Under our Talent Radar banner, we have constantly strived to document and highlight the progress of the younger stars of the beautiful game, before they progress into household names. Our latest initiative within the burgeoning Talent Radar section is the introduction of #The7 feature.
The second edition of this annual feature champions the combination of youth & diversity, as we look to reward seven of the best young individuals across seven primary categories.
This Women’s category makes it way onto OOTB for the first time ever
Expert Talk | Here’s what Stars and Stripes FC’s Stephanie Yang told OOTB:
Janine Beckie is a striker who has started to come good in the last year or so. She’s always had potential, especially as a strike partner for veteran Christine Sinclair, but she’s completing her development into being a striker with decent vision in front of goal and a good touch on the ball, placing well with her first touch. She also has decent speed and will position herself to pounce on mistakes.
Having grown up in the USA and spent most of her developmental years there, Janine Beckie looked primed to be playing for the USA, but having been released by their U20’s, accepted an invitation to join up with Canada’s team instead. That was simply the beginning of an incredible journey for the forward.
Having had a tough time growing up after losing her father at a young age, Beckie, whose brother is a defender in the NASL, performed excellently in college football, playing for Texas Tech University and finishing as their all time top scorer with 57 goals.
Importantly for Beckie, a player who has shown character throughout her career, she was dropped from the Canadian World Cup squad, and this was a big blow for her confidence. Coach John Herdman justified the decision, claiming that the player wasn’t ready for the tournament at that time, a claim later backed up by the player herself. This was to prove to be a vital turning point in her career, as she used the experience to improve her game, and learn from her past mistakes.
Beckie currently plays in the NWSL for Houston Dash, an expansion franchise of the Houston Dynamos. The Canadian is an important part of the team, having made 14 appearances, and 11 starts in the most recently concluded season of the relatively new tournament. She ended up scoring thrice, and secured 2 assists as well for her club side.
The greatest impact she had though, was for her national team at the Olympics earlier this year. Canada were ranked 10th in the world, and there were many teams ranked higher and favoured greater than them. A set of terrific performances from the young striker helped to ensure that the Canadians finished with Bronze, beating the hosts Brazil in the 3rd/4th playoff. Beckie started the tournament on fire, scoring after just 20 seconds against Australia in their opening game. She ended up with 3 goals, and a very important assist in the quarter finals against France, as her team ran out 1-0 winners against the team ranked 3rd in the world at that point.