Jonathan David and Evelyne Viens have been named Canada Soccer’s Players of the Month for April 2021. David from Ottawa, Ontario has kept Lille OSC at the top of France’s Ligue 1 standings, notably scoring the 1:0 winner over second-place Paris Saint-Germain. Viens from L’Ancienne-Lorette, Québec scored her first two international goals in back-to-back Canada wins before opening the new 2021 season in the National Women’s Soccer League.
David made headlines after he scored Lille OSC’s decisive 1:0 winner against the three-time defending Ligue 1 winners and 2019-20 UEFA Champions League runners up Paris Saint-Germain FC on 3 April. After he was taken down with a forceful challenge, David continued and went on to score the away goal in the 20th minute. He was then subbed out in the 35th minute with a torn ankle ligament injury sustained in the first-half tackle.
After missing the next match through injury, David returned as a sub for the 1:1 home draw against Montpellier and then scored the equalizer in a come-from-behind 3:2 away victory against Olympique Lyonnais. David’s goal on 25 April was his 11th of the Ligue 1 season, a joint record for a Canadian goalscorer in a top-5 men’s European league (equal with Tomasz Radzinski who scored 11 with Everton during the 2002-03 English Premier League season).
While David continues to chase his title in France, goalkeeper Milan Borjan won his fourth-consecutive Serbian SuperLiga title with Red Star Belgrade (FK Crvena zvezda). Borjan has now won titles in seven consecutive European seasons, following a trio of Bulgaria A championships with PFC Ludogrets. Both Borjan and Scott Arfield (Rangers FC in Scotland on 7 March) are the first two Canadians to win league titles in Europe while David (Lille OSC), Atiba Hutchinson and Cyle Larin (both with Beşiktaş JK in Turkey), and Alphonso Davies (FC Bayern in Germany) are also at the top of their leagues late in the 2020-21 season.
Viens, who made her international “A” debut in February, scored her first two goals for Canada during the month of April on the FIFA Women’s International Match Calendar. In a 3:0 away win over Wales on 9 April, she scored the second goal from inside the six-yard box on a cross from Janine Beckie. Four days later in a 2:0 win over England, she scored the opening goal from inside the 18-yard box less than three minutes after the match had kicked off.
After her international matches, Viens joined NJ/NY Gotham FC kicked off her NWSL season by scoring the added-time winner in a 4:3 Challenge Cup victory over North Carolina Courage. Viens rejoined NJ/NY Gotham FC (previously known as Sky Blue FC) after scoring 11 goals in 14 matches on loan with Paris FC in France. The NWSL Challenge Cup continues through to the Final on 8 May.
Also in the month of April, Jessie Fleming (Chelsea FC), Jordyn Huitema and Ashley Lawrence (both of Paris Saint-Germain FC) reaching the semifinals in UEFA Women’s Champions League, with ultimately Chelsea FC reaching the Final after the second leg on 2 May. They were three of six Canadians that featured in the quarterfinals after Kadeisha Buchanan, Stephanie Labbé (both in April) and Janine Beckie (in late March) were eliminated from 2020-21 UEFA Women’s Champions League.
Along with Viens, other Canada goalscorers during the month of April on the FIFA Women’s International Match Calendar were Deanne Rose, Fleming and Nichelle Prince. Labbé posted back-to-back clean sheets while Beckie made her 75th international appearance at the international “A” level.
Looking ahead to this summer, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team is preparing for FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and the Concacaf Gold Cup while Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team in preparing for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Fans will find extended coverage across Canada Soccer’s digital channels on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube featuring the hashtags #CANMNT and #CANWNT.
PLAYERS of the MONTH:
April 2021 – Jonathan David & Evelyne Viens
March 2021 – Cyle Larin & Jessie Fleming
February 2021 – Alphonso Davies & Shelina Zadorsky
January 2021 – Cyle Larin & Ashley Lawrence