The FIFA Women’s World Cup™ has inspired many a future athlete. Just ask Christine Sinclair who attended matches at USA 1999 as a spectator before undertaking one of the most inspiring careers in Canadian soccer history.
Before she played in her first FIFA Women’s World Cup™ four years later, she made her global debut at the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship at Canada 2002, helping to inspire a nation that continues to embrace the beautiful game like never before.
Before next year’s big event, the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 will shine the spotlight on the future stars of the game from 5-24 August in four host cities: Edmonton, Alberta; Toronto, Ontario; Montréal, Québec; and Moncton, New Brunswick. Tickets to the competition start at just $10, with tickets to the championship final in Montréal just $20-$50.
History suggests that more than 50 young stars from the U-20 tournament will be ready for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ just one year later. Several have already dressed in continental championships or FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifiers, including a pair of Germans that won UEFA’s Women’s EURO in 2013 (Sara Däbritz and Melanie Leupolz).
While Canada will skip qualifiers this year (as host, they are seeded A1 for the 6 December draw), they have had the opportunity to test their youth in Women’s International Friendly matches in recent months. The “kids” have started against world leaders like USA and Germany, proving they are ready for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™, not the mention this summer’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014.
Centre back Kadeisha Buchanan is one of those kids, already selected as Canada’s player of the match in six of her 22 appearances at the international “A” level. On 8 May in Winnipeg, she scored her first goal on a header from a Diana Matheson corner kick. Other U-20 players in Canada’s recent friendly matches were Jessie Fleming, Ashley Lawrence, Rebecca Quinn and Sura Yekka.
As for inspiration, Buchanan has already been identified as a hero for Canada’s next wave of international youth players. More than one player from Canada’s U-15 program listed Buchanan amongst their favourite footballers in player profile surverys earlier this year.
So which stars will shine brightest this summer at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014? Watch closely, whether it is Canada or any one of the 15 visiting nations, there are sure to be a few future stars that inspire future generations in the international game.