HOUSTON – The Houston Dash will be well represented in France for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Eight players will appear in the tournament, which begins June 7.
Nine cities across France will play host to matches. The United States enters the competition as defending champions, although no one from the Dash is playing for team USA.
However, four Dash players are on team Canada: defender Lindsay Agnew, defender Allysha Chapman, midfielder Sophie Schmidt and forward Nichelle Prince.
This will be Prince’s first World Cup appearance, which is a childhood dream come true.
“I watched the last World Cup from home and I remember feeling like, ‘I just want to be on that next team and I’ll do anything it takes to be on that team next World Cup.’ So I’m so excited that it’s almost here,” Prince said.
Chapman and Schmidt both have prior World Cup experience and look forward to sharing the moments with Agnew and Prince in their first time. Chapman said there’s nothing quite like experiencing it for the first time.
“It can be a little intimidating. Last time was my first World Cup and it was at home so there was that added pressure, as well. For the girls, I just tell them go out there and have fun because you’re not getting this time back,” Chapman said.
Canada won bronze in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio so the expectations are high for a team with both veteran and young talent. The Canada women’s team has never won the World Cup before so they are hungry to be the first to do it.
“In soccer, it’s the biggest dream you can think of. You’re living your dream but you’re also, like, ‘but I want to win my dream.’ There’s just this huge expectation and excitement,” Schmidt said.
Aside from Canada, there are three additional countries that Dash players will be representing. Forward Rachel Daly will take her first trip to the FIFA’s Women’s World Cup to play for England. Forward Kyah Simon and defender Clare Polkinghorne will play for Australia.
Last but certainly not least, Kayla McCoy will make her debut in the World Cup with Jamaica, which is making an inaugural appearance at the tournament. McCoy says it’s an exciting opportunity to make history with her country.
“Not only is it the first for the Jamaican women but it’s the first for a Caribbean country to send a team. It’s just huge for that part of the world and that country. It means a lot for women’s soccer where it’s maybe not been valued as much before,” McCoy said.
Canada will compete in Group E, facing Cameroon first June 10. England’s first match is against Scotland on June 9. Australia will begin the tournament in Group C in a meeting with Italy on June 9. Jamaica is also in Group C and will play Brazil on June 9.