Photo Credit: @HarJournalist on Twitter

The FIFA Women’s World Cup begins on Thursday, July 20 in Australia and New Zealand. It will run from July 20 to August 20. 32 teams will compete to see which one is the world’s best.

Canada, the reigning Olympic champions will be looking to add more silverware to their collection. But of course, it is not going to be easy.

If you are a Canadian soccer fan and not watching the Women’s World Cup, what in the world are you doing? Canada’s women’s team has been among the best in international soccer and they have some world class players.

What do you need to know about the 2023 Women’s World Cup? I’m here to provide with the information you need.

Who is on Canada’s roster and who are the players to watch?

As mentioned above, Canada’s women’s team has a lot of talent. They have a mix of veterans and rising stars.

Here are some players to keep your eyes on

  • In goal, Kailen Sheridan has been a worthy successor to the recent retired Stephanie Labbe. She plays for the NWSL’s San Diego Wave. Sheridan was the 2022 NSWL Goalkeeper of The Season and was named to the NSWL best XI. This season, she is having a solid campaign with five clean sheets.
  • Vanessa Gilles spent the 2022-23 on loan at Lyon from Angel City FC. She emerged as a starter during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Gilles is solid at defending and passing.
  • Another Chelsea player, Jessie Fleming has emerged as one of the world’s best. Fleming brings pace, vision and excellent passing. She is very creative and a fighter for the ball.
  • Julia Grosso scored the winning penalty at the Tokyo Olympics. Since then, the former TSS Rovers player signed for Juventus. There, she shone brightly. This past season, Grosso was named the Serie A midfielder of the year. Grosso brings solid progressive passing and an eye for goal. Expect her and Fleming to be paired up in the midfield.
  • Forward Jordyn Huitema has done well since leaving Paris St. Germain for the NWSL’s OL Reign. She can play as a striker (as she does for her club) but can also play the wing, particularly on the right. Huitema is a player that displays strenght with the ball and without it as she likes to make tackles. She is also a poacher as she is often seen in the six yard box.
  • Of course, we can’t forget about the greatest soccer player Canada has ever had, international soccer’s all time leading scorer (Yes, more than Cristiano Ronaldo) and the player many call the goat. That is Christine Sinclair. We all know how great she is. But she has just turned 40 and her playing days will come to end sooner rather than later. Sinclair has won many trophies but she is still hungry for the World Cup trophy. This will be the captain’s sixth and likely last World Cup. Wouldn’t it be great if Sinclair finally wins the trophy she has wanted for so long? It really would

When are Canada’s games?

Canada are in group B. They play Nigeria on Thursday, July 20 at 7:30 pm Pacific. You can also head down to the Hollywood Theatre in Vancouver if you are available as the Vancouver Whitecaps are hosting a viewing party. Tickets are free but are going fast!

For the next two games, you are going to want to set your PVR or drink a ton of coffee. Canada plays Ireland on Wednesday July 26 at 5:00 am Pacific and they play hosts Australia on Monday July 31 at 3:00 am Pacific.

Should Canada make it out of the group stage, the knockout games dates and times will be determined then.

Who are the favourites? Is Canada one of them?

The two time reigning champions, the United States are the favourites to win the World Cup. Bet99 Sportsbook has them at a +240 odds to win the whole thing.

Following the US are European Champions England, (+400) Spain, (+460) Germany (+740) and Australia. (+1000) Canada is tied with Japan for the tenth highest odds at +2900. If you bet ten dollars on Canada to win the World Cup, you could receive a max payout of $300. Please gamble responsibly.

Canada might not be one of the heavy favourites, but with the talent they have, there is no reason why they can’t go on a deep run.

Who are some notable players from other countries?

The Americans are always star studded. Alex Morgan is 34 but she can still play at a high level. Megan Rapinoe is retiring at the end of the year and this World Cup will be her last.

Alexa Putellas is the two-time reigning Ballon D’or winner and Spain’s captain. She’ll be determined to lead Spain to their first World Cup title.

Sam Kerr has scored 63 goals for Australia and that is the most by an Australian women’s player. All the spotlight will be on her as she hopes to lead “The Matildas” to glory.

Brazilian star Marta is playing in her sixth and final World Cup. She has scored 17 goals at the World Cup which is a tournament record. Like Sinclair, she is hoping to get the holy grail before her illustrious career comes to an end.

Which countries are competing in their first World Cup?

There are a total of eight nations making their World Cup debuts. They are Ireland, The Philippines, Morocco, Haiti, Panama, Zambia, Portugal and Vietnam.

Will the Area 51 Sports Network provide Women’s World Cup coverage!

You bet we will! Nathan Durec and I will try to have articles about Canada’s games and all the action from this year’s Women’s World Cup for the Area 51 Sports Network. We will also discuss the tournament every week on the Terminal City FC Podcast.