March 18th Edition

Will CanMNT Qualify for Copa? Plus NWSL (and Janine Beckie) are back!

Happy Monday! This week is set to be one of the biggest in Canadian soccer in some time.

By the time next week’s edition hits your inbox, we’ll know if Canada will be lining up against Lionel Messi and Argentina in the opening match of the 2024 Copa América on June 20th.

We set the stage for Saturday’s crucial Copa América play-in match against Trinidad and Tobago below.

Also ahead, the NWSL is back, a new founding team for Project 8, a wild weekend for Canadian MLS teams, and so much more.



🇨🇦 CanMNT’s biggest match yet?

Photo: Canada Soccer

Saturday’s match against Trinidad & Tobago in Frisco, Texas was always going to be the biggest match they played between now and their 2026 World Cup opener.

The chance to qualify for the 2024 Copa América and play against top South and North American opposition in an official competition is an unmissable opportunity.

It only became bigger when the draw came out which revealed that should Canada qualify, they will play in the opening match of the 2024 Copa América at Mercedes-Benz Stadium against World Cup champs Argentina and presumably Lionel Messi himself.

In a non-World Cup year, the stage doesn’t get much bigger than that, and as CanMNT looks to make history on home soil in 2026, these are the types of tests that are invaluable.

But after Jamaica stunned them on aggregate in the Concacaf Nations League quarter-finals, Canada knows they can’t afford to look past the Soca Warriors and need to get the business done in Frisco first.

Looking to do just that, interim manager Mauro Biello made a bold call to go incredibly young with his squad. No Borjan, no Hoilett, no Vitoria, no Kaye. With Jonathan Osorio’s withdrawl due to injury (read more on that later) there is not a single player in this squad who is 30 or older.

Recent bagsmen Iké Ugbo and Theo Bair come back into the squad to give Canada a boost should they need some goals. Plus CF Montréal’s Jonathan Sirois gets his first call-up.

The match will be played at 4:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. PT and is available on OneSoccer. Get ready for a tense affair, but one where Canada can hopefully take a big step forward after a tough few years since the Qatar World Cup.


🥳 The NWSL (and Janine Beckie) are back!

Photo: Portland Thorns

The 2024 NWSL season kicked off this past weekend, and the vibes were unreal for the league’s Canadian ballers.

The weekend began at Red Bull Arena, where Kailen Sheridan and San Diego Wave lifted the 2024 Challenge Cup after defeating her former club, Gotham FC, 1-0 in the final. Alex Morgan had the late winner, and Sheridan made two stops for the clean sheet.

Things went a little crazy as the Portland Thorns couldn’t pull off the comeback in Jessie Fleming’s debut, as a WILD match in Kansas ended 5-4 for the Current. Fleming did pick up an assist on Portland’s opening goal, and the G.O.A.T. Christine Sinclair played the first half as she kicked off what is expected to be her final professional season. She was replaced by fellow Canadian Janine Beckie, who made a statement in her return from ACL injury, scoring twice, including a BANGER from a distance.

Not to be outdone in the brace department, Bianca St-Georges scored a pair off the bench in her debut for the North Carolina Courage as they demolished the Houston Dash 5-1 on Saturday night. Fellow Canadian Victoria Pickett added an assist.

Amanda Allen, meanwhile, picked up her first pro assist on a 86th minute equalizer as her Orlando Pride side drew 2-2 with Racing Louisville.

In the final match of the weekend, goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx went OFF, making nine saves to keep a clean sheet in her first-ever NWSL match. Her Bay City club would hold on for a 1-0 win over Angel City.

With a start like this, it’s sure to be a massive season for Canucks in the NWSL.


🇲🇽 Another big friendly for CanMNT

Photo: Canada Soccer

There won’t be anything friendly about it.

For the first time since the infamous ‘Iceteca’ matchup, CanMNT and Mexico are slated to face off in a friendly in September, Canada Soccer confirmed this past week.

The match will take place at a World Cup venue, the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Tuesday, September 10th.

Canada has not defeated Mexico outside of Canada since 2000 when they beat them in the 2000 Gold Cup quarter-finals, a competition Les Rouges would go on to win.

This is the second high-profile friendly that Canada has announced in a matter of weeks after booking the Dutch for a matchup in the Netherlands in June. Long may it continue as Canada needs these types of tests before 2026.


Photo: Canada Soccer

👀 Canada getting new kits? In the days following Adidas dropping their latest national team kit designs, Canada Soccer has teased their new (long overdue) threads on social media. We guess they’re going retro, but stay tuned for the full reveal today.

⚓️ Atlantic FC joining Project 8. Halifax will have its first professional women’s club, Atlantic Women's FC. This would be the fourth team to be officially part of Project 8’s professional women’s league. However, the name appears to be a placeholder for now—a team name and branding to be revealed soon. Also, there seems to be no confirmation from Project 8 if this new club is their doing. Read here for more details.

🔄 Fraser replaces Osorio for the upcoming qualifier. In an update announced Sunday, due to injury, Liam Fraser will replaced Jonathan Osorio in Canada’s roster. Oso was one of the favourites to captain the side in this match, so it will be a big blow. Fraser’s call-up makes sense as he plays for FC Dallas who call Toyota Stadium home, and therefore won’t have to travel to join the group in camp. Having another six in the mix is never a bad thing either.

🏟️ Alphonso Davies is going back to London. Back in 2020, Phonzy gained mainstream notoriety after lighting up the wing against Chelsea. Now, he’ll be returning to London to face Prem. League-leading Arsenal. The North London club will face the Bavarian giants in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. If Bayern Munich advances, Phonzy could potentially play against his future club Real Madrid.

