Friday, September 23, 2022

analysis | Dean Rose's injury a setback for Canada's women's 2023 World Cup preparations CBC Sports

Overcoming setbacks is nothing new for Canada women’s team forward Dean Rose.

Rose, a native of Alliston, Ont., decided to quit the sport in 2014 after being cut from the Canada under-15 team, which was under the supervision of current senior team coach Bev Priestman at the time. A promising career appears to have ended before it even began.

But his life took an unexpected turn when he was invited to train with the Canadian Under-17 side in 2015. Things went so well that by the end of the year he earned his first cap for Canada’s senior side at the age of 16. She has been a mainstay of the national team ever since, making an amazing comeback after rising to the top as an Olympic champion, a tribute to her strength of character.

However, now 23-year-old Rose will have to show similar resolve as she faces a major injury crisis. Last weekend, she was kicked off the pitch for only 20 minutes in Reading FC’s opening match of the English Women’s Super League season against Manchester United. Scans later showed that Rose broke her Achilles. Reading issued a public statement Thursday that was short on details, saying only that Rose “will be out of action for an extended period.”

“I really don’t have words to describe the disappointment I am feeling,” Rose said in an Instagram post. “However, I have the determination, belief and mindset to come back stronger mentally and physically.”

time can’t be wasted

The injury time couldn’t be worse for Rose, who played NCAA soccer for four seasons at the University of Florida before turning pro last year. While Reading finished in a disappointing eighth-place finish in the WSL in 2021–22, Rose impressed in his rookie campaign by scoring five goals in all competitions, firmly establishing himself as one of the league’s most talented newcomers. More was expected of him this season at Reading.

Injury has also temporarily halted his international career, ruling him out for next month’s exhibition games against Argentina and Morocco and the November international window when Canada is expected to play two more friendlies.

Will she be able to get back in time for next summer’s FIFA World Cup, which will be hosted by Australia and New Zealand, is the million dollar question at the moment.

Even if Rose recovers in six months, she will have missed almost an entire WSL season with Reading, and she has a few games under her belt to gain and match fitness before the World Cup. It will only be a short time. If she stays out longer, that window of opportunity shrinks even further, and will likely put her World Cup participation in jeopardy.

If Canada can’t rely on Rose, it will be a major blow to its chances of success at the World Cup. Fast and powerful, Rose has developed into a key player for the Reds since his debut seven years ago, scoring 10 goals and making nine assists in 73 appearances (43 starts).

look | Injury of the Achilles to Rose:

Dean Rose suffers Achilles injury as Reading loses to Manchester United

Canadian forward Dean Rose broke her Achilles in their Women’s Super League season opener against Manchester United in Reading’s 4-0 loss, and will be out of the lineup for an extended period.

Canada would be weak without Rose

Canada Soccer Hall of Famer Amy Walsh, who earned 102 caps for the Canadian women’s team from 1997 to 2009, argues that without Rose, Canada would be a weak side.

“She’s a sprinter. It’s a big aspect of her game, her speed—both on the dribble with the ball at her feet, and in a flat-out sprint when she’s making a recovery run or scoring an attacking run, Walsh told CBC Sports.

“So, that’s a big hole to fill if Dean can’t recover for the World Cup. Obviously, Bev will have other attacking players to call on. But I don’t know if he’s going to have Dean’s typical profile.” Can call anyone, someone who can force opponents to back down because they have to show him that respect. He’s a big part of the Canadian team.”

Rose also offers Canada the versatility to attack, and open the game to his teammates, namely central midfielder Jesse Fleming.

“With Dean, you get an out-and-out striker, but also a real winger, so he’s someone who can play in the front three. She also gives the team a dimension where she’s in charge of Fleming’s operations. She can make half a spot. With Rose’s pace, the opponent’s defenders have to go deeper, as she can beat them in the foot race or beat them on the turn, bringing things to Fleming in the middle of the park. Opens up,” Welsh explained.

Rose has done so well for such a young and inexperienced man, having come in clutch for the Canadian team in some of his biggest moments.

Rose celebrates her goal with teammate Shelina Zadorski (4) in the shootout of the women’s gold medal final against Sweden, helping Canada to their maiden Olympic football title in 2021 in Tokyo. (Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

rose an olympic fixture

It was Rose who opened the scoring in the third-place match at the 2016 Olympics, helping Canada to a 2–1 win over hosts Brazil. In doing so, she became the youngest female Olympic goal scorer in history at 17 years and 169 days, as the Canadian won her second consecutive bronze medal.

At the Tokyo Games last summer, Rose played all six games and started four times, including a full 120 minutes of regulation and playing extra time against Sweden in the final.

Canada on the brink of a heartbreaking defeat, Rose kept her spirits up during the penalty shootout to tie things up and keep her country’s hopes alive. This paved the way for teammate Julia Grosso to seal the gold medal for Canada with the team’s next penalty attempt.

“The consistency he has shown at such a young age and the ability to shine in the big moments is exactly what you want from a striker and that’s what Dean gives you,” Walsh said.

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