With the 2018 U17 Women’s World Cup kicking off in Uruguay this week, I wanted to take a look back at the previous iterations of the team. Canada is one of only six nations, and the only one from CONCACAF, to have qualified for every edition of the U17 WWC, but has never progressed past the quarterfinals.
As this is Carolyn’s College Corner (more articles will be up soon, I promise), I initially intended only to look back at the 2014 and 2016 rosters, as the bulk of those players are now playing in NCAA, but as I started it became more interesting to see where the older players are now. U17 players from 2016 still have time to grow into the senior team; U17s from 2008 probably aren’t going to break in now if they haven’t already.
There are a couple of ways to interpret the following information—one, as pure trivia, which is always fun. John Herdman fans will say that something about his development path obviously worked, because the 2010 team advanced almost nobody to the senior team while the 2012 roster now makes up the young core of the senior WNT1. Even if he didn’t have much say on the roster—it’s unclear how much impact Herdman would have had on a roster that was assembled only a year after he was hired—his ability to integrate these youth players into the senior team is clearly notable.
One could also look at this list and decide that U17 rosters and performance are unlikely to have much bearing on senior performance for the future, so we shouldn’t try to interpret too much while watching the upcoming tournament. The 2012 U17 team, featuring the likes of Buchanan, Lawrence, Quinn, Prince, and Sheridan, among others, went out in the quarterfinals after a group stage draw with Nigeria and an unconvincing win over hosts Azerbaijan. Four years later, those players all won a medal at the Olympics. The United States, 2015 Women’s World Cup winners, were runners up in 2008. Since then they failed to advance from the group stage in 2012 and 2016 and failed to qualify at all in 2010 and 2014.
The major hope for Canada is that the current coaching staff can continue developing these youth players into solid senior national team players, regardless of this team’s performance in one U17 tournament. The 2008 team seemed promising at the time but only two of the players on that team have developed into CanWNT mainstays, which leaves a bit to be desired in terms of youth player integration.
Now, a look back at Canada’s previous U17 rosters. I’ve stuck to the World Cup rosters, though most did not change dramatically from qualifying rosters. Bolded players have earned at least one senior WNT cap; italicized players are those who have earned senior caps but have not had a recent enough call up to still be considered part of the player pool. When noting other rosters players were on, I checked only the highest level Canada attained that year—any U15 CONCACAF championships, U17 Women’s World Cups, the U20 Women’s World Cups in 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2016, and CONCACAF U20 qualifying in 2010 and 2018.
Later the camp roster was released. Of the college players Carle, Grosso, Fleming, Regan, and Rose were called into camp, and only Huitema among those younger. There are still three cuts, one a goalkeeper, to be made from this camp before the final roster of 20 is named. Hilariously, Jenna Hellstrom is listed as a fullback despite playing as a forward for her club and Gabrielle Carle is listed as a forward despite playing as a fullback or wide midfielder for FSU since arriving there. I am not here to tell anyone how to coach but perhaps a switch is in order there.
Canada faces Jamaica, Cuba, and Costa Rica in group play, beginning October 5th in Edinburg, Texas. Group winners and runners-up move on to the semi-finals, played in Frisco. CONCACAF has 3.5 qualifying spots, so the winners of both semi-finals as well as the winner of the third place game qualify directly, while the fourth place finisher will play for the final spot against Argentina in a two-legged qualification playoff.
This has nothing to do with college, but Sophie Schmidt has been training with the Whitecaps REX kids ahead of qualifiers.
Starting line up for the U18s match last night, featuring Sophie Schmidt as part of her preparation for the CONCACAF Womens World Cup Qualifiers pic.twitter.com/FC7ZdNvb8d
Conference play has begun for NCAA woso teams. The Big 10 is likely your best bet for decent play and good number of Canadians, though the Big 10 network does require you to pay money (and possibly tell it you’re in the United States) to be able to watch it.
Recent Standouts (trading quality for quantity this week, I’ve been busy)
These two teams have 19 Canadians rostered between them, so look out for high Canadian content in this matchup. Vital Kats and Isabelle Mihail have both been strong offensive performers for the Golden Flashes, while for Eastern Michigan, Sabrina MacNeill and Kristin Nason have both been significant contributors.