👀 Jonathan David will face Aston Villa. JD is set to face fourth-placed Premier League club Aston Villa in the Europa Conference League. This is the biggest match-up of the quarter-finals, as these two clubs are perhaps the biggest favourites to win the competition.

⬆️ CanWNT rise to 9th. Canada remains elite. Despite slipping out of the W Gold Cup, FIFA rankings have classified Canada in 9th place in their ranking. They have moved up by one spot: next step, top 5 (and then #1).

🇵🇹 Goal and an assist for Olivia Smith. The Young Player of the Tournament returns to Portugal and performs big. Olivia Smith registered an assist and a goal in Sporting Lisbon’s 5-0 win over Albergaria.

🧊 Jonathan David scores again. Lille travelled to Brest and were held to a 1-1 draw. The only goal scored for LOSC Lille was by the Iceman himself, Jonathan David. This goal is now JD’s 22nd goal in all competitions this season.

Photo: Canada Soccer

🍁 CanChamp preliminary round schedule confirmed. The schedule for the preliminary round of the Canadian Championship was released last week, with Cavalry FC & Vancouver FC kicking things off in Calgary on April 23rd.

🌊 Ralph Priso is a Vancouverite. The Caps have acquired the midfielder from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for $150k GAM, SuperDraft picks, and a sell-on fee if Priso is transferred or loaned out of the MLS. Ralph Priso is a homegrown TFC talent and will be a huge boost for Vancouver’s midfield.

♟️ York United released new kits. We say yes. The Home kit is looking proper with the stripes, while the away kit we’re definitely vibing with, too. There really aren’t enough checkered kits in the world.

🦅 VFC also released new shirts. The club released its new home kit this past week, which features eagle feathers draping down the back from the shoulders, in reference to the club’s mascot. One of the most unique CPL kits released so far.

📝 CPL makes a pair of roster rule changes. Ahead of its sixth season, the Canadian Premier League announced two adjustments to its roster rules. There are now no age restrictions on the seven international players that teams can sign. Previously, 50% of a team’s international signings had to be under 23. The league also moved CPL-U SPORTS contracts—which allow a player to maintain U SPORTS eligibility while playing the CPL—into the development category of the roster. This should make it more likely for CPL teams to take a chance on these types of players. Don’t forget that Joel Waterman and Victor Loturi were both taken in the CPL-U SPORTS Draft.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Adriana Leon provided a slick assist. Leon has been balling out for Villa lately. She provided a cheeky backheel assist to set up Kenza Dali’s goal in a 2-1 win over Everton. Adriana Leon has six goals and five assists this season.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Liam Millar scores the winner. Millar scored big on a half-volley stunner in Preston North End's 1-0 win over Plymouth Argyle. This goal brings Millar’s season tally to five goals and five assists.

🦅 Vancouver FC signed Zach Verhoven. VFC has added another hometown talent to their roster in the Surrey baller. Zach Verhoven has signed a one-year deal with the club, with an option for an extension.

Vancouver Whitecaps Celebration GIF by Major League Soccer

🌊 Vancouver Whitecaps continue balling on the road. They were the only Canadian team to pick up the dub this weekend. The Caps travelled away to Dallas FC and made a mark on the game. Vancouver walked out of Texas with a 3-1 win, with all goals scored in the first half. Another big win is the kit, with the navy blue and gold looking better by the game.

🔵 Chicago Fire puts water on MTL’s streak. CFM has started the season with an impressive undefeated streak with seven points on the road. CFM was favoured to win after leading 3-1 halfway into the second half, but Chicago came back to finish the game 4-3. Laurent Courtois expressed his discontent with the officials and the usage of VAR (or lack thereof). Football can be unfair.

🔴 NYCFC denies TFC of a winning streak. CF MTL was not the only Canadian team denied a winning streak. TFC travelled to Yankee Stadium on Saturday and was dealt a 2-1 loss to the home side. Toronto scored first in a cooly-finished goal scored by Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty. Despite the positive start, NYCFC came up with the truth and won the game. Unlike MTL, the undoing of Toronto was themselves.


This week’s picks come from Laura Boyce. Laura has been playing soccer most of their life. They are currently a player and a captain with the Ringleaders and also act as the ‘Commissioner’ for the RFC futsal league in Montreal.

📚 What to read

I recently read/listened to the audiobook for Among the Thugs by Bill Buford. It’s about football hooliganism in the UK. It’s pretty different from the kind of stuff I usually read, but it was so entertaining and interesting.

📺 What to watch

I have watched so many good movies lately, it’s hard to choose! Falcon Lake and Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Adult are two Quebecois movies I’ve really enjoyed recently. They actually have the same lead actor, Sara Montpetit, who is incredible. Also really been enjoying How to with John Wilson, a lighthearted and funny documentary-style TV show where the host films things around NYC.

🎧 What to listen to

I'm keeping it local for this one. Here are a few of my recent favourite mixes from Montreal DJs: this Lis Dalton Campout Mix series is so good, Honeydrip at The Lot Radio, and this mix by Zi! on NTS.

🛍️ What to buy

There are so many talented local designers and makers of things in Montreal. Mudmuddd ceramics, made by a super talented friend of mine, Karyn Bailey. Also, I have always been obsessed with Boneless Girl, particularly the Bow Shorts. My favourite non-alcoholic beer, and the only one that truly fools me, is Nonny Beer, made by two of my dear friends in Vancouver!

You can follow Laura on Instagram here.