It's been well over a year since our last edition of Northern Pitch, and so much has changed in the world of Canadian footy. Miraculously, in our absence no one has stepped in to create a weekly newsletter that covers the beautiful game from coast-to-coast across the north — so we're back to deliver the goods in a big way for you, our beautiful subscribers.
Here's what you can expect: Every Monday, you'll receive an expertly crafted recap of what’s happened in Canadian footy that week. From national team news, to Canadians playing abroad, MLS, CPL, NWSL, League1, U Sports, E-Sports and more. And because we’re DARBY, you can also expect some well-curated culture hits from around the world.
The best part? Northern Pitch will continue to remain free (you’re welcome).
Here's where you come in: for this to grow and reach as many people as possible, we need your help to spread the word. Forward this to a couple of fellow Canadian footy lovers in your life or share this link!
Let’s get into it.
🇨🇦 CanXNT v France 🇫🇷
SOURCE: CANADA SOCCER
In what looks to be their final match before stepping onto the pitch against Nigeria at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, CanWNT/CanXNT take on World #5 France on Tuesday (3:10 p.m. ET, OneSoccer).
Unfortunately for this group in a World Cup year, the story surrounding the team has mostly been off the pitch as they fight for equal treatment after seeing their 2023 budget slashed. Four members of the team appeared before the Canadian Heritage Committee where they valiantly explained the injustice they have faced to a bunch of uninformed politicians who basically just wanted to take a selfie with them.
Off-field stories have also dominated the lead-up to this match for France, who has been dealing with a coaching controversy that saw several key players refuse call-ups, including captain Wendie Renard. That situation, however, appears to have taken a turn for the better as France hired highly successful coach and Jamie Lannister stunt double Hervé Renard, who most recently managed Saudi Arabia at the men’s World Cup.
Despite the tension of recent months, Canada appears to be enjoying themselves at a very swanky hotel in Fougères and training hard while trying to duck a case of the rabies. This camp will be critical for coach Bev Priestman to decide which 23 players will represent Canada at the 2023 tournament. Hopefully, it will also be a step in the right direction in terms of giving this team the resources they deserve to once again put the world on notice.
Whether off the field or on it, this Canadian team continues to prove they are special, and that they are going to leave the national team shirt in a better place than they found it.
🧵 Speaking of that shirt, CanWNT will debut a brand new look tomorrow as Nike dropped their 2023 Women’s World Cup kits last week. Nike said its designers “made sustainable considerations in every aspect of the new kits” — including recycling the designs apparently. In recent images from the team’s TSN media day shoot the home shirts look pretty sharp. The aways? Pretty forgettable. At least white shorts are a thing of the past.
⚽️ It’s coming home, football’s coming home. What we mean is, it’s the CPL opening weekend with a four game slate headlined by the first CPL BC darby between Pacific FC and the league’s newest club Vancouver FC. Catch every game on OneSoccer.
🗳️ Democracy lovers rejoice: It’s time for fans to vote for CONCACAF Player of the Year. Three Canadian stars have been nominated: Jessie Fleming, Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David. Go vote. The North needs you, Jon Snow (we promise, not every edition will have this many Game of Thrones references).
🏆 This week, LAFC host the Vancouver Whitecaps in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League. The Whitecaps have a mountain to climb as they lost 3-0 to LAFC in the first leg. Kick-off starts at 7:15 P.T. / 10:15 E.T on OneSoccer.
🏆 In this week of returns, UEFA Champions League is back baby. Manchester City host Bayern Munich in this first-leg matchup. If you have no clue where to catch the game, get your life together here.
🇨🇦 Canada announced its squad for the Concacaf U-20 Women’s Championship qualifiers. The team includes rising stars Amanda Allen, Olivia Smith, Rosa Maalouf and Annabelle Chukwu. You’re going to want to get to know those names — trust us. Canada open the tournament April 14 against Martinique.
Gems from at home and across the pond.
📚 What to read
The paperback edition of “A New Formation: How Black Footballers Shaped The Modern Game” by CARICOM founder Calum Jacobs is releasing on April 6th with a brand new cover. You can pre-order it now from your favourite bookseller.
📺 What to watch
Get prepped for the Canadian Premier League’s return as Andi Petrillo and former York United midfielder Jordan Wilson join Kristian Jack this week on OneSoccer’s new show One Nation to preview the 2023 season.
🎧 What to listen to
Former Atlético Ottawa captain turned team manager, Drew Beckie joined the Just Offside podcast to talk about his career, the team’s preseason in Madrid, and being Janine Beckie’s older brother. Listen now on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
✅ Who to follow
With the Womxn’s National Team back in action this week, @WsoccerCa on Twitter is a great place to keep up to date with all the latest!