The Canadian women’s soccer team hopes to build on the Toronto Raptors’ NBA championship triumph by making some history of its own at the World Cup.
The soccer women have been following the basketball playoffs from France, which hasn’t been easy given the six-hour time difference with Toronto and nine hours with Oakland, Calif. The visiting Raptors captured the championship with a 114-110 win over the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 on Thursday.
“If you saw Kadeisha’s goal celebration it was basketball-themed,” veteran midfielder Sophie Schmidt of Abbotsford, told a news conference in Grenoble on Friday, referencing Kadeisha Buchanan’s goal in the 1-0 win over No. 46 Cameroon last Monday on Montpellier. “We’re very excited for the Raptors. It’s massive for Canada.
“I’m not sure if anybody woke up at 3 a.m. to watch the game (Thursday) … But first thing we did when we woke up was check our phones. That’s massive for Canada and we’re hoping to get the result (Saturday against No. 19 New Zealand) and have another success story for Canadians to celebrate.”
It’s a measure of the penetration of the Raptors’ success that the basketball question came from a BBC World Service reporter rather than a Canadian journalist travelling with the fifth-ranked team.
Buchanan, a 23-year-old from Brampton, Ont., who plays her club soccer for European champion Lyon, is a huge Raptors fan. After a solo celebration following her headed goal against Cameroon, a group of the Canadian players gathered up and Buchanan fired an imaginary basketball into an imaginary hoop held by fullback Allysha Chapman.
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press