Canadian Player Profile: Janine Beckie
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: Highlands Ranch, Colo.
Club: Manchester City (FA Women’s Super League)
Janine Beckie is entering her first Women’s World Cup after being left off the Canadian roster four years ago. Since that snub, Beckie has become one of Canada’s biggest offensive threats, netting 24 goals over that stretch, second only to Christine Sinclair, who has scored 26 times over that span.
Beckie is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States – born to two Canadian parents in Colorado, where she was raised. Her father, Gary, a native of Davidson, Sask., died of cancer in 2001 when Beckie was just eight.
She attended Texas Tech from 2012 to 2015, and is the all-time leading scorer in the program’s history with 57 goals and 130 points. She was involved with both the Under-18 and Under-20 American youth teams before deciding to make the change to Canada.
Andrew Olivieri, the Canadian U-20 head coach at the time, invited Beckie to Canadian camp in 2014, shortly after she had been released from the American program. Beckie has said that part of her reason for making the change was to honour her late father.
She was part of the Canadian Under-20 squad at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada. She featured in all four of Canada’s games, playing all 90 minutes in three of those matches, and netted two goals, including the lone tally in a 1-0 win over North Korea that sent Canada through to the knockout round. A few months later, she made her senior team debut on Nov. 26, 2014.
Although she was left off the World Cup roster in 2015, Beckie did represent Canada that summer in the Pan American Games. She scored two goals and also had a memorable moment in the opening game against Ecuador, when goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé received a red card in the 86th minute. With no substitutions left, Canada couldn’t use its other goalkeeper, Kailen Sheridan, so Beckie volunteered to go in net for the final few minutes of the game. Ecuador put one past her on a free kick, but Canada would win 5-2.
A year later, Beckie was a force for Canada at the 2016 Rio Olympics and was instrumental in helping the team win bronze. She scored the fastest goal ever in Olympic women’s soccer history, burying one in the opening match against Australia just 20 seconds into the game. Beckie would finish with three goals in the tournament, tied with Sinclair for the team lead, and she also set up Sophie Schmidt for the lone goal in Canada’s 1-0 quarter-final win against France.
After stints in the NWSL with Houston Dash and Sky Blue FC, Beckie signed with English club Manchester City in 2018, and earlier this year, she inked a one-year extension with the team. Although she has struggled to find playing time with City, in February she scored the winning penalty in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup, earning her team the trophy over Arsenal. She also scored four goals against Sheffield United during the group stage of the competition, and although Beckie didn’t feature in the final, City also won the Women’s FA Cup, beating West Ham to earn a domestic cup double.
Beckie is one of Canada’s most clinical finishers up front, and she has excellent movement on and off the ball. Her speed and ball skill are among her biggest assets, and she has developed great chemistry with Sinclair over the years.