Hannah Taylor has been a regular starter for the Ducks and will look to continue her strong play as the PAC-12 season begins. Canadians Natalie Kump and Kristin Fairbairn have both made several appearances for Utah, with Fairbairn winning three starts and collecting two assists.
This weekend saw the Canadian women’s national team play Brazil with three college players on the roster: Julia Grosso, Jessie Fleming, and Deanne Rose. Grosso is still breaking into the senior national team and saw time off the bench in Canada’s 1-0 win over Brazil on Sunday. Fleming and Rose, however, both having already been to the Olympics (and for Fleming a Women’s World Cup as well), did not appear. From reports of those who were able to watch it in person, they did not see any action in Canada’s Tuesday closed-door game either.
One might presume this is merely performance-based, except that if one has see Jessie Fleming play recently, one would know that this is not true. Even if she plays poorly, the Canadian midfield is at this point better with Jessie Fleming in it. Now, those of us who consistently watch NCAA will know that Fleming was injured in her last game before the international break against Penn State. Not to play doctor, but it didn’t look too serious at first glance—Fleming did try to continue playing before taking herself out of the game. I have no problem with the CSA bringing rehabbing players to camp, even, but it would be nice for them to mention something.
The case of Deanne Rose might be even more curious, because it’s harder to say that she has to be on the pitch starting for Canada. It is entirely possible that Nichelle Prince and Janine Beckie and some newcomer named Christine Sinclair would win starting spots over a healthy Deanne Rose. Except that Deanne Rose has played only 77 minutes for Florida this season, all in one game. For someone who started every game last year and was the Gators’ leading scorer last year, it seems unlikely that that’s performance related. So is she injured? Maybe! Who knows?!
Now, look, I am not looking for Canada Soccer or any college program to release medical information on any of their players. I am genuinely just looking for “injured” or “uninjured,” and if they’re feeling generous, a vague timeframe for return. Especially if you’re a national team holding a camp for a series of games, yes, bring them anyways if they’re able to participate in training and you anticipate having them on upcoming rosters but mention that they are unable to participate in the games?! If Deanne Rose is left off the CONCACAF qualifying roster do we just get to guess why?
Meanwhile, Canada Soccer apparently has a new assistant coach, Andrée Jeglertz. I learned of his presence at camp when scanning through the Canadian Soccer Association Flickr album and stumbled upon this one, captioned “Andrée Jeglertz and team huddle.”
Like any curious fan, I Googled him, and his Wikipedia promptly informed me that he is the current manager of Umeå FC, a third division men’s team in Sweden, having formerly managed the Finnish women’s national team. A cursory Twitter search of his name, however, directs us to a tweet in Swedish which informs us that he isn’t? maybe? the coach of Umeå FC anymore because he left to coach Canada? maybe? (I don’t know anything about the source of this tweet but this seems like something you’d only tweet about if you know about it.)
Med all respekt för Kanadas damlandslag och Andrée Jeglertz personliga val, men att hoppa av som huvudtränare i detta läge är ett tecken på att han inte tror på Umeå FC:s satsning mot Superettan fullt ut. Varken på kort eller lång sikt.
I guess the theme this week is increased transparency, or in some of these cases, any transparency. Melissa Tancredi was also at this camp in what appeared to be a coaching role, but we can’t know for sure! One time the CSA did not release a roster for Canada at the U17 Women’s World Cup until after the U17 Women’s World Cup had begun. This is not the way to get more people to follow your team.
Madeline Feist, UC Riverside. The senior from North Vancouver, BC scored a goal in each of UC Riverside’s wins this week, bringing her goal total on the season to four, to go with two assists. This well surpasses last seasons’ total of two goals and one assist in nineteen games.
Kaela Hansen, Kansas has started every game as a freshman for the Jayhawks, who this week defeated Utah and Butler, holding #25 Butler scoreless. The U17 Canadian looks to continue her strong start through the remaineder of the non-conference season and into Big 12 play, where Kansas will look to improve upon their sixth place finish last season.
Julia Mahoney, Maine. The freshman midfielder from St.-Augustin-de-Desmaures, QC, scored two goals and added an assist in Maine’s win over Bryant. Mahoney and fellow Black Bears freshman Emma Donovan also went to the same high school, Séminaire Saint-François, outside of Quebec City, known for its strong sporting program.
