EDMONTON, ALBERTA – Canada is looking to be a top contender to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015, and John Herdman has been preaching about building a younger looking squad that can eventually push some of the veteran players out the door. One of those up and coming players is forward Adriana Leon.
The Mississauga, Ontario native has been steadily involved with the national team since being called up for residency camp last December in Vancouver. Leon would go on to make her debut at the senior level representing Canada at the Four-Nations Cup in China earlier this year. At just 20 years-old, Leon came right out of the gate with a goal in her debut match for Canada. The quick, agile attacking forward is just what Canada needs in developing attacking minded players. John Herdman has been a great influence in helping grow the development of young Canadian players, and Leon talked about how he has helped her.
“John’s really passionate about soccer, and sport, and you can see that everyday,” Leon said. “He kind of just pushes me everyday to perform at my best.”
Being a younger player on a veteran squad with familiarity can be tough to find your way onto. Leon has had to work at proving she belongs on the same pitch as Christine Sinclair, Brittany Timko, Diana Matheson, Rhian Wilkinson, Carmelina Moscato and others. When Leon gets frustrated it’s great to be able to get advice from veteran players.
“I get advice from veterans all the time like everyday. Because I’m a young player sometimes I do get frustrated, and they’re always just telling me to relax, and relax, have patience, and just keep working hard.”
The now 21 year-old Leon has played in 10 matches this year for her country, and earned 8 starts. She has a bright future with Canada, and she is certainly someone to watch as the FIFA Women’s World Cup approaches in 2015. As she looks ahead to facing Korea Republic on Wednesday night, and Mexico next month in Vancouver, Leon talked about some of her goals.
“Personally I’d like to perform on the field, and win as a team. We want to win.”
The Florida Gator student had an up and down time in the inaugural season of the NWSL. After being allocated to the Boston Breakers, Leon was traded to the Chicago Red Stars on June 29 for fellow Canadian Moscato. Leon was not getting much playing time with the Breakers, and as a result she only scored 1 goal in 6 appearances. After being moved to the Red Stars, number 16 started 9 matches for Chicago and managed a goal and an assist. The trade really opened up playing time for Leon, and she talked about how she enjoyed getting a new start.
“No it wasn’t tough at all. I was looking forward to going to Chicago to start over, and get with a new team. I actually really ended up liking Chicago so I was happy.”
Leon has been given a wonderful opportunity to showcase her talents, and produce for Canada. With Melissa Tancredi hitting the books, and the national team not getting any younger it will be up to players like Adriana Leon to help carry, and transition the Canadian Women’s National Team to the next level in Women’s Soccer.
Notes: Leon spent the beginning of October celebrating her birthday by vacationing in the Bahamas with her parents.
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