Suzanne Muir #CANWNT
From Nova Scotia to the FIFA Women’s World Cups in Sweden and USA, Suzanne Muir was a Canadian trailblazer that made her mark on Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team and left a legacy of inspiration for future generations of footballers. A Concacaf champion in 1998, Muir became the first Nova Scotia footballer honoured by the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame in 2021.
Muir is one of eight legends who has been inducted to the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame in 2021. Marking the 35th anniversary of Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team, the eight legends represent Canada’s landmark first decade in international football from the original selections in 1986 through to Canada’s first participation at the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in 1995. The eight inductees are Sue Brand, Annie Caron, Carla Chin Baker, Janet Lemieux, Luce Mongrain, Suzanne Muir, Cathy Ross and Sue Simon.
Muir had a career of firsts from her hometown in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia to the highest level of football at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. She was part of the first Nova Scotia team to reach Canada Soccer’s National Championships Final three times (runners up 1990 to 1992) and led her school to their first Atlantic University Sport Championship in 1992. After moving out west and winning her first national title in 1994, she then became part of the first Canadian team to feature at the FIFA Women’s World Cup at Sweden 1995. After helping Canada win their first Concacaf Women’s Championship in 1998, she was then one of seven players that went to a second FIFA Women’s World Cup at USA 1999.
“I am a proud Maritimer and I played from youth to adulthood on the fields in Nova Scotia,” said Muir. “We weren’t just a team, we were and we remain a family that grew up together. Our coach John Kehoe and his wife Donna, they invested their hearts and time into us, shaping us not only as individuals, but as a team”
Kehoe was Muir’s coach at the youth and senior levels, including national youth silver medals with Dartmouth United SC and national silver medals with Dartmouth City Mazda (1990 to 1992) and Sackville Scotia Olympics (2001). They also won a silver medal together at the first Canada Games Women’s Soccer Championship in 1993.
From 1993-94 to 1998-99, she played out west in the Metro Women’s Soccer League, first with Coquitlam Metro Ford SC and then with Vancouver UBC Alumni. It was during this period that she won three provincial championships (1994, 1998, 1999), her first national title (1994), and another national silver medal (1998).
It was also during this period that she made her mark with Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team. While she had her first call up in October 1991, she made her international “A” debut for Canada on 11 April 1995 in Possiy, France. Across the five years from 1995 to 1999, she made 31 international “A” appearances, which at the time ranked tied for ninth all time. During that time, she played international games in France, Japan, USA, Denmark, Sweden and Australia.
“To wear your country’s jersey and hear your country’s anthem is an absolute privilege,” said Muir. “You think of representing your country, the life gifts that it gives you that, when you are playing you don’t even necessarily realise them at the time, but without question it was an absolute honour and one for which I am very grateful and very thankful.”
A highlight with Canada was the 1998 Concacaf Women’s Championship, which was hosted at Centennial Stadium in Etobicoke, Ontario. She played in all five matches, including the 2:0 win over Costa Rica which qualified Canada for the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 1999 and the 1:0 win over Mexico in the Final which gave Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team their first Concacaf title. She played a key role in the build up to the championship-winning goal as her long throw down the right side was then centered by Shannon Rosenow and headed on target by Liz Smith.
“Wearing the Canadian jersey for the first time and later winning the 1998 Concacaf Women’s Championship in front of a (sold out) home crowd of nearly 5,000 people in Toronto was such a highlight for me,” said Muir. “To this day, I can still hear my teammates, the roar of the crowd and the sound of my young nephew and my sister’s voices encouraging us all on through exhaustion to a 1:0 victory over Mexico. It will always form one of my greatest soccer memories.”
As for the next generation, her message of inspiration is simple: enjoy the journey.
“Dream big, be and believe in yourself, work hard, respect the game and others, and have fun,” said Muir. “I hope for everyone that you give more to the game and others than you take for yourself. So enjoy the experiences, cherish the moments and embrace the journey.”
CANADA SOCCER HALL of FAME:
I am incredibly honoured to be inducted alongside the Class of 2021 and to join other esteemed Honoured Members in the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame.
It is a privilege to represent your country and along this path there are so many people and memories that shape that journey. To my family and friends, thank you for your unwavering love, support, and belief in me always. To my coaches and support staff, who gave so selflessly, I hope you always know the difference you made in growing me as a player and person. To my teammates, I am so grateful for the friendships, experiences and life-lasting memories shared.
Thank you Canada Soccer for this honour.
Canada Soccer outlines return to soccer guidelines. The return to soccer guidelines provide member organizations with a five-step process, including a checklist of weighted questions known as the Return to Soccer Assessment Tool.