Marike Mousset, Ohio State had two assists in the Buckeyes’ big win over Morehead State, while also helping Ohio State keep two clean sheets this week, including over a strong Notre Dame side. The Canadian youth international looks to continue her strong start to the season over 4-0 Florida Gulf Coast.
Evelyne Viens, South Florida. I don’t like to include the same players in this week after week, but Viens was too good not to be included again. She scored twice and added an assist over Detroit Mercy, but mostly I have included her here so that I can show you this:
The Canadians at Michigan have gotten off to a strong start this season, with Sarah Stratigakis already scoring three goals from the midfield while Sura Yekka has been a regular starter on defence. Central Michigan features six Canadians on the roster, all from Ontario.
Florida State looks to be one of the elite teams in college soccer this season, having dismantled a Jessie Fleming and Hailie Mace-less UCLA 4-1 on Sunday. Canadian Gabby Carle has played nearly every minute for a defence that has only surrendered one goal all season. Florida, meanwhile, looks to turnaround what seems a disappointing start for a perennial SEC favourite, and should be glad to have Deanne Rose back, hopefully for more minutes.
Rice and Memphis both feature a number of Canadians on the roster, so look for significant Canadian content in this matchup. Clarissa Larisey has continued her strong form for Memphis, scoring two goals last week and bringing her season total to five.
Louisville is a perfect 6-0 this season, and Canadian youth international Nadège L’Esperence has been a strong performer for the Cardinals in midfield, tallying a goal and two assists thus far. Eastern Kentucky features several Canadians of their own, including Brampton’s Sarah Owusu, who has scored three goals so far this season.
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.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.)
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).
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.
I’d like to start this article with some important insight or analysis every week, but it has been one week, not a ton has happened, and I didn’t really have any ideas. So instead we’re going to start with The Multitude of Ways in Which College Soccer Was Kind Of A Mess This Week:
Animal invasions of the pitch.
This is an old favourite in all sports, but I must admit this is the first time I’ve heard of a soccer game being stopped because of a serpent. Regrettably the creature was not photographed.
During the game between Texas and Rice University, taking place at Rice, a entire half of the stadium went dark somewhere around the 69th minute. As Texas Soccer was quick to point out, the game is not official until the 70th minute has been played, so I can imagine they were… keen to get out and play just a little bit more and get this counted as an official game (given that they were ahead 2-0 at the time), but I was watching this game and it was Very Difficult To See. Did Rice turn the lights off on purpose to try and get the game nullified? We will never know (they did not). They did play out the rest of the game, with Texas attacking into The Dark End, and the prevailing strategy on corner kicks became “chuck the ball anywhere at all into the box nobody can see it anyways.”
69' – AND A BANK OF LIGHTS JUST WENT OUT! Dark on the left side of the pitch…and we're delayed. 2-0 Texas at Rice.
This is not a college soccer thing, per se, it’s an Anson Dorrance/UNC thing that is permitted by the college rules, but I hate it. For those not familiar, NCAA rules permit re-entry at halftime and then once in the second half—so a player can start the game, come off at some point in the first half, go back in at halftime to start the second half, come off at some point in the second half, and then go back in the game again. If she comes off again, that’s it. Many people have many opinions about this substitution format, but UNC seems to be making an intentional mockery of it by going for wholesale line changes multiple times per game. UNC has played three games so far this season, and their substitutions in those games look like:
There is nothing wrong with this except that I hate it, but Anson Dorrance has now coached UNC (men + women) to 1000 NCAA wins and THIS IS DUMB.
The University of Louisville scored to win their game with eight seconds left in overtime and did not set their highlight video to “Over My Head (Cable Car)” by the Fray. Admittedly this is not on the same level as the others.
You’re going to want to turn the 🔊 all the way 🆙 for this one!
A trio of NCAA players—Jessie Fleming, Deanne Rose, and Julia Grosso—are on the roster for the upcoming CanWNT game against Brazil on September 2nd in Ottawa. If it were up to me, players in college would be left alone for the short amount of time that they are in the college season, especially for friendlies, but Canada’s senior player pool is dramatically too thin for this to be a realistic option. This is the last (of frankly too few) warmup games before CONCACAF qualifying, where Jessie Fleming and Deanne Rose at the least will be expected to make significant contributions, and the NCAA does not break for the FIFA calendar. There is an extra sense of disappointment with this particular callup because it means both Fleming and Rose will miss the game their teams are playing against each other on August 31st.
