Canadians win big in Europe & CanChamp reaches final four
It was Cup week across Canadian soccer as several domestic players and teams competed in cup competitions both in Canada and abroad.
Canadians featured heavily in both the Women’s FA Cup and Coupe de France finals. Meanwhile, the Canadian Championship is down to the semi-final stage, which will feature a pair of fascinating meetings between MLS and CPL sides.
All the latest on that and so much more around Canadian soccer ahead on this week’s edition of The Northern Pitch.
CREDIT: @keishaballa / Instagram
While the men’s team came nowhere close to sniffing silverware this season. Chelsea’s women’s team continues to prove their World Class status, winning a third straight women’s FA Cup title with a 1-0 victory over Manchester United at a sold-out Wembley Stadium.
As she always seems to be, Australian international Sam Kerr was the hero for Chelsea, scoring, then doing a super dope backflip. Canada will face her at this summer’s World Cup in the group stage, in her home country…big yikes.
Speaking of Canadians, Jessie Fleming played 57 minutes in the centre of the park for Chelsea, while Kadeisha Buchanan came on to help the Blues secure the result in the final minutes. Jayde Rivière, who is only just returning from injury, was an unused sub for United.
Meanwhile, Buchanan’s former side, Lyon added their record 10th Coupe de France title this weekend with a 2-1 victory over PSG. Vanessa Gilles played the full 90 to lift the trophy with Lyon, while Ashley Lawrence played 71 minutes in a losing effort for PSG.
Lyon and PSG will meet again next weekend in a match that could ultimately determine their seasons. It’s worth noting that Lyon has a significantly better goal difference, so if PSG want to pass them in the table they will not only need to beat their rivals, but also hope for Lyon to drop points during the final week of the season.
With massive games ahead this summer for the national team, seeing so many Canadians feature in some of Europe’s biggest games this season is a very good sign.
Headlines from the week that was
CREDIT: @vxsualsbykobe / DARBY
🔵 In the CanChamp quarter-finals, another chapter of the eternal rivalry between Toronto and Montreal took place at BMO Field. CF Montreal took the lead and doubled it in the first half, while Insigne scored TFC’s only goal. To make things worse, ultras fighting in the stands resulted in CFM closing the visiting supporters’ section for Saturday’s Rivalry Week fixture.
🔵 Speaking of, CF Montreal hosted Toronto FC on Saturday and the visitors looked dangerous and bright in the first half. However, things took a dive in the second after Lappalainen’s opening goal and Marshall-Rutty’s red card. The Canadian Classique got spicy in the end after Bob Bradley and Richie Laryea confronted Hernan Losada. Montreal is now on a four game winning streak and TFC are down bad once again.
🌊 With Vancouver’s recent reputation of choking against CPL sides in the cup competition, there was added pressure on the Whitecaps in their CanChamp matchup. However, this time around, they took care of business at York Lions Stadium by defeating the home side 4 - 1.
💬 Newly-elected Canada Soccer President Charmaine Crooks has her hands full navigating the ongoing array of controversy with the organization. You can read her full opening remarks to the Heritage Committee on on safe sport here.
🔨 Forge hosted Valour this weekend and walked away winning 3-2, handing Valour their first loss of the season. Meanwhile in Vancouver, the league’s newest club suffered their heaviest loss of the season, with Ottawa putting five goals on their heads. A friendly reminder that Ollie Basset is the truth.
🏟️ With Janine Beckie and Nichelle Prince injured, there’s likely room for another striker on Bev Priestman’s upcoming World Cup squad. Youngster Amanda Allen is starting to feature regularly for the Orlando Pride and could be the one to make her mark for the Women’s National team this summer in Austraila .
Other news this week
SOURCE: Maja Hitij / Getty Images
➡️ PSG fullback Ashley Lawrence has been linked with a transfer to Chelsea, potentially joining fellow nationals and newly-crowned FA cup winners Jessie Fleming and Kadeisha Buchanan. There’s also whispers of interest from Bayern Munich.
🔥 Pacific FC stay hot with their second straight 4 goal victory, this time against the last-place York United.
After twenty-plus years of operation, Montreal’s first ever indoor soccer specific facility will close its doors. Jason Gisoo Kim says Aurevoir to Catalogna Soccerplexe in his latest for DARBY Magazine.
CREDIT: Aldo Stephano Ramirez / DARBY
Gems from at home and across the pond.
📚 What to read
Calgary-born Colin Smith shares stories of physical nostalgia and connection through football upon his move to Toronto in 2005. Read his journal for DARBY here.
📺 What to watch
This Wednesday, catch Janine Beckie and Ted Lasso star Brendan Hunt on the Men in Blazers Manchester City vs. Real Madrid watchalong live on Twitch (2:45pm ET)
✅ Who to follow
@ftblito is a fútbol documentarian exploring the culture in the Americas and the world. Their feed is stunning and definitely worth the follow.