Best Canadian Soccer Players – Top 10 List (Men & Women)

Though they are not a world power like Germany, France, or Portugal, the Canadian soccer program has come a long way. After a disappointing 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup, eyes are pointed forward to a bigger and better showing in the 2026 Men’s World Cup. However, just making the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup was a large accomplishment for a team that is just emerging on the international stage.

With plenty of time to go before that happens, a look at some of the most impactful players in Canada’s history is where we land. There have been past and present names that have had a profound impact on the development of the game in Canada.

There were a few necessary requirements to round out the list of the top 10. Stats and skills are key, but legacy and overall impact on Canadian soccer are just as critical. This list took into account all the information out there about the best players in Canadian soccer history.

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🏅 The Top 10 Canadian Soccer Players

Creating a list of the 10 greatest Canadian soccer players, both male and female, was not an easy task. There are more than a few names that deserve to be mentioned who wound up not making the cut. Those who don’t follow Canadian international soccer may not realize just how strong the field has been. While they may not have anyone as talented as Lionel Messi, plenty of Canadian soccer players have been good enough to play in the European leagues.

Without further ado, let’s get into the list of the 10 greatest Canadian soccer players to ever do it. League stats aren’t necessarily irrelevant, but having a huge impact on the international stage is what this list is all about. Playing well in competitions for Canada is what is considered most important.

#1. Christine Sinclair: The Greatest of All-Time

The GOAT for Canadian women’s soccer. Currently the national team captain, she has an incredible 308 caps for the female national team. That number spans 5 FIFA World Cups and 4 Olympic Games.

She also happens to be the highest international scorer ever, regardless of gender. She has 189 international career goals, an incredible number. She is a legend in every sense of the word and is still going strong.

#2. Alphonso Davies: A Rising Star

Born in Ghana, Davies and his family emigrated to Canada in 2005. He hit the international radar with a high-profile move to Bayern Munich of Bundesliga in 2019. He is already considered to be one of the best left-backs ever to play in the Bundesliga.

It could be argued that he is also the most successful Canadian soccer player ever. He has a FIFA World Club Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Champions League, a pair of DFB Pokal Cups, and four Bundesliga championships. The more he adds to his resume, the higher he climbs.

Davies is the most talented men’s player of all-time and will have a chance to sit atop this list when his career is all said and done.

#3. Dwayne De Rosario: A Legend in the Making

De Rosario progressed from Major Arena Soccer to the MLS beginning in 2001. He would rack up 133 goals with 10 different teams, becoming known as one of the most efficient and consistent players in the league at the time.

Rosario has also become one of the most prolific on the global stage as far as Canadians go. He has 22 goals across 81 appearances for The Great White North, easily putting him on the list of the best ever to do it.

#4. Atiba Hutchinson: Canada’s Steady Midfield Maestro

Hutchinson is one of the most well-regarded players to ever come from Canada. He’s still going after two decades, showing himself to be one of the best defensive midfielders. To further illustrate his impact, he has won six Canadian Player of the Year awards (so far).

He is a part of the Canadian All-Time XI and the All-Time Best XI for Copenhagen. He’s also a former Player of the Year for the Danish Superliga, putting him up there with Davies as one of the most decorated players in Canadian soccer history.

While Hutchinson is nearing the end of his career, it’s been a great one, and he’s someone that will forever be remembered for his appearance in a Canada soccer jersey.

#5. John Catliff: A Scoring Phenomenon

Catliff is a bit of a throwback compared to others on this list but is considered one of the best to ever suit up for Canada. Born in Vancouver, he made his name with Harvard as an All-Ivy League First Team member. Catliff would star in the Canadian Soccer League, finishing with the second-most goals (69) in the six-year history of the league.

Catliff also stood out on the international level. He is currently ranked second ever for the Canadian national team in goals, scoring 18 times in international competition from 1984 to 1994. Part of the all-time Canada XI men’s team as part of the Canadian Soccer Association’s centennial.

#6. Kadeisha Buchanan: The Defensive Wall

A legend in her own right, Buchanan has been involved in 113 international matches for the national team, scoring four times in those events. She was also part of the historic gold medal run at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Three-time Canadian female football player of the year and best young player in the 2015 FIFA World Cup are also great accolades. She is also considered to be one of the top defenders in female soccer anywhere in the world. At 26 years old, she has a lot of soccer left ahead of her.

#7. Julian de Guzman: Canada’s Silent Warrior

Born in Toronto, de Guzman has played in the U.S., Canada, Spain, and Germany, moving to France back in 1997. He wouldn’t play for a French Club, instead first suiting up for Hannover 96, his home for his first few seasons.