Three players who have not yet reached college age were also called in—Jayde Riviere, Maya Antoine, and Jordyn Huitema. Riviere is verbally committed to Michigan for next fall, and Antoine to Vanderbilt (though it should be noted that verbal commitments are not binding). Huitema has not yet committed, and while she would be a massive addition to any college program, her training with PSG while they were in the US this summer could also indicate that she is considering forgoing college to pursue a professional contract.
Week 1 Standouts
First, some caveats: this will be biased towards attacking players who score a lot because their stats are easy to observe. Sorry defenders. It will also tend towards games I actually managed to watch, because it is easier to observe a good performance when you can actually see it. With that said, some Canadian standouts from week 1 of NCAA play:
The Memphis forward scored three goals over Memphis’ first two games, matching her goal total from all of last season, and if we use the NCAA points system where a goal is good for 2 points while an assist is worth one, Larisey is currently the Canadian NCAA points leader. Her goal against Omaha was a highlight reel-worthy bicycle kick, but Memphis did not actually include it in their highlight reel.
Stratigakis scored a goal for the Wolverines this weekend in their win over Western Michicgan, which can been seen at 1:44 of this highlight video. Her real standout performance came in Michigan’s first game against Boston U, where she completed 94% of her passes, was successful in all eleven of her dribble attempts, and was the top rated player for the game in inStat.
Regan did not appear on the stat sheet for Texas in their first two games, but was part of a backline that kept a clean sheet against Rice and held #4 UNC to one goal. In the game I was able to watch, against Rice, she also made several dangerous runs going forward, including one highlight-worthy dribble through at least 5 Rice players. She made several dangerous crosses, so look for Regan to pick up some assists over the course of the season.
Josiah, a freshman at Prairie View A&M in Texas, made twenty (20!) saves in her collegiate debut vs. McNeese State, while conceding just one goal. Twenty saves in one game is a lot. Twenty saves in two games would be a lot. I didn’t see the game, so I cannot offer much more context, but definitely keep an eye out for Josiah because this was quite the start to her college career.
This game features three veterans of Canadian youth teams with Gabby Carle at Florida State, and Victoria Pickett and Emily Borgmann at Wisconsin. Carle has already seen some time with the senior national team, having been an alternate for the 2016 Olympics, and I think both her and Pickett definitely have the chance to break into the senior team more regularly in the future.
Memphis is well known at this point in Canadian Soccer circles for always featuring a plethora of Canadians on the roster, and this year is no different. The Tigers count fourteen Canadians from six different provinces on the roster this year, including the Levasseur twins, Marie and Catherine, and Tanya Boychuk, a member of Canada’s most recent U20 team. Mississippi State features two Canadians of their own, Tianna Harris and Andrea Tyrrell.
Pittsburgh vs. Kent State
August 24th, 5 PM Eastern/2 PM Pacific
ESPN Player (cable subscription required, and basically impossible to get in Canada).
Two Canadians, Taylor Pryce and Ashley Moreira, play for Pittsburgh, who are under their first year under new coach Randy Waldrum, formerly of the Houston Dash and of twice-national-champion-under-his-coaching Notre Dame. After a number of poor seasons, Pittsburgh is off to a 2-0 start this year. Pryce and Moreira both participated in U20 qualifying for Canada in 2015 and are key players for Pittsburgh. Kent State features a number of Canadians, including youth national team veteran Vital Kats, defender Paige Culver, and starting goalkeeper Faith O’Neill. Striker Isabelle Mihail is from Kitchener, Ontario, and now competes for the Romanian national team.
Deanne Rose, at this point a senior national team regular, is looking for her first goal for the Gators this season after leading the team in scoring last year, playing alongside Courtney Douglas, the redshirt senior at Florida from Brampton, ON. Ohio State has two Canadians of their own, Marike Mousset of Montreal, a veteran of the 2016 U20 WWC, and Devon Kerr, of Barrie, who was a member of Canada’s 2014 U17 WWC team, though has since attended various US U19 and U23 national team caps. (Kerr has not, as far as I can tell, competed in any official capacity for the US, and thus remains eligible to compete for Canada if she should choose to.)
