Canada Soccer

Thorlakson retired from soccer career that included FIFA Women's World Cup

Posted on 30 September 2017 in Around the Soccer World

When Canada Soccer's Toyota National Championships kick off in Surrey on 4 October, a familiar face from the Surrey United SC squad won't be there. Katie Thorlakson, a former FIFA Women's World Cup player, has retired from active play to concentrate on her career as a firefighter.

Thorlakson made 23 international appearances for Canada Soccer's Women's National Team from 2004 to 2007. At 22 years old, she won a bronze medal at the Pan American Games in Rio and then made the final squad for the FIFA Women's World Cup China 2007. In the second match at China 2007 - a 4:0 win over Ghana - Thorlakson started up front with Christine Sinclair and Kara Lang, the first time that trio had been reunited since the FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship Canada 2002.

"2002 was a pivotal time for women's soccer in Canada," said Thorlakson, who helped Canada win silver at the inaugural edition of what is now the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup. "We played so well and we finished second which was huge."

So too were the crowds. The championship final on 1 September at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton drew an astonishing 47,784 fans, still a single-match record for the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup. Canada ultimately fell 0:1 to USA in extra time, but Canada won the hearts of a nation in picking up the silver medal. From that team, 10 players went on the feature in one or more FIFA Women's World Cups at the international "A" level. 

In 2004, Thorlakson won a trio of titles at the youth international, club, and college level: the CONCACAF Women's Under-19 Championship with Canada, the USL W-League Championship with Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and the NCAA title with the University of Notre Dame.

Beyond her international career, Thorlakson was a key cog in the Surrey United SC team, winning the Jubilee Trophy as national champions in 2011. She scored the 2-0 goal of the championship game, the eventual game winner in a 2:1 gold-medal victory over Royal-Sélect Beauport. In all, Thorlakson played in five National Championships between 2009 and 2014, also winning silver twice and bronze twice.

"Surrey United was such an exciting club," said Thorlakson, who left the club after the 2015-16 season. "They treated me like family and I really appreciated that. Coming from (my hometown) in Langley, it was a great experience (and) there have been a lot of great players that have played for Surrey United."

While she is no longer playing, Thorlakson still follows the game, notably still rooting for Canada Soccer's Women's National Team. In 2015, she attended matches at the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015.

"It is really exciting now to watch the young talent and see the direction (in which) the Canadian team is heading."

Now in Vancouver, Thorlakson will have chances to watch both her club and country compete in the coming months. Surrey United SC are back in the Toyota National Championships for the first time since 2014, with this year's edition scheduled from 4-9 October at Newton Athletic Field in Surrey. Canada Soccer's Women's National Team, meanwhile, are scheduled for a Women's International Friendly match on 9 November at BC Place in downtown Vancouver, a fierce rivalry match against USA.


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