is happening now. Many of these players have seen some time with Canada Soccer in the past, but hey, sometimes they actually do scout good players. It’s also a gigantic roster, because this is imaginary so I make the rules. Have a camp, evaluate them, invite twice as many people as this (I am certain there are many valuable candidates I have forgotten), this isn’t a real roster anyways.

Goalkeepers

Kailen Sheridan (Sky Blue FC)
Rylee Foster (West Virginia University)
Natalie Grossi (Princeton)
Marissa Zuchetto (Texas Tech University)
Devon Kerr (Ohio State Univeristy, if she is looking to play for Canada)

Defenders

Paige Culver (Kent State University)
Olivia Gauthier (University of Memphis)
Vanessa Gilles (Girondins de Bordeaux, D1 France)
Ally Haran (UMF Selfoss, Iceland)
Easther Mayi Kith (West Virginia University)
Kiki Lowell (Cincinatti)
Amandine Pierre-Louis (Sky Blue FC)
Emma Regan (University of Texas)
Olivia Sheppard (Princeton)
Bianca St. Georges (West Virginia Univeristy)
Hannah Taylor (University of Oregon)

Midfielders

Gabrielle Carle (Florida State University, can play other positions)
Kennedy Faulknor (UCLA, you might remember her as a defender too but it’s cool)
Nadya Gill (West Virginia University)
Marika Guay (Santa Clara University)
Vital Kats (Kent State University)
Nadege L’Esperance (Louisville)
Jessica Lisi (University of Memphis)
Sarah Stratigakis (University of Michigan)
Fanny Pelletier-Laroche (Univeristy of South Florida)
Victoria Pickett (University of Wisconsin)
Carla Portillo (ASPTT Albi, D2 France)

Forwards

Isabella Habuda (Umea IK, Sweden)
Jenna Hellstrom (Växjö DFF, Sweden)
Alexandria Lamontagne (FC Fleury 91, D1 France)
Marie Levasseur (University of Memphis)
Mylene Roy-Ouellet (Louisiana Tech)
Valerie Sanderson (FC Metz, D1 France)
Evelyne Viens (University of South Florida)
Simone Ward (University of South Carolina)

Also, a couple players who are not U-23 but probably deserve a look:

Kayla Adamek (recently completed her senior season at UCF, was at Orlando Pride training camp, I do not know what she is up to now but if it is soccer she deserves a chance)
Jade Kovacevic (FC London, League 1 Ontario, is just so much better than everyone I have ever seen her play against across multiple L1O seasons that she deserves one invite to something out of it)
Gabrielle Lambert (ASPTT Albi, D2 France)
Genevieve Richard (Olympique de Marseille, D2 France)
Melissa Roy (FC Fleury 91, D1 France)
Arielle Roy-Peticlerc (ASPTT Albi, D2 France)

Week Two Standouts

Statistics, updated through August 29th games.

Evelyne Viens, USF (my #1 candidate for a WNT call-up right this instant) scored a goal and added two assists in the Bulls’ lone game this week. She scored sixteen goals as a freshman and twelve last year as a sophomore, was rather hilariously scouted and recruited to USF by accident (for the non-francophones, the USF coach sent her assistant up to Quebec on a recruiting trip to scout other players she had in mind and he came back like “forget all of them you need this one”), was the 2015 CCAA player of the year while in CEGEP, and quite frankly it is ridiculous at this point that she has never gotten a look in a Canada Soccer camp at any age.

Her coach at USF at one point asked Danny Worthington if he was at least aware of Viens and his response (translated from the French it was transated into for this article) was something to the tune of “she is too old for U20 now so her only option with Canada would be the senior team and she’s a forward, so… that’s all I’ll say” and frankly no quote has better demonstrated the need for an aforementioned U23 camp once in awhile.

Sarah Owusu scored three goals across two games for Eastern Kentucky this past week, already passing her goal (1) and points (3) total from all of last season.

Mylene Roy-Ouellet registered a brace in two consecutive games for a four-goal total across three games for Louisiana Tech, also adding two assists for a ten point week. This vaulted her into the position of top scorer among Canadians in NCAA Division 1 women’s soccer.

Gabby Carle registered an assist in the Seminoles’ win against Wisconsin, and has played nearly every minute at outside back for an FSU defense that has yet to surrender a goal this season. (I’m interested to see the formation Canada uses in their game against Brazil this weekend, because if it is something akin to the 3-5-2 that was used against Germany, Carle would likely do extremely well in one of the wide spots in that lineup.)

Week 3 Games to Watch

Notre Dame vs. Cincinnati

August 30th, 7 PM Eastern/4 PM Pacific
Broadcast ACC Network Extra (ESPN login required)
Live stats Statbroadcast.com
Former Canadian U20 international Alexis Martel-Lamothe is a regular starter for Notre Dame, and Cincinatti features a host of Canadians, including sophomore defender Kiki Lowell and senior midfielder Cassie Wheldon.

West Virginia vs. Xavier

August 30th, 7 PM Eastern/4 PM Pacific
Broadcast WVUSports.com
Live stats Statbroadcast.com
WVU is still looking for their first win this season, but strong defensive perfomances from Canadians Bianca St. Georges, Easther Mayi-Kith and goalkeeper Rylee Foster have kept them in three straight draws in OT. Xavier features two Canadians on their roster, Emma Westwater and Jenna Leslie.

Nebraska vs. Washington State

August 31st, 6 PM Eastern/3 PM Pacific
Broadcast BTN2Go (subscription required)
Live stats Huskers.com
A trio of Canadians play at Nebraska, including Natalie Cooke, who last week registered her first collegiate goal against Oregon. Washington State’s roster features two Canadians, Shayna Dhindsa and Ebony Clarke, younger sister of Caleb (now at UBC), Summer (graduated from LSU in 2016) and Jade (currently at LSU).

Florida State vs. UCLA

September 2nd, 5 PM Eastern/2 PM Pacific
Broadcast ACC Network Extra (ESPN login required)
Live stats Statbroadcast.com
The Bruins will be without Jessie Fleming, but Canadians Kennedy Faulknor and Shana Flynn will be looking to contribute for UCLA against a strong Florida State side, featuring Canadian defender Gabby Carle.

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