Meet Canada’s forwards
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: Chilliwack, B.C.
Club: Paris Saint-Germain (Division 1 Féminine France)
Jordyn Huitema may be Canada’s most promising young player. The teenager has been drawing comparisons to Christine Sinclair since she made her national team debut as a 15-year-old in 2017. She is the first Canadian woman to forgo college and turn pro out of high school, signing with French club PSG last month.
Huitema was just 13 when she joined the Canadian youth program at Under-15 camp in 2014. That summer, she participated in the inaugural CONCACAF Girls’ U-15 Championship, scoring the title-clinching penalty in the final against Haiti.
She played every game for Canada at the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship, notching two goals. Later that year, the native of Chilliwack, B.C. scored a team-leading eight times at the 2016 CONCACAF Girls’ U-15 Championship, including a four-goal effort in the quarter-final against Curaçao. Huitema concluded a busy year at the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, scoring in Canada’s opening match against Cameroon.
In January 2017, when she was just 15, Huitema earned her first official call to camp for Canada’s senior team by then-head coach John Herdman. On Mar, 8, 2017, she made her national team debut, becoming the third youngest woman to play for the senior squad, behind only Kara Lang and current teammate, Jessie Fleming. Huitema started in the 2017 Algarve Cup final against Spain in her inaugural game, playing for 41 minutes.
Three months later, Huitema scored her first two goals for the senior team in a friendly against Costa Rica in front of more than 20,000 fans at BMO Field in Toronto. While her first official goal wasn’t the most memorable, with the ball hitting Huitema’s hip during a scramble in front of the net, her second was pure technique, as she one-timed a powerful strike past the keeper.
The teenager made seven appearances for the senior team in 2017, and was named Canada’s U-17 Player of the Year.
In January 2018, Huitema joined Canada’s Under-20 squad at the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship. At just 16, she won the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer with five goals, and was also named to the competition’s Best XI. However, Canada would fail to qualify for the U-20 Women’s World Cup after losing to Haiti in the third-place game.
Later that year, Huitema would captain Canada’s Under-17 squad to a berth in the U-17 Women’s World Cup. She started every game for her country at the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-17 Championship, and added a goal and an assist in Canada’s 2-1 win over Haiti in the third-place match, which punched the team’s ticket to the World Cup.
Huitema had a massive year in 2018. That summer, she made two guest appearances for PSG during the inaugural Women’s International Champions Cup, including starting for the French squad in the semi-final match against the North Carolina Courage.
She also helped Canada’s senior team qualify for this summer’s Women’s World Cup, recording four goals at the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship. She became the first player to score for Canada’s Under-17, Under-20 and senior teams in the same year.
Huitema wrapped up a busy 2018 by once again captaining the Canadian Under-17 squad at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. She scored a team-leading three goals, and helped Canada finish fourth – the squad’s best-ever finish at the tournament. In total, she scored 22 goals for Canada in 2018 (18 at the youth level, and four for the senior team), and picked up Canadian Youth Player of the Year honours.
Huitema spent four years with the Whitecaps FC Girls Elite program, as well as Canada Soccer’s Regional EXCEL Centre in British Columbia. In January, she announced that she would be forgoing her collegiate career to turn professional and last month she officially signed with PSG, just nine days after her 18th birthday.
At just under 6 feet, Huitema has the size, speed and skill to excel as a forward. Much like her idol, Sinclair, Huitema has a nose for the goal, but is also a capable playmaker.