Kailen Sheridan is a 28-year-old born in Pickering, Ontario, but brought up in Whitby, Ontario. The 5’9″ goalkeeper is the starting goalkeeper of the CanWNT and also the starting goalkeeper with the San Diego Wave.
Kailen Sheridan: CanWNT’s Number #1 Goalkeeper
The CanWNT goalkeeper, Kailen Sheridan, started playing for Pickering SC when she was five years old. Sheridan was a shy kid growing up (source: Steve Stone of FootyVAR). Her hobbies include hanging out with friends and family (source: Canada Soccer).
From the same Canada Soccer article, it was revealed that Sheridan had a lot of role models growing up. This included former Canadian women’s soccer team goalkeeper, Erin McLeod. Other players include Joe Hart, Gianluigi Buffon, and David Beckham.
Her youth career included playing for the 2012 Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championship, where they qualified for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup U-17 tournament. She also played for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014, where her team finished sixth in the competition, and a year later was with Canada when they finished fourth at the Pan American Games Toronto 2015. Kailen played in the 2016 Algarve Cup, where the team finished first. It was also the tournament where she made her debut with the Canadian women’s national team. She was also named to the All-ACC first team with the Clemson Tigers.
Kailen Sheridan: Her Career With the National Team (2016-Present)
Sheridan made her debut for the national team in the 2016 Algarve Cup in a 1-0 victory over Iceland. Her team ended up winning the Algarve Cup as Canada defeated Brazil 2-1 in the final.
Since then, Sheridan gradually worked her way up with the national team. She earned herself another clean sheet in the Women’s World Cup qualification campaign in 2018. Sheridan would also play two games in the Olympics and won Olympic Gold with Canada. However, it was the games after that when Sheridan made her mark with the national team.
— Concacaf W (@ConcacafW) July 19, 2022
She got a clean sheet against South Korea in a friendly in 2022. She also made some fantastic saves against Australia, which helped them win, especially in the first of the two games played against the Matildas. However, her most notable game might have been the one against the U.S. in World Cup qualifying, when she made five saves. She was only beaten when the U.S. was awarded a penalty late in the game, which was converted by Alex Morgan.
She also played well against Nigeria. Although she only saved one shot, she had to be alert for parts of the game and clear balls following corners and set-pieces when Nigeria was pressing hard for a goal.
What Her Team Thinks of Her
To know how good of a goalkeeper Sheridan is, one must ask her teammates and head coach. This is what Priestman said after the loss to the U.S. in the Concacaf W Championship Final on Priestman (source: Just Women’s Sports):
“Kailen [Sheridan] has shown that she’s ready,” said Canada head coach Bev Priestman, who added that Sheridan has done a great job stepping into Stephanie Labbé’s shoes. “I thought she was fantastic, showed her leadership.”
Janine Beckie echoed this statement, saying this on the TSN broadcast:
“You know she’s an incredible shot-stopper. She’s incredibly athletic, I mean she’s become a real leader at the back, which I think this team is full of quiet leaders, and Kailen is that kind of loud leader that you need in a goalkeeper to keep her back line organized,” Beckie said. “I know she’s ready for the challenge and she’s gonna I know make a lot of highlight reels in this tournament. She also seems like the kind of keeper that won’t be phased by the big stage.”
Sheridan has not only shown her quality goalkeeping with the national team though as she has also excelled with her professional club teams in the NWSL.
Kailen Sheridan: Her Journey in the NWSL
Her senior career started with the Toronto Lady Lynx in 2013. Then from 2017-21, she played for Sky Blue FC, which changed its name to the NJ/NY Gotham FC. Sheridan’s current team is with the San Diego Wave, who she has been with since 2022.
NJ/NY Gotham FC (2017-2021)
Sheridan was drafted 23rd overall in the NWSL draft. In Harjeet Johal’s The Equalizer piece, this is what Sheridan said before the draft happened:
“I decided to enter the NWSL draft because it has been my dream since I was a little girl to play professional soccer at the highest level. Coming out of college the draft is a growing environment that I see having a massive future and impact in women’s soccer.”
— CBC Sports (@cbcsports) November 7, 2021
She won some notable awards while playing in the NWSL. This includes winning the NWSL Challenge Cup Golden Glove in 2020 and being part of the NWSL Best 11 in 2021 in her last season for Gotham. Sheridan’s most notable game in the NWSL Challenge Cup in 2020 upset the second-seeded Washington Spirit. Sheridan made two saves in that penalty shootout that helped Sky Blue advance to the semi-finals round of the competition.
San Diego Wave (2022-Present)
— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) April 16, 2023
She was also the NWSL goalkeeper of the year in 2022 and is continuing her form in 2023. There was some high praise from both the Canadian women’s soccer head coach, Priestman, and San Diego Wave head coach, Casey Stoney, who both made a big statement about Sheridan (source: Neil Davidson of the Canadian Press):
“I’ve heard [San Diego] coach Casey Stoney talk about her being the best goalkeeper in the world. I wouldn’t disagree,” added Canada coach Priestman.
Kailen Sheridan and the CanWNT Journey in the World Cup Continues
There was some high praise from defender, Vanessa Gilles on Sheridan:
“She’s very calming. She’s very positive,” added Canadian defender Gilles. “She’s just an overall incredible human being.”
The Canadian’s women soccer fans can watch their national team on July 26 at 8:00 AM ET, and on July 31 at 6:00 AM ET. The game on Wednesday will be against the Republic of Ireland and the game on July 31 will be against one of the two co-hosts, Australia. The July 26 game will be at Perth Rectangular Stadium in Perth while the game on July 31 will be in Melbourne at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.
Photo Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports, of a Kailen Sheridan Headshot, on February 16, 2023.