Canadians set to clash in NWSL final
Posted on 8 October 2016 in Around the Soccer World
Four members of Canada’s Women’s National Team will be competing for the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Championship title when the on Sunday 9 October, 2016.
Diana Matheson, Shelina Zadorsky and Stephanie Labbe play for the Washington Spirit, while Sabrina D’Angelo plays for the Western New York Flash.
It is the first time in the history of the league that active Canadian internationals have faced off in the final against each other, and clearly something the players are embracing.
“It’s great to have Canadians on both teams in the final,” said midfielder Diana Matheson.
In a year that saw Canada’s Women’s National Team rise to their highest-ever FIFA Women’s World Ranking of 4, capture a memorable bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics as well as its first ever Algarve cup title, winning the NSWL championship is now at the top of the list for each of the Canadian internationals competing on Sunday in an event that will cap off a very exciting year for women’s soccer.
“Playing in the final tops off an incredible year, and to do it alongside two other Canadians, and against Sabrina (D’ Angelo), will be pretty special,” said goalkeeper Steph Labbe.
“What an amazing year it has been,” added centre-back Shelina Zadorsky. “A win against the Flash, such a quality attacking force, would mean a lot to us and the entire Spirit organisation. The team has been incredible all season and I can’t wait to go to battle against fellow Canadian Sabrina (D’ Angelo) on Sunday.”
Canadian Women’s National Team veteran, and long-time Washington Spirit player Diana Matheson has been looking towards this moment since joining the Spirit in the inaugural NWSL season in 2013. Having reached the semi-finals in 2014 and 2015, she is looking for an opportunity to compete for the title.
“I’ve been with the Spirit for four years and have seen this club get better every year,” Matheson said. “Coming into this season our goal was to win a championship, and we are looking forward to the chance to do just that on Sunday.”
For Sabrina D’ Angelo, the lone Canadian on the Western New York Flash, facing three of her teammates is exciting, but a challenge she is ready for.
“I’m definitely very excited,” said D’ Angelo. “It’s been something we’ve been working towards all year. The team is in a great spot and there is a really good chemistry. I’m excited to get to play against my Canadian teammates, who are all great players. With Shelina in the back and Diana out there and of course Steph is my training partner, it’s going to be exciting and it’s going to a tough game. They all bring something to the game and it’s not going to be easy to beat them for sure.”
While the Canadian teammates have a special bond on the pitch together, in competition it is no-holds-barred. Expect to see a fierce battle Sunday night with the jewel of professional women’s soccer on the line.
Canadians can watch The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Championship on the league’s YouTube channel.
The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Championship is the culmination of the NWSL Playoffs, which crowns the champion of North America’s women’s professional soccer league. The NWSL Playoffs are a single elimination tournament consisting of the top four teams from regular season play, with the No. 1 seed hosting the No. 4 seed and No. 2 seed hosting No. 3 in semi-final matches. The winners of each match will face off in Houston for the fourth championship in league history.