Overcoming setbacks is nothing new for Canada women’s national team striker Deanne Rose.
Rose, who is a native of Alston, Ont., made the decision in 2014 to quit the sport after being dropped from the Canada Under-15 team, which was supervised at the time by current team coach Bev Priestman. It seems that a promising career is over before it even began.
But her life took an unexpected turn when she was invited to train with Canada’s under-17 team in 2015. Things went so well that by the end of the year she had secured her first international cap for Canada’s national team when she was 16 years old. She has been a mainstay for the national team ever since, her rise to the top as Olympic champion crowned with a stunning comeback in recognition of the strength of her character.
However, Rose, 23, will have to show similar resolve as she faces a major injury crisis. Last weekend, she was forced off the field just 20 minutes into Reading FC’s opener of the Women’s Premier League season against Manchester United. Later scans showed that Rose had ruptured his Achilles tendon. Reading issued a public statement on Thursday shortening the details, saying only that Rose would be “out of business for an extended period”.
“I don’t have many words to describe my disappointment,” Rose said in an Instagram post. “However, I have the determination, faith and mindset to come back stronger mentally and physically.”
The timing couldn’t be worse
The timing of the injury couldn’t be worse for Rose, who played NCAA football for four seasons at the University of Florida before turning professional last year. While Reading finished in a disappointing eighth place in the WSL in 2021-22, Rose impressed in her rising campaign by scoring five goals in all competitions, establishing herself as one of the league’s brightest newcomers. More was expected of her this season in Reading.
The injury also temporarily halted her international career, ruling her out of next month’s exhibition matches against Argentina and Morocco, and the November international window where Canada is expected to play two more friendlies.
Whether she will be able to return in time for next summer’s FIFA World Cup, which will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, is the million dollar question at this point.
Even if Rose recovered in six months, she would have missed almost her entire WSL season with Reading and would only have a short amount of time to get a few matches under her belt and get back in shape ahead of the World Cup. If she goes out longer, that window of opportunity will shrink even further, potentially jeopardizing her World Cup participation.
If Canada cannot count on Rose, it will be a huge blow to their chances of success at the World Cup. Fast and powerful, Rose has blossomed into an important player for the Reds since her debut seven years ago, scoring 10 goals and netting nine assists in 73 games (43 starts).
Watch | Rose suffers from a hock injury:
Canada would be weaker without Rose
Canadian Football Hall of Fame Amy Walsh, who made 102 appearances for the Canadian women’s team from 1997 to 2009, argues that Canada would be a weaker team without the Rose.
“She’s a sprinter. That’s a big aspect of her game, is her speed — whether with the ball at her feet when dribbling, or in a sprint when she’s doing a recovery run or doing an offensive run,” Walsh told CBC Sports.
“So, this is a huge gap to fill if Deanne cannot recover from the World Cup. Obviously, Bev will have other attacking players to call upon. But I don’t know she can call upon anyone with a specific Deanne profile, someone who can force opponents back in. Because they have to show her that respect. She’s a huge part of the Canadian team.”
Rose also brings Canada offensive prowess, opening up the game to her teammates, particularly midfielder Jesse Fleming.
“With Deanne, you get a volatile striker, but also a real winger, so she’s someone who can play through the front three. It also gives the team a dimension where she can create half of this space for Fleming to work in. With Rose’s speed, defenders have to drop off the opponent pretty well. deeper, because it can beat them in a race by foot or you can beat them on the turn, which opens things up even more for Fleming in the middle of the park,” Welch explained.
Rose showed remarkable poise for someone so young and inexperienced, coming into the Canadian team’s handbag in some of his biggest moments.
Rose Olympics fixture
It was Rose who opened the scoring in the third-place playoff at the 2016 Olympics, helping Canada to a 2-1 win over hosts Brazil. In doing so, she became the youngest Olympic scorer in history, at 17 years and 169 days old, with the Canadians winning their second straight bronze medal.
Last summer at the Tokyo Games, Rose played all six matches and started four times, including playing a full 120 minutes of regulation and extra time against Sweden in the final.
With Canada on the brink of a heartbreaking loss, Rose kept her nerve during the penalty shootout to tie things up and keep her nation’s hopes alive. That paved the way for teammate Julia Grosso to take the gold for Canada with the team’s next attempt at a penalty shootout.
“The persistence you showed at such a young age and the ability to shine in the big moments, that’s what you want from a striker, that’s what Dean gives you,” Walsh said.
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