He would appear in nearly 90 international events, including international friendlies, the World Cup, and even the 2002 Gold Cup. He was more known for his physical play (15 yellow cards) than his scoring (four international goals).

#8. Sophie Schmidt: The Midfield Magician

A veteran of nearly 20 years, Schmidt has played for the Vancouver Whitecaps, helping to win the 2006 W-League championship. Currently, she is playing for FFC Frankfurt in Bundesliga, though she has had stops in both the U.S. and Sweden.

Schmidt is one of the most experienced internationally, ranking fifth all-time with 163 appearances. She has also been on the 2010 Gold Cup and 2011 Pan American winners, as well as both bronze medals that Canada captured at the Olympics.

#9. Paul Stalteri: Canada’s Dependable Full-Back

One of the most versatile players ever, Stalteri capably played both midfield and wing-back positions. He moved to Germany after a season with the Toronto Lynx, spending seven seasons with Bremen, helping them to win the 2004 Bundesliga. He’s one of the best footballers to ever wear the Canada jersey.

Stalteri would enjoy a long, steady career with Tottenham beginning in 2005, developing a penchant for timely goals. With 84 appearances in 14 years of international play, Stalteri is one of the first names mentioned when talking about the greatest men’s soccer players in Canadian history.

#10. Charmaine Hooper: Pioneering Women’s Soccer in Canada

Hooper played before women’s soccer exploded in popularity. Guyana-born Hooper played primarily in Japan for Prima Ham. She would finish out her career, which ended in 2006, in a variety of North American professional leagues.

On the international stage is where Hooper shined. She helped Canada to a best-ever fourth-place finish at the 2003 World Cup. At the time of her retirement, she was the all-time leader for Canada in both goals and caps, though she has since been passed by Sinclair. A Canada Soccer Hall of Fame member since 2012.

Other Noteworthy Canadian Soccer Players

For the men, Craig Forrest has to be mentioned as arguably the greatest goalkeeper in Canadian history. With 263 career appearances, Forrest is part of the all-time XI team named in 2012.

On the women’s side, you have to talk about Diana Matheson. Part of many historic teams like the 2010 Gold Cup, 2016 Olympic bronze medal winners, and the 2011 Pan American Games winners. Second ever in all-time caps for Canada while also being in the top 10 in goals.

🍁 The Future of Canadian Soccer

Looking to the future is what Canada soccer is doing. Davies is considered to be one of the best young players in the world and has room to do even more. Jonathan David, Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty, and Liam Millar are among the best and brightest for Canada’s future. David could be on this list very soon as he is currently doing very well in Europe and is one of the best young strikers in the world.

For the women, there are two names that stand out. Ismael Kone and Simi Awujo were the 2022 Canada Soccer Young Players of the Year, with both making their international debut in 2022. Trinity Rodman and Naomi Girma are also formidable young players for the women’s program.

🚀 A Final Word: Best Canadian Soccer Players

The names on this list, and a few that didn’t make the cut, have paved the way for a brighter future for Canada soccer. There was a time when Canada was considered one of the also-rans of the soccer world, but it has since become a potential contender in the near future.

Frequent appearances in the World Cup have set up high hopes. Even a disappointing exit from the 2022 World Cup indicates that the future is quite bright going forward. The sky is the limit for Canada soccer, thanks in part to the legends who came before.

❓ FAQs About The Top Canadian Soccer Players

There is some debate as to whether it is Alphonso Davies and Christine Sinclair, with both making a strong case. It can be debated which of these players deserves the title of the best Canadian soccer player ever.

Davies, Jonathan David, Atiba Hutchinson, and Cyle Larin are among the top contributors to Canada’s national team.

The All-Time Canada XI team includes Alex Bunbury, John Catliff, Dwayne De Rosario, Dale Mitchell, Atiba Hutchinson, Mike Sweeney, Bruce Wilson, Jason de Vos, Randy Samuel, Robert Iarusci, and Craig Forrest.

Davies is arguably the best player in Canadian soccer history, as he has the stats and the awards to back up the claim. His success in Europe is a first for a Canadian soccer player, as he is one of the world’s best left-backs and plays for Bayern Munich.

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Greg Lea


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Greg Lea is a soccer journalist with 9+ years of experience. His work has been published on ESPN, Eurosport, and more. Among his strengths as a sports journalist are live blogs, match reports, press conference papers, analytical sports articles and commentary. Since 2015, Greg has been a full-time freelancer and received Premier League accreditation the same year.

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