Whitby teen soccer star out of She Believes Cup with injury

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Published April 4, 2024 at 11:14 am

Olivia Smith
Olivia Smith. Image from Canada Soccer

Durham Region representation at the She Believes Cup, which opens Saturday for Canada’s Women’s National Team against Brazil, is down to one after teenage Whitby soccer sensation was dropped from the squad due to injury.

Smith, 19, is off to a torrid start in her first pro season with Sporting CP in Portugal, with nine goals (11 across all competitions), placing her third in league scoring. She has also been a revelation at the international level, earning the trust of Canada head coach Bev Priestman with two appearances at the 2023 World Cup.

Smith opened her senior international scoring account at the recent Gold Cup with a pair of goals and won the Young Player Award at the tournament.

It is unclear the nature of Smith’s injury, which was sustained at the club level.

Veteran midfielder Quinn is also out of the tournament with an injury, believed to be concussion related. Quinn, 28, who has won 100 caps for Canada, played the full 90 minutes in Seattle’s 2-1 loss to Chicago March 23 in National Women’s Soccer League action but was out of the lineup Sunday in San Diego due to a concussion.

The two will be replaced by Emma Regan and Marie-Yasmine Alidou.

The only Durham player at the tournament will be starting goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan of Whitby.

Canada #1 ‘keeper Kailen Sheridan

Ninth-ranked Canada opens play against No. 10 Brazil on Saturday in Atlanta while the fourth-ranked U.S. faces No. 7 Japan. The two winners will meet for the title April 9 in Columbus, Ohio while the losers meet to decide third place.

Canada head coach Bev Priestman named 23 players for the She Believes Cup, a roster she will have to trim to 18 for the Paris Olympics where Canada will open defence of its title in Group A alongside No. 3 France, No. 23 Colombia and No. 28 New Zealand.

Forward Nichelle Prince of Ajax and Jayde Riviere, with roots in Pickering, are also out of the She Believes Cup with long-term injuries but Priestman is hopeful both – as well as Sydney Collins – might be available for the May 25-June 1 international window.

Priestman would love to be able to schedule two games then and two more in the July 8-16 window – the final tune-up opportunities before the July 25 kickoff of the Olympic women’s football tournament.

Canada has made the Olympic podium the last three times, winning gold in Tokyo under Priestman and bronze in Rio and London under John Herdman.

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