June 22, 2024
  • June 22, 2024

Viens Eyes A Distant Future With NSL’s Montreal Team

By on June 5, 2024 0 739 Views

The Northern Super League unveiled itself with purposeful timing last week, allowing Canada’s professional women’s league to spotlight itself amid Canada’s farewell friendly series for a national team bound for the Olympics in Paris.

Amongst Canada’s back-to-back matches against Mexico, Quebecois striker Evelyne Viens was asked by La Presse about her thoughts on the incoming league and whether the NSL is an attractive option for her. The response, as one would imagine, was a positive one.

“Playing close to home, my parents haven’t told me, but they’d be happy,” said Viens following a training session.

Viens believes the ownership group in Mexico are ‘very solid’, describing them as not only having a concrete idea of how to operate a professional women’s team in Montreal, but also stating they’re on the right track and surrounding themselves with the right expertise.

What We Know About Montreal’s NSL Team So Far

Does that attract a player like Viens? Absolutely, but her contractual obligations to AS Roma would prevent her from participating in the inaugural season. In fact, her deal runs all the way through to June 2026.

“I’m in Europe for a while yet,” say admits. “I want to win trophies there and play in the Champions League.”

She’s certainly proven to be a solid addition for the Giallorossi, laying claim to the Serie A Golden Boot to cap off a strong season that saw AS Roma win both the league and domestic cup. She tallied 18 goals and 7 assists through all competitions, with her 13 league goals giving her the individual trophy that all strikers covet.

Canada Bev Priestman
Photo Credit: John Jacques

Priestman herself emphasized the importance behind the Northern Super League, which finally lands Canada its own professional league that domestic talent can thrive in.

“One of the gaps we saw at the last World Cup was the much larger number of players playing on professional teams who were ready to play compared to our own,” said the women’s national team gaffer.

“We want to close that gap. We have a lot of talent, and now we have a place for them to play. Let’s be honest, around the world, these players are in professional environments. The NSL, it excites me, because we have so much talent in our development system, and it’s just waiting to play competitively every week.”

The Northern Super League is slated to launch next April. Year One will see six teams in the mix: the Calgary Wild became the first to unveil full club branding, with AFC Toronto following suit while while fans await more news on Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax. Each club seems to be progressing at its own pace, though some large questions remain. Here’s what we know so far.

Priestman says that Les Rouges have a great talent pool who now have a much-needed place to develop professionally, citing NCAA athletes like Simi Awujo and Jade Rose as players who could immediately benefit from opportunities in the NSL.

“You land back with the gold medal in 2021, and if there’s one thing you want in place, it’s that league,” added Priestman following the country’s one-one tie with Mexico last night.

No club has made roster announcement on the player or staffing side thus far, though such news is expected to come as the year progresses. While Evelyne Viens won’t be involved in the inaugural season, it’s clear the 27-year-old striker will be watching from afar – and she won’t be the only national team member doing so, either.

Header Image Photo Credit: John Jacques

Source: La Presse

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