It feels wrong to phrase it this way but it’s tradition, so, on this week’s fabulous episode of 99 Friendship:
Um, we’re sorry that we took so long?
Many things have happened in the past eight months and it would be reckless to try and touch on them all. It would, let’s be honest, make for an almost entirely-unlistenable episode of a podcast that has perilously little listenability to lose.
So we try anyway.
Ben plays “Carolyn Can You Guess Which Episode Number This Is?” It does not provide much entertainment. You can actually hear us remembering “oh yeah that’s why we haven’t done one of these for a bit.”
You probably expect us to recap the Olympic curling. We do not, we recap the World Championships instead.
The first half of the show is still curling-centric, as we dissect pretty much every one of the new curling teams that has any relevance. If you have been waiting seven months for me to react to Val Sweeting suddenly becoming Manitoban, this is your episode.
(FYI, the curling team Ben is obsessed with now is Chelsea Carey, Sarah Wilkes, Dana Ferguson, and Rachelle Brown. They are the best.)
Our attempts to catch up on the women’s soccer season are perfunctory, with Foreign Desk whipping through some player moves, but we give some attention to Calgary Foothills WFC and the TSS FC Rovers mustering good seasons in the UWS and WPSL, respectively. It’s brief but how many podcasts even say these things? We are cutting edge.
(FYI, the NCAA division two woso player Ben is obsessed with now is Emma Pringle, the tall, accurately-finishing forward who came to Ben’s attention with the WPSL TSS FC Rovers. She is the best.)
The real reason this podcast is back is that NCAA women’s soccer is starting again and Carolyn needs to talk about it, so we spend a while remembering Jessie Fleming, Kennedy Faulknor, and Technically Shana Flynn’s UCLA narrowly beating The Beach in a game that was an advertisement for nothing, but was on DAZN.
Finally, a discussion of Texas Longhorns woso, which features my second-favourite cansoc Emma and another player, recently called up to the senior women’s national team once again, about whom I have less nice things to say. Just to be clear, no matter what Carolyn says I don’t hate her.
Side note about sound quality: Carolyn and I record these in the same room these days, which has historically led to our worst-quality shows, audio-wise. Since this might become a habit in the future we’ve taken steps to try and improve the situation and I think that we, to a great extent, succeeded. This show now sounds not much worse than our average Skype-based show.
But there’s still ever-so-far to go and the limiting factor is now our equipment, so it may take some time to remedy.
Follow 99 Friendshipon Twitter, if you remember how and haven’t been banned yet.
The NCAA women’s college soccer season opens today, so it is time to unleash upon the world my ridiculous project tracking all of the Canadians currently playing Division I soccer in the college system in another country.
This data tracking originated mostly out of personal curiosity. Like it or not, nearly every Canadian women’s soccer prospect spends the years after high school in the NCAA system, and I was interested to know exactly how many there are. There are a host of problems with NCAA soccer (an article for another day), but when the season is on it is my favourite time of year, even when the soccer is not the best. Also, I was supposed to be writing my master’s thesis and the 2017 spreadsheet proved an excellent distraction.
It’s not perfect, and I hope to improve it with time, to include notes such as whether the player has competed internationally for another nation, or if they have been invited to CSA camps, or if the player redshirted the season in question. Currently players are only included if they have a Canadian hometown listed on their school roster or if they have recently been invited to a Canada camp (Hannah Taylor is currently my lone member of this category). There are undoubtedly many players eligible to represent Canada, but until the CSA pays me to I am not investigating the family history of every player in NCAA Division I women’s soccer. (Dear Canada Soccer, Carly Wickenheiser, daughter of the late Doug Wickenheiser, who you might remember as the #1 overall draft pick by the Montreal Canadiens in 1980 or as “Hayley Wickenheiser’s cousin”, currently starts at Texas Tech. For more tidbits like this, contact me through the site.) If there are any Canadian players I forgot (very likely) or that have non-Canadian hometowns but you think it would be valuable to include, let me know, I’ll add them to the list.
I’ve included the 2017 RPI ranking in both the 2017 and 2018 data for now, and will update with 2018 RPI data when it becomes available. RPI (Rating Percentage Index) is not perfect, but it is readily available and will help to add some context to the data by giving some indication of how well a team performed. The top NCAA teams and conferences are a lot better than the lower ones, so consider this when looking at data. I’d like to at some point also add strength of schedule data, but it’s not quite so easy to find.
