66. Ashley Lawrence
Young Canadian Ashley Lawrence has continued to rise and become a key player for Canada and her club PSG, despite being just 22.
Making her international debut as a teenager and starring at her home World Cup two years, Lawrence was always set for a big move after completing college.
The 22-year-old played in the Champions League final for PSG, but sadly came out on the losing side despite stepping up and taking a penalty during the shootout. However, Lawrence’s performances saw her named in the team of the tournament.
She’s capable of flying down the left wing for both club and country and given how many years she has ahead of her, you wonder just how good Lawrence will become and where she will rank against the best full backs in the women’s game.
John Herdman, Canada national team coach says:
“Ashley had a breakout moment in 2015, I’d seen her potential in the Under 17s, she had something athletically but she had that X-Factor in turning people, she wanted to turn people and take people on.
“Ashley had a few cameo appearances with us and you could sense she wasn’t offering everything she could, it was almost like she was defaulting to the senior players, as young players typically do. I remember having a chat with her at the Cyprus Cup – it was a pretty harsh one for a young player – but I said to her ‘you can either continue to default or take this moment’, and she did. She had a great game against England in the final and she never looked back.
“She’s got out and out speed, a left and right foot and good technical ability. We’ve defined her as our hybrid player because she can play in multiple positions for us in any one game.”
Patrice Lair, PSG manager says:
“She’s definitely one of the fastest women’s footballers in the world. She brings a quality of speed and agility that are really important for a team.”
Sandra Prusina, Canadian women’s football writer says:
“Versatile is the best way to describe Ashley Lawrence. She can play anywhere on the pitch and she does it well. For Canada, she’s transitioned from a midfielder to a fullback. 2017 saw her suit up for PSG, where she was instrumental in her team reaching the UEFA Champions League final. She proved to be calm, cool and collected under pressure during the penalties and was named to the tournament’s squad of the season.”