About to enter Grade 12, B.C. soccer star faces decisions

Jordyn Huitema will soon have to decide college or the pros

Canada’s Jordyn Huitema (right) celebrates with Ashley Lawrence (10) and Jessie Fleming after scoring her second goal and her country’s sixth as Costa Rica’s Shirley Cruz walks by during second half International women’s soccer action in Toronto on June 11, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)

Things are happening very fast for Jordyn Huitema.

The 17-year-old from Chilliwack has already won 11 caps for Canada and recently made two guest appearances for European powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain at the Women’s International Champions Cup.

In January, she won the Golden Boot as top-scorer at the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship in Trinidad and Tobago. In April and June, serving as captain, she helped Canada qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, which kicks off Nov. 13 in Uruguay, with an assist on the decisive goal by Andersen Williams.

In October, the Canadian senior side will look to qualify for the 2019 World Cup via the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship in Texas.

“If you blink you miss it,” Huitema said of her crowded calendar. ”It’s been a crazy ride. It’s great. It’s really cool to be able to play with three age-groups. The opportunities are endless.”

READ MORE: Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema makes national team roster for game vs. Brazil

About to enter Grade 12, Huitema will soon have to make a decision on her soccer future — college or the pros. She says she is still looking at all her options.

“I’m still kind of in the dark where I want to take things,” she acknowledged in an interview.

“Coming up pretty soon I’ll have to make a decision but I’m not in a rush or anything like that,” she added.

First up for Huitema is Canada’s friendly Sunday against Brazil at Ottawa’s TD Place. It’s the first meeting between the fifth-ranked Canada and No. 7 Brazil since the 2016 Olympic bronze-medal match won 2-1 by the Canadians.

There is no shortage of interest in Huitema, who is in her fifth year with the Vancouver Whitecaps’ Girls Elite Super REX program. U.S. college pitches go straight to an adviser, who works for the Whitecaps and serves as a buffer for the young forward.

“None of them really communicate directly through me unless I allow them to … It’s definitely not super-stressful,” she said.

Huitema could skip college and enter the NWSL via the allocation process as U.S. international forward Mallory Pugh did last year — leaving UCLA without playing a game to join the Washington Spirit.

Paris Saint-Germain has already shown there is European interest and Canadian teammates likes Ashley Lawrence (PSG), Kadeisha Buchanan (Lyon) and Janine Beckie (Manchester City), among others, are already playing at an elite level across the Atlantic.

Or she could go the college route like fellow Canadian Jessie Fleming, a star midfielder at UCLA. Given Huitema did not sign a contract to play briefly with PSG, she has maintained her college eligibility.

But she got a taste of how an elite team works, starting for PSG against the North Carolina Courage and coming off the bench against Manchester City in late July in Miami.

“It was great. It was really cool to see a pro environment and see how they do things on and off the field,” she said.

At five foot nine, Huitema has size, pace and vision.

She turned heads when then-coach John Herdman had her train with the national team at 14. She made her senior debut at 15 at the Algarve Cup in March 2017 and drew more attention three months later when the 16-year-old scored twice coming off the bench against Costa Rica at Toronto’s BMO Field.

The first goal, while a milestone, was not that memorable — bouncing in off a limb after a goalmouth scramble. But the second, which came one minute later, was pure sniper as she lashed a right-footed shot into the net.

Huitema is part of a so-called Super REX Centre program that allows top female soccer prospects from across Canada to attend school, train, and play together in Burnaby, B.C. where she lives with a billet family. The program is headed by former New Zealand international Emma Humphries.

Huitema and her talented teammates usually play boys sides, although sometimes they face university women’s teams. Schoolwork is done on the road as needed, thanks to accommodating teachers, with tests awaiting on their return.

She is joined at the Ottawa friendly by REX Centre teammates Maya Antoine, Julia Grosso and Jayde Riviere, also 17.

“I’m super-excited,” Huitema said of the game.

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Your Mountain Minute for November 15

Golden’s weekly 60-second news recap… Continue reading

UPDATE: Highway 1 in Golden reopened

UPDATE: The Trans-Canada Highway east of Golden has been reopened. Crews were… Continue reading

Golden council considers cannabis zoning

The Town of Golden is going through the motions and deciding how… Continue reading

Golden’s landfill may not be to blame for water contamination

A resident who lives beside the Golden Landfill has asked the Columbia… Continue reading

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

Most Read