I will try to keep the current season’s data as up-to-date as I can, though there are a lot of college soccer games and some teams are pretty slow at updating box scores. The spreadsheets are available on Google Drive for 2018 and 2017.
To begin this section, I think pre-season honours are dumb. We are meant to celebrate these players because they have looked good in the past? One of these things is a watch list for an award based on this year’s performance. This is dumb. We should watch all of the players to see who is good. But they include a bunch of Canadians this year, so I will report on them.
I do not know who selects this list; it includes Casey Murphy, who chose to forgo her senior year of college at Rutgers to play professional soccer in France (and was drafted by the NWSL’s Sky Blue FC) and I imagine is ineligible to win. I would not trust the creators of this list with deciding who is the best player in college soccer, but it is nice to see these Canadians get recognition. Fleming was a finalist for the award in 2017; Kadeisha Buchanan won it in 2016 while at WVU, and Christine Sinclair won in 2004 and 2005 while at the Univeristy of Portland.
Top Drawer Soccer, a website that does a lot of valuable reporting and and is thus ascribed a lot of power in ranking teams and players, also released their pre-season best eleven teams. The top XIs feature Canadians Fleming (UCLA; first team), Viens (South Florida; second team), Foster (West Virginia; second team), Pickett (Wisconsin; third team) and Emma Regan (Texas; freshman team).
Most of those same players are included in the top 100 players to watch, with Fleming at #2, Viens at #19, Pickett at #23, Foster at #25, Culver at #42, and St. Georges at #59 (the list intentionally does not include freshmen, who are ranked independently once the season begins, so Regan was not in consideration). Other Canadians included are Marie Levasseur (Memphis; #41), Olivia Gauthier (Memphis; #57), and Devon Kerr (Ohio State; #66). I do not know where Deanne Rose is, she absolutely belongs on this list.
Week 1 Games to Watch
I will do my best to highlight some games each week that will be of some interest to Canadian viewers. Hopefully some of them are watchable to Canadian viewers. My apologies in advance if I link to a stream that either asks you for a ridiculous sum of money to watch, is geoblocked, or convinces you to pay a ridiculous sum of money to watch only then to inform you that it is geoblocked. Also I promise not to list UCLA every week. Maybe.
I totally lied in my previous paragraph, you absolutely have to pay for BTN2Go and I’m pretty sure it’s also geoblocked, but if you’re into that, Wisconsin is led by midfielder Victoria Pickett (in addition to Canadian forward Emily Borgmann) and North Dakota State features six Canadians on their roster.
Two names likely familiar to CanWNT fans, Julia Grosso and Emma Regan, are both entering their freshman year at Texas, where they are coached by former Canadian WNT midfielder and Canada Soccer Hall of Fame member Angela Kelly. Rice has six Canadians on the roster, including Caleigh Boeckx, who has participated in several U20 CanWNT camps.
There aren’t any Canadians at Long Beach State but you should absolutely take any chance to watch and enjoy Jessie Fleming dominating the college game. UCLA also features Kennedy Faulknor and Shana Flynn, of Canadian youth national teams, but you’re here for Jessie Fleming.
Our excellently-structured all-cansoc episode 67, earlier this week, may have set expectations a little high. Because here in episode 68, which was actually recorded before episode 67 and is therefore temporally a bit of a mess, normal service is resumed.
On this show we go over a week in curling. Mostly this consists of remembering the Canadian mixed doubles curling trials, or as I prefer to call them the Tim Horton’s Double-Double, where MoLaw LawnMo KaMo the team of John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes, who were unable to meaningfully communicate, defeated Brad Gushue and Val Sweeting, who were unable to meaningfully sweep. As a result Morris and Lawes will go to the Olympics and try to win an Olympic gold medal. Meanwhile Brett Gallant and Jocelyn Peterman (pictured), who in addition to being Canada curling’s cutest couple are an all-round useful mixed doubles team, were entirely dominant until they somehow forgot how to curl, like, a day early. This is going to lead to a great deal of stress in the Ben Massey household come Olympic time. Meanwhile we’re checking out provincial regular curling and generally reeling off memories from the games we watched which, since this tournament was mostly mid-day on weekdays and CBC’s website showed whatever insignificant draw was only the only sheet they had cameras pointing at, is an inconsistent selection.
