The Canadian national women’s soccer team kicks off its 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign on June 10 against Cameroon. TSN will profile Canada’s 23 players in the 23 days leading up to their tournament opener.
Hometown: Courtice, Ont.
Club Team: Houston Dash (NWSL)
Allysha Chapman’s journey to the national team was anything but a straight path.
She didn’t make her first appearance until October 2014, when she was 25. Five months later, with 11 caps under her belt, she was named to the roster for the 2015 Women’s World Cup, where she played every minute for Canada at left back.
Chapman was a member of Canada’s Under-20 squad in 2008, and participated in the U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile. The following year, she received a call into camp for the senior team but that would be her only invitation under then-head coach Carolina Morace. Chapman later said that Morace never warmed up to her professionally or personally.
With her future in the Canadian system uncertain, Chapman considered a move to Scotland’s national team, using her British passport courtesy of her Scottish mother. But an ACL tear to Canadian defender Lauren Sesselmann in 2014 led to a call from Morace’s successor, John Herdman, and Chapman seized the opportunity. In her senior team debut against Japan on October 25, 2014, she played the entire 90 minutes, picking up Player of the Match honours.
Much like the 2015 Women’s World Cup, Chapman was a key figure in the Canadian lineup at the 2016 Rio Olympics, playing in all three group stage games. However, she suffered a separated shoulder in the quarter-final against France, causing her to miss the semi-final match against Germany, which Canada lost 2-0. Chapman pushed through the pain and entered the bronze-medal game against Brazil as a substitute in the 59th minute.
This wasn’t the first time Chapman played through an injury. Herdman revealed after the 2015 Women’s World Cup that she was dealing with a torn oblique muscle during two of the matches and was taking injections to cope.
Chapman has said that this will be her last World Cup. She has compiled 64 appearances over the past five years, starting in 50 of those games. Chapman is a tenacious and physical defender with pace to boot, and she is capable of shutting down opposing forwards and also jumping in to the Canadian attack.