Canadian of the Week: Sinclair returns for Portland, David fills scoresheet, Russell-Rowe makes a statement
An international break, the return of the NWSL, and blockbuster clashes in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. Not a bad week!
Canadians were involved throughout it all, and one player in particular stood out above the rest, earning the honour of ‘Canadian of the Week’ in the process.
The Canada men’s national team returned to action for the first time since the 2022 World Cup on Saturday, March 25, and Jonathan David brought his killer club form with him.
David was involved in both of Canada’s two goals in a 2-0 victory in Curaçao during CONCACAF Nations League group stage action. The win punched Canada’s ticket to this summer’s Gold Cup and gave Les Rouges a great opportunity to qualify for the Nations League Finals for the first time.
David opened the scoring in the 23rd minute after getting on the end of a clever cross from Richie Laryea. The Ottawa native poked his first-time effort past goalkeeper Eloy Room to score his 23rd international goal.
With the hosts down a man, it was only a matter of time before Canada found another goal, and 20 minutes later, David turned provider, setting up fellow striker Cyle Larin for Canada’s second of the match.
David picked up the ball after a Curaçao turnover and used another first-time touch, this time playing in Larin, who put a fine finish into the back of the net.
Wearing the #10 shirt on the evening, David showed that he is worthy of the number that is so often left for a team’s best playmaker.
Currently leading the Ligue 1 scoring race, alongside none other than Kylian Mbappé, David delivered during an important window for the Canadian men’s side. The three points away from home means that Canada is through to the Gold Cup, but David and his teammates have more to play for this Tuesday when they welcome Honduras to BMO Field in Toronto. A point would be enough for CanMNT to qualify for the Nations League Finals in June, and compete for silverware against the region’s best.
In case you missed it, the 2023 NWSL season kicked off this weekend, with a dozen-plus Canucks returning to their club sides for the new season.
Last year’s champs, the Portland Thorns, got off to a dream start nailing a 4-0 win against the Orlando Pride at Providence Park. International soccer’s record goalscorer and Canada’s own Christine Sinclair was pivotal in the season-opening victory, notching an assist on her team’s second goal of the game.
The Burnaby-born forward was also involved in Morgan Weaver’s opener, firing a powerful shot on target, with Weaver hopping onto the rebound.
It was an impressive return to competitive action for the Thorns, and it sounds like Sincy is ready to win some more trophies in Portland.
Over in Portugal, our favourite country to keep track of Canadians nowadays, two players impressed on the weekend.
Sporting Braga’s Caroline Kehrer, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, produced a goal and assist in a 6-3 win on Saturday, while Famalicão’s Marie-Yasmine Alidou of Montréal had the same stats in a 4-1 victory on Sunday.
Lastly, Columbus Crew striker Jacen Russell-Rowe made the most of his first start of the MLS season on Saturday night, picking up a goal and assist as his team steamrolled to a 6-1 home win over Atlanta United.
With usual starter Cucho Hernández missing time with a knee injury, Russell-Rowe has a great opportunity to impress Wilfried Nancy at this level, after being named MLS Next Pro MVP in 2022.