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.

Age: 18
Hometown: Vancouver
Position: Midfielder
Club: University of Texas (NCAA)

Julia Grosso is one of three teenagers named to the Canadian roster. After making her debut with the Canada as a 17-year-old in 2017, Grosso has earned 16 caps and six starts, including three during World Cup qualifiers last fall.

Grosso first joined the Canadian system at the age of 13 after being invited to Under-15 camp in 2014. Two years later, she was named to the Best XI at the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s U-17 Championship. She played every minute for Canada at the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, and also picked up an assist during the tournament.

One year later, she earned her first call into senior camp under John Herdman. She made her inaugural appearance as a substitute late in the game against the United States on Nov. 12, 2017.

Grosso also played every minute for her country at the CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship in 2018, but the Canadians failed to qualify for the U-20 Women’s World Cup after being upset by Haiti in the third-place match.

That same year, she began making regular appearances for the senior team, playing in eight of Canada’s 12 games in 2018. She also earned her first point with the “A” team when she assisted on Adriana Leon’s hat-trick goal against Cuba during the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship.

Grosso joined the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX Program in partnership with BC Soccer in 2015.  She was the recipient of the 2016 Youth Soccer Player, BMO RESP as part of the clubs annual year-end awards.

Grosso also joined the University of Texas in 2018, where she plays under Angela Kelly, a former Canadian international from 1990 to 1995, and a member of the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame. Grosso won the Big 12 Freshman of the Year, sharing the award with TCU’s Messiah Bright. She was also named to the All-Big 12 Second Team and the Big 12 All-Freshman Team.

Kelly has referred to Grosso as a “Canadian Messi” – although with her father being Portuguese, her favourite player is Cristiano Ronaldo. Grosso is a player who thrives and dances on the ball. She has shown great vision as a midfielder and is not afraid to take on the opponent’s backline.