Ontario Tech and Pickering FC alumni captaining Guyana in high stakes World Cup qualifying match


Published April 12, 2022 at 5:10 pm

Kayla De Souza

For Guyanese veteran and Ontario Tech alumni Kayla De Souza, the stakes are high tonight at the final World Cup qualifying game in Group F.

Win against Trinidad and Tobago and move on to the final CONCACAF group this July and a chance at a World Cup berth that has eluded her during her long career. Lose, or even draw, and it’s all over.

For another four years, anyway.

Guyana has two wins and a draw in the group after a 0-0 tie with Nicaragua Friday. The team has scored 11 times and has not conceded a single goal. But Trinidad is 3-0, they’re playing at home and they sport a 17-1 goal differential.

Nothing like a challenge for De Souza, who has been playing for Guyana’s national side since 2009 and now wears the captain’s arm band during matches.

De Souza played two seasons with the Ridgebacks and was an OUA all-star in 2014, the year Ontario Tech won an OUA bronze medal and advanced to the U SPORTS championship for the first time in program history.

“Competing within the OUA provided me with the opportunity to play soccer at the highest level on the collegiate side,” she said. “The training and game environment mirrors similarities found within a national team program. It was an environment that demanded physical fitness and overall high-level performance both in season and during the off-season.”

Since her time with the Ridgebacks, she has stayed with the Guyanese national team, while balancing coaching, a full-time job and playing at the highest level possible within Ontario. Since 2015 she has been playing in League1 Ontario for Pickering FC until 2021 when she joined Vaughan SC.

Kickoff time at Dwight Yorke Stadium is 6 pm.

indurham's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising