On the eve of the 2023 NWSL season, there’s never been a better time to start paying attention to North America’s premier woman’s soccer league. The World Cup is on the horizon, and with TSN now owning the rights, Canadians should be paying attention to this league in a way they never have. So with that in mind, here’s a helpful guide in choosing an NWSL team to cheer for in 2023.
We start with the Seattle based Reign, who based on geography is probably your ‘local team’ should you live in western Canada. If you live in say British Columbia and or Alberta and support the Seattle Seahawks out of proximity, well now you have another Seattle team!
Further yet, the Reign also have Canadian representation, both Jordyn Huitema and Quinn play for OL, and both are key members of the CWNT/CXNT. They’re close by, and have Canadians in their team, an easy choice when looking for an NWSL team to support!
Just down the road from Seattle, Portland are the defending NWSL champions! If you want to see the best the league has to offer, then in theory you can’t do any better than sitting down and watching a Thorns game.
They also boast incredible Canadian talent. Janine Beckie is one of the best creative players in the woman’s game. Her creativity on the ball is vital to Canada, but perhaps also as vital is her mentality to be a leader (She is however injured at the moment) . Alongside her is a player who needs no introduction – Christine Sinclair! Sinclair will be forty this calendar year, and we don’t know how much longer her career will last, you should definitely look to watch the all time international goalscorer while you can, we’ll never see a player like her again.
San Diego Wave
SoCal sun and ocean! Should you want to see your new adopted team live, you’d certainly be wise to take a trip down to San Diego, while there you even be part of a 30,000+ crowd when the Wave play!
On the field, San Diego have a familiar goalkeeper between the sticks, Kailen Sheridan – Canada’s number 1! She is the best keeper in the league, she was awarded as the leagues best keeper in 2022, and made the all the star team in 2021 and 2022. SoCal vibes and elite level Canadian talent, a perfect combination!
S. 2 Ep. 21: Canada Doing What Canada Does – FC13 Podcast
Based in Los Angeles, this team has the star power you would expect from Hollywood. The teams ownership group consists of Natalie Portman, Serena Williams, Mia Hamm, Becky G and Eva Longoria. A star studded and impressive line up of woman at the top of their profession.
On the pitch, Canada defender Vanessa Gilles is contracted to Angel City, she is on loan at European powerhouse Lyon, but hopefully, you’ll get the chance to see her in the NWSL again in the near future.
Kansas City Current
If you like NFL, you’ll be interested to know that the best player in the NFL Patrick Mahomes is a co-owner of the team. So if you like Kansas City Chiefs, or are simply a fan of Mahomes – this is the team for you.
From a Canadian standpoint, Desiree Scott is on the Current’s roster, the midfielder has been capped 185 times for Canada, and will hoping her experience can help KC win a tit
If you’re looking for Canadian representation, you could do a LOOOOT worse than Houston Dash! There are four Canadians on their roster, three of whom are fully fledged internationals.
Fullback Allysha Chapman, winger Nichelle Prince, and midfielder Sophie Schmidt are all well-established regulars among the CWNT, while goalkeeper Devon Kerr (who was called up to the Canada squad in February 2022) completes the four-woman-strong Canada contingent in Texas.
Chicago Red Stars
One of the biggest cities in America, Chicago is most likely your local team if you live in Manitoba or -North West Ontario. Plus if you like deep-dish pizza, this is your kinda-place!
Canada fullback Bianca St-Georges plays for Chicago, which also gives us a CWNT link on the field to help encourage you to cheer for the Red Stars.
Dyou like fried chicken? Well I’ve got just the team for you! Kentucky is home of the world famous Kentucky Fried Chicken, so if you like KFC – it’s the perfect excuse to cheer on Racing Louisville.
Away from Kentucky based fast food restaurants, the Fleur-de-lis is in the teams logo. Often associated with francophone culture, there’s a clear link here for those from Quebec I’d they’re looking for a team to support.
If you’re looking for history, Gotham is one of the oldest woman’s professional teams in North America – having formed back in 2006. Also, it’s pretty cool to have ‘Gotham’ be your name but that’s coming from someone who’s seen every Batman movie numerous times. (Yes, that includes Batman & Robin)
In their squad, Gotham has NewMarket Ontario native Victoria Pickett in their squad. The midfielder has three caps so far for Canada, and hopefully, she can become more of a regular for NY/NJ in the 2023 season
Do you like theme parks? Well I’ve got the team for you. Great weather, Disney World and Universal Studios, theres very few trips to see an NWSL game that can compare! Plus that purple kit looks great, certainly a stylish team!
From a Canadian standpoint, Toronto born midfielder Jordyn Listro is going into her second season with the Pride, and will be looking to star in Florida this season.
Playing in the American capital, Spirit won the league in 2021 but finished second last in 2022, so there’s no telling what to expect with this team. Plus Audi Field is a great stadium, and it’s only a half hour walk from The National Mall.
Washington is the team that Quebec City native Gabrielle Carle plays for. She’s a versatile player who can play either in defense or midfield and has made over thirty appearances for Canada. Carle signed for Washington in 2023 and will be hoping to be called up for a second World Cup squad.
North Carolina Courage
North Carolina Courage was formed in 2017, and has wasted no time establishing itself as one of the best teams in the NWSL. Two NWSL championships, three NWSL Shields, and an NWSL Championship Cup – this team knows how to win. North Carolina plays in Cary, the seventh biggest city in North Carolina – so if you want to route for an underdog that punches above their weight, this is your team.
In the 2023 NWSL draft, The Courage selected Sydney Collins at number eight overall. The midfielder has dual American and Canadian citizenship, so hopefully, if she can break out this year, she can shine in Canadian red in the future.
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