And, I’ll be honest, it gets a little unstructured.
So, in 29 minutes of podcast, we discuss:
As alluded to, Ben was hoping Brett Gallant and Jocelyn Peterman, or as we not-at-all-awkwardly call them “Meat and Peterato,” would win, because they appear to be good. Carolyn did not hope that they won, because they appeared to be bad. Mixed doubles are stupid. (This is a motif.)
That said, Ben’s heart was with Swushue. Of course it was, Val Sweeting is Canada’s princess. And Brad Gushue was surely going to take this seriously, since he said curling with Sweeting is “like a first date.”
Probably fifteen minutes of this episode are me ranting about how Gushue actually took this.
In the middle, we briefly discuss some provincial and territorial results. Because Lawes and Morris won, Jennifer Jones will have to rustle up a new third at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts when she almost inevitably qualifies. So we scan the results as of when we recorded this to find entertaining options, and then we give up and start talking about how much fun the Northwest Territories Scotties must be for everyone who isn’t Kerry Galusha.
Earlier this week we recorded a fabulous all-mixed-doubles-curling episode of 99 Friendship. Truly we were on rousing form. But alas, before we could get the thing edited, Canada Soccer went and did the John Herdman thing.
Almost all the commentary so far, including my own, has focused on what this means for the Canadian men’s national team. As a podcast which, in between obscure curling rants, does find the time to analyze the Canadian WNT, it felt appropriate for us to give the distaff element its fair share. So Carolyn and I sat down and did notes and had a chat and got one of our 30-minute shows edited in record time, just for you!
On episode 67 of 99 Friendship:
We go over the coaching history of new WNT boss Kenneth Heiner-Møller. He’s had an interesting career: spy dramas, sports psychology, coaching development, and replacing women’s national team managers who went over to coach the men. (Yes, he has experience at that too.) He’s been to a World Cup and two European Championships and, most of the time, something positive came out of them despite coaching a decidedly middle power.
What does Herdman’s departure, in of itself, mean for the national team? Will relationships be broken? Will players leave? What unbelievably heretical thing does Carolyn actually dare to say on a podcast that she knew was going on the Internet?
And what was the deal with some of the players apparently only having just heard Herdman was leaving when the news became public? We decide that it seems, spoiler alert, fairly amateurish.
It’s a good, informative, thoughtful half-hour on a neglected element of some massive Canadian soccer news. Is it worth a quick listen on the train? Oh, probably. Follow 99 Friendship on Twitter!
On this week’s stupendous, 100%-curling-there-is-no-point-in-even-listening-if-you-aren’t-interested-in-it episode of 99 Friendship, Carolyn and I spend the full half hour recapping the Roar of the Rings, the curling tournament in Ottawa where Canada’s curling gods decided that Rachel Homan and Kevin Koe would represent our nation at the upcoming winter Olympics in South Korea.
Okay, not quite the full half-hour. We briefly chat about Michelle Englot representing Canada at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and the Continental Cup. But that happened as a result of the Roar of the Rings and, come to think of it, this week’s episode wound up being 33 minutes long…
Other than that, topics of curling conversation include:
Our pleasant surprises and our unpleasant surprises. Good Rachel Homan and Good Jennifer Jones were very pleasant. Good Julie Tippin and Good Brandon Bottcher, less so, especially since Tippin took my predicting her to be humiliated personally and nearly managed to pants every Alberta team in the lady bracket.
RIP Caleb Flaxey.
As mentioned, Rachel Homan was the women’s winner. It was Good Rachel Homan. But she really really thought about being Bad Rachel Homan and did not exactly tear a swathe through the opposition, until the final when she definitely did. This gives us some fodder.
My proud Alberta sisters, Chelsea Carey and Cathy Overton-Clapham, were unstoppable. Until the final. When they were very stopped. There is also more conversation in that.
In man curling, Kevin Koe actually killed me. I am dead now. It took a while to get this podcast uploaded for that reason.
I daren’t try too hard to summarize this week’s episode in my usual bullet point format. It is top #bantz. It is our Christmas present to you. 99 Friendship episode yy!