Canadian Player Profile: Shelina Zadorsky
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: London, Ont.
Position: Centre back
Club: Orlando Pride (NWSL)
Shelina Zadorsky has been a mainstay for Canada since 2016. After missing out on the 2015 Women’s World Cup, Zadorsky was a key figure during Canada’s Olympic qualifying, starting in all five of Canada’s games.
Six months later at the Rio Olympics, Zadorsky was a constant figure on the Canadian backline and helped the team earn bronze. The only game time she missed was due to a red card and subsequent suspension she picked up in Canada’s opening game against Australia, when she brought down Michelle Heyman on a breakaway.
Although this will be Zadorsky’s first senior Women’s World Cup, she does have tournament experience at the youth levels. After starting her international career at the Under-17 camp as a 14-year-old, she was featured at the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, and played every minute for Canada at the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
Zadorsky made her first career appearance and start for the senior team on Jan. 14, 2013 against South Korea, at the age of 20. After that, Zadorsky didn’t reappear with Canada until the 2015 Pan American Games, where she played in all five games for her country, netting a brace against Ecuador. Her performance in the tournament led to her breakout year in 2016.
The native of London, Ont., played for four seasons at Michigan from 2010 to 2013, captaining the team in her senior year, before beginning her professional career with stints in Australia and Sweden. Zadorsky moved back to North America in 2016 to join the NWSL. She played two seasons for the Washington Spirit, and was captain of the team in 2017. Last year with the Orlando Pride, she started in all but one of her club’s 24 games, playing all 90 minutes in each of them.
Zadorsky recently celebrated her 50th cap with Canada, and she has come off the bench only four times since joining the senior team. The ambidextrous defender has formed a strong partnership with fellow centre back Kadeisha Buchanan over the years, and is one of the team’s most vocal leaders on the field.