The Players: Jonelle Filigno

If there is an attribute that forwards love to have, it is confidence. You know, the kind of confidence that let’s you take that first great touch on the ball, let’s you slip past that defender into the clear, and let’s you put the ball into the back of the net no matter how big the goalkeeper or no matter how small the opening appears to be.

If there is an attribute that forwards love to have, it is confidence. You know, the kind of confidence that let’s you take that first great touch on the ball, let’s you slip past that defender into the clear, and let’s you put the ball into the back of the net no matter how big the goalkeeper or no matter how small the opening appears to be.



When you watch Canada’s Jonelle Filigno, you might say that she definitely has that kind of confidence growing inside her. It is confidence that surrounds her and supports her everytime she steps onto the field. She has confidence from her coaches, confidence from her teammates, confidence from the supporters.



When you watch Jonelle Filigno, you no longer hope, but you believe that she is going to score in every match she plays.



Jonelle Filigno is only 20 years old, yet there is so much confidence that she will become Canada’s next great offensive hero. The confidence is merited, as she proved last year when she scored in three-straight matches at the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifiers. She scored four goals and three assists, initially coming off the bench before starting in the qualification match that booked Canada’s ticket for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011.



Four short years ago before the last FIFA Women’s World Cup, she wasn’t even on the Canadian national team radar. She was 17 years old when she was first called into the team in January 2008. Almost immediately, she was penned in as not only part of the team’s great future, but also part of its present.



“It all happened so fast,” said Filigno. “They brought me into (a second) camp and they were telling me I could make the final roster for the Olympics within a few months.”



Filigno admits that it was all a bit of a shock for that first year, especially when playing along the likes of a Christine Sinclair up front on the attack. After those first few months and after indeed she made that Olympic team, that confidence started to grow.



After the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in 2008, Filigno enrolled at Rutgers University where she was recruited to play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. She suffered an injury in her first season and received a medical redshirt until 2010. In the meantime, she missed time away from the national program, including Canada’s failed qualification attempt at the CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship.



She was back in action by the fall and came off the bench for the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifiers in October and November. She then returned to the starting XI in January 2011.



With the FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer, she was not enrolled for the winter semester earlier this calendar year. Instead, she has trained full time with Canada’s national team en route to Germany 2011. With the exception of a few breaks, the team has been working and living together since April.



“It is definitely a family here, especially when you consider how much time we spend together,” said Filigno. “The more we are together, the better our understanding of each other and the better our chemistry has been on the field.”



That belief and team chemistry should give Canada a noticeable edge when the competition begins for real this summer. It will be an edge that is carried by every player on the Canadian team, no less than by the young Filigno who will also be carrying plenty of confidence when the first match is played on Jun. 26 in Berlin.







Every three days in the lead up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011™, CanadaSoccer.com will highlight a prospective player that will take part in this summer’s big tournament. The series will run in the two-month lead up to Canada’s opening match on 26 June against host Germany. Canada, whose title sponsor is Winners and presenting sponsor is Teck, will take part in its fifth FIFA Women’s World Cup™ from 26 June to 17 July. Canada has also already qualified for a sixth time as host of the next FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in 2015.





Life at Rutgers

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Jonelle Filigno didn’t know much about the school or its programs when she was first recruited by Rutgers University. After making a couple of visits and listening to Rutgers’ then-assistant coach Karina LeBlanc, she saw the school as a good fit for her career.



“She was the biggest influence on me choosing Rutgers,” said Filigno of LeBlanc, who of course was also a teammate with the Canadian national team.



After receiving a medical redshirt in 2009, Filigno returned to action in 2010 and scored four goals in 15 matches. Combined with her performance at the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifiers, she earned her second Canadian U-20 Player of the Year award from the Canadian Soccer Association (2008 and 2010).



Filigno is not the only Canadian at Rutgers. The other Canucks are Maija Savics, Karla Schacher, Rheanne Sleiman and Shannon Woeller. In 2008, Filigno, Schacher and Woeller all helped Canada win gold at the CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship in Mexico.

Schedule & Results

Check out Canada Soccer’s Schedule & Results page where you can find upcoming match schedules and past results leading to highlights, photos, match data, and more.