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CanWNT Playmaking Midfielder: Jessie Fleming

Olympics: Football-Women Semifinal - USA-CAN with Jessie Fleming Celebrating Her Goal

Born in 1998 to a family inhabiting the city of London, Ontario, Jessie Fleming has grown to become an essential part of the Canadian women’s team. Taking the pitch as a midfielder, Fleming has been involved in the various levels of the women’s team since she was only 15. She plays her club ball at Chelsea in the Women’s Super League.

Jessie Fleming: Making Stuff Happen

Youth Athletics

Fleming played more than just soccer growing up. Growing up she excelled at hockey, a Canadian favorite, as well as track and cross-country. Her first soccer season came with Nor’West Optimist SC in her local region she was only three years old. The combination of sports that she played into her teens has helped her become the skilled player she is today. Hockey requires balance and strength, track demands patience and concentration, while cross-country demands endurance and discipline.

Quickly gaining recognition as a player with potential, Fleming played in the 2014 Women’s U-17 World Cup, as well as that year’s edition of the U-20 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup Qualification. Before playing college soccer at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) from 2016-19, Fleming had already made her first appearance in a CONCACAF Gold Cup with the national team in 2015.

Moving Overseas

Following the completion of her time at UCLA, Fleming was ready to start her professional club career. With 77 caps already under her belt for the national team, the call came in from Chelsea for the 22-year-old to play in the WSL. Her tenure at Chelsea has been nothing short of extremely successful. The club has won three straight domestic doubles, being the league title and Women’s FA Cup, and made the final of the Women’s Champions League before falling to Barcelona Femini.

Her growth at Chelsea has seen her earn a further 38 caps for the national team over the past three seasons alone, and while her only major hardware with CanWNT has been a 2021 gold medal victory following stunning victories over Brazil, UWSNT, and Sweden, at 25 years of age Fleming still dreams for higher echelons.

Looks Can Fool

In appearance, Fleming is an average-looking Canadian young woman who would likely even pass for someone as young as 21-23 years old. Her warm smile that she often wears only highlights the innocence her beauty suggests. Appearances, however, can deceive. Fleming is a workhorse who commands the respect of teammates, coaches, and opposing teams. She patrols the midfield with an authority that would suggest she owned the grass on the field as well as the seats in the stands. Her coaches have seen progress in Fleming’s style of play over the past couple of years. She is a kind person off the pitch, but on the pitch, she is capable of getting through anything that comes between her and her objective.

How She Became Indispensable To CanWNT

Besides her loads of experience gained from a young age, Fleming has established herself as a playmaker whose aggression makes her capable of playing in crucial games of skill and concentration, as well as physical games of endurance. Her absence has been felt whenever she might miss a game for injury. Due to an injury that left Fleming sidelined, CanWNT’s opening group-stage game in this year’s Women’s World Cup was a disappointing draw against Nigeria. CanWNT dominated possession, took more shots, and controlled the tempo, but lacked a playmaker’s presence.

In their second game against Ireland, a physical opponent who also maintains a skilled squad, she started and lasted the whole 90 minutes, despite only just recovering from an injury. The match was won 2-1, and CanWNT now sits atop their group before Australia plays Nigeria. Fleming might not have scored or assisted either of Canada’s two goals, but she made her presence felt with constant key passes and consistently putting herself in the area of the field where play was developing. No matter how far the CanWNT gets in the Women’s World Cup, they will only do so with their star midfielder. Fleming, who replaced the legendary Christine Sinclair in the starting 11 against Ireland, could play for this team another decade, and take it to heights that others have not been able to do.

Where To Watch Jessie Fleming And The CanWNT

READ MORE: CanWNT Rapid-Rising Striker: Jordyn Huitema

You can watch CanWNT’s third and final group stage game on Monday, July 31st against co-hosts Australia at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium. The game will kick off at 6:00 am EST. Live-streaming services such as YouTube will offer the game to a global audience, and most regions also have their own local station that may air the games live. Additionally, both games will be shown live in Canada on TSN and also on RDS, while the United States will air it on Fox.


Photo Credit: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports, of a Jessie Fleming Headshot, on August 2, 2021.


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