3 (more) CanWNT stars who should consider moves to WSL
On Friday, Canadian Women's National Team goalkeeper Sabrina D'Angelo became the first Canadian footballer to join Arsenal WFC in the Women's Super League (WSL).
D'Angelo is also the 7th CanWNT talent to ply their trade in England, joining Jessie Fleming and Kadeisha Buchanan at Chelsea, Shelina Zadorsky at Tottenham, Adriana Leon at Manchester United, Rylee Foster at Liverpool, and Deanne Rose at Reading.
This latest move sees D'Angelo leave Sweden to compete at a higher level, which opens the door to this follow-up question: Which of her Canadian teammates are ready to do the same?
Here are three talents who could swap to WSL football in January:
Julia Grosso (Juventus to Manchester City)
Canada's top young talent Julia Grosso has been living her Turin adventure at Juventus with equal parts flair and footballing prowess, becoming an on- and off-field fan favourite due to her consistent, game-changing play and strong social media presence.
As a result, Grosso is fast becoming Canada's next bona fide superstar, exactly the sort of player Manchester City would love to boast in their own midfield – which is why transfer rumours have already begun swirling about this exact move.
But... it'll cost Manchester City a pretty penny to pry this "midfield diamond" out of Juventus. In fact, initial reports have placed a pricetag of around $650,000 CAD for her signature, which would compete for a top transfer record.
Still, City isn't exactly starved for resources, and should this team desire to pull it off, Grosso would be a wonderful fit in this WSL side's midfield makeup; this season, City has often started with four attack-minded players in Chloe Kelly, Deyna Castellanos, Hayley Raso, and Khadija Shaw, with Mary Fowler and Lauren Hemp also available on rotation.
But, with a double-pivot centre-midfield, Grosso represents a dynamic upgrade, playing alongside Laura Coombs to reinforce a position without much notable depth at this time, as City still looks to replace recently-retired midfield veteran Jill Scott, as well as Caroline Weir and Keira Walsh.
And, as Canadians recently found out, Grosso operates best in this exact formation, with her combination play with Fleming for Canada proving to be a sparkplug to unlock Bev Priestman's best-looking attacking output.
The biggest issue here will be convincing Grosso to leave Juventus – and Italy in general. She's doing quite well at the moment, is proving to be a star on the rise, and might not desire a move at this time.
Evelyne Viens (Kristianstads DFF to Everton)
Canadian striker Evelyne Viens has a point to prove.
Having spent the last two seasons out on loan from NWSL side NY/NJ Gotham FC to Paris FC and Kristianstads DFF of Sweden, Viens has relied on one consistency to remain in the picture for Canada – scoring.
With 11 goals in 15 games for Paris and 24 goals in 31 games in Sweden last season, Viens has been one of the world's most prolific strikers over the last two years, but hasn't been relied upon as consistently for Canada, where she's made just 14 appearances, scoring three times. However, a FIFA Women's World Cup looms ahead, and a starting role up top for Canada remains up for grabs... and you can bet Viens will want to grab at it.
Enter Everton FC. The Merseyside outfit boasts a decently-capable backline, but lacks firepower up top to really make the most of it. The Toffees sit sixth in the league with 10 goals scores and 10 goals conceded, of which their current top scorer, Jess Park (on loan from Manchester City), has scored four.
You have to wonder what another capable and consistent goal-scorer could do to help this team's output. In fact, three of Everton's five losses this season were decided by a single goal, games that could have turned out differently if the Toffees had a little more firepower up top. The skeleton for success is there – could Viens be the secret piece to complete the puzzle?
It's something the club should be thinking about, doubly so considering Everton need to secure a capable option long-term, should Park return to City. At 25, Viens would be entering her prime, would secure a full-time role, and could turn that into a starting spot for Canada this summer.
Jayde Riviere (Manchester United)
While the two players listed above would be making career moves on their own paths to the top, for Riviere, a potential move to the WSL represents a first step on her own journey.
The versatile defender has already experienced some incredible moments for her country, helping Canada secure gold at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo while making an astounding 36 appearances at just 21 years of age ... and all while playing college soccer for the Michigan Wolverines before joining AFC Ann Arbor in the USL W League in 2022.
An injury setback in September saw her miss out on the last few CanWNT windows, but she's worked hard to recover and come back stronger, and is now a free agent ready to sign her first pro contract.
The Red Devils have already reportedly made their interest known, according to BBC's Emma Sanders, as United manager Marc Skinner looks to further bolster his team's backline – Riviere certainly looks ready to make that sort of step up.