Janine Beckie will miss the 2023 NWSL season and World Cup with a torn ACL in her right knee. The Portland Thorns and Canadian women’s national team forward announced the news Friday.

“Heartbroken is an understatement,” Beckie wrote on Instagram.

“Having worked so hard during off-season for what was set to be one of the biggest seasons of my career, defending the title for @thornsfc and of course playing in the World Cup for Canada, being out for an extended period of time is a difficult pill to swallow.”

Beckie suffered the injury in a Thorns preseason game Wednesday night against the USWNT U-23 team.

The 28-year-old is one of many women’s soccer players to tear an ACL in the last year, joining a list that includes the USWNT’s Tierna Davidson, Catarina Macario and Christen Press; France’s Dzsenifer Marozsán and Marie-Antionette Katoto; Spain’s Alexia Putellas; England’s Beth Mead; Australia’s Ellie Carpenter; Brazil’s Marta; and Denmark’s Nadia Nadim.

Beckie, who helped Canada win its first Olympic gold medal in women’s soccer in 2021, said she is committed to returning to the pitch, writing, “I’ll be supporting my teammates for both club and country this season and it goes without saying I’ll be back better and stronger than ever!”

Members of the Canada women’s national soccer team testified in front of members of Canadian parliament Thursday, revealing details of their ongoing negotiations toward a new collective bargaining agreement.

The women’s and men’s nationals team have been embroiled in a very public labor dispute with their federation. Ahead of Thursday’s testimonies, Canada Soccer released details of its proposed CBA to the public but did not give any notice to players.

Canada Soccer general secretary Earl Cochrane said the federation has been “negotiating in good faith” with the national teams, but players said the surprise release runs contrary to that statement.

“We feel quite disrespected by the way they conducted their business today,” Janine Beckie said. “We believe it should have stayed between the players association and the CSA. There were terms in their release that haven’t been shown to us.”

Canada captain Christine Sinclair spoke of the “culture of secrecy and obstruction” in the federation under former president Nick Bontis, who resigned in February. She also said she has “never been more insulted” than she was by Bontis.

“We met with him to discuss our concerns,” Sinclair said. “I was tasked with outlining our compensation ask on behalf of the Women’s National Team. The president of Canada Soccer listened to what I had to say and then later in the meeting referred back to it as, quote, ‘What was it Christine was b—-ing about?’”

She also added that pay equity is just “a little piece of the puzzle” in the wider fight between the women’s national team and Canada Soccer.

“I’m not sure honestly where we go from here,” she said. “There’s a few simple things that need to be addressed by the CSA.”

Canada Soccer president Nick Bontis resigned Monday, citing a need for change in leadership amid public conflict with both the women’s and men’s national teams,

“While I have been one of the biggest proponents of equalizing the competitive performance environment for our Women’s National Team, I will unfortunately not be leading this organization when it happens. I acknowledge that this moment requires change,” Bontis said in a statement.

His resignation from the federation comes just weeks after the Canada WNT threatened a work stoppage prior to the SheBelieves Cup. Players boycotted training with the intention of not playing games but then were pushed back into working under threats of litigation, their players association said.

The team instead played the tournament under protest. Longtime midfielder Sophie Schmidt said she even considered immediately retiring over the conflict.

“They would not only take legal action to force us back to the pitch, but would consider taking steps to collect what could be millions of dollars in damages from our Players’ Association and the individual players currently in camp,” a PA statement read.

The reigning Olympic gold medalists are pushing for equitable payment and treatment in congruence with support given to the men’s team, but they also are pushing for greater financial transparency after being notified of funding cuts across all programs.

New details have emerged about what exactly those funding cuts have looked like, as during a crisis in funding for the men’s team’s campaign at the 2022 World Cup, the situation behind the scenes became even more drastic for Canada’s federation.

According to TSN reporter Rick Westhead, the only reason the Canada WNT could pay for their two November 2022 friendlies against Brazil was due to a private donor stepping in after Canada Soccer told the team they had no funds for the camp or games.

A source close to the Canada Soccer board told Westhead that Canada Soccer funding is “on life support; we’re soliciting handouts.” Per the source, the same donor stepped in to fund costs for the U-20 and U-17 camps during the same international window. Players also say they have not been compensated for work performed in 2022.

“Canada Soccer and both of our National Team Programs have the real potential to sign a historic collective bargaining agreement. Once signed, it will be a landmark deal that will set our nation apart from virtually every other FIFA Member Association,” Bontis said in his resignation statement.

However, questions still remain exactly where Canada Soccer’s revenues are being re-invested, and the federation appears to be reluctant to open its books to its athletes.

The Canada Soccer Players’ Association received a no-board decision from Ontario’s Ministry of Labour on Feb. 15, after which they can legally go on strike. That no-board decision, and a subsequent notice period, was likely the legal basis behind Canada Soccer’s pushback on their strike during the SheBelieves Cup.

Canada WNT players have said they will continue a work stoppage into the April international window if their concerns have not been addressed. April is the final international break before the 2023 World Cup, in which Canada is set to participate.

Thursday night’s SheBelieves Cup match featured as much action off the field as on, as the players of the Canada and U.S. women’s national teams protested inequalities prior to the opening kickoff.

Both teams’ players wore armbands that said “Defend Trans Joy” in support of trans rights. The players also wore purple armbands to signify gender equality, which the USWNT moved toward with its latest collective bargaining agreement and for which the Canada WNT is fighting with its national federation.

Prior to the game, the CANWNT wore purple shirts with a message on them: “Enough is Enough.” The team is in the midst of a dispute with Canada Soccer over equal pay issues, budget cuts and an overall lack of support from the federation.

In a statement, the Canadian Players Association said the team would be wearing purple “as a symbol of protest” due to its relation to gender equality.

“Considering the current circumstances, our players will continue to wear purple until our association has standards in place that ensure equal treatment and opportunity,” the statement read.

Both teams linked arms in solidarity before the kickoff.

“At the start of the eighth edition of the SheBelieves Cup, our players are united in continuing to raise awareness on issues of equality,” the USWNT Players Association said in a statement.

“Although we are now on the other side of this fight and can focus on our play on the field, our counterparts in Canada and elsewhere are experiencing the same pervasive misogyny and unequal treatment that we faced,” the statement continued. “We stand with all women’s footballers in calling attention to their collective fight, but also call on everyone to join and support the fight to eradicate ALL inequality and discrimination that exists in our sport.”

Following the match, which ended in a 2-0 USWNT victory, Canada captain Christine Sinclair addressed the USWNT’s support and the team’s own struggles on the field.

“Obviously we’re fierce competitors on the pitch, but the world of women’s football is very small and ultimately we support each other. The U.S., years ago, fought this fight. And now it’s our turn,” Sinclair said. “Their support has been amazing. They’ve helped really help amplify the message and get it going worldwide.

“We’re just exhausted. The first 10 minutes were rough. But I think there’s only so much people can do. But proud of the fight, I mean, it wasn’t a lack of effort out there tonight. We’ll continue the fight and we’ll move on.”

Canada coach Bev Priestman echoed those sentiments.

“In many ways, you think that your players are superhuman and they’re not,” she said. “And I think, I felt for what was in front of me, frustrated on the sideline of course because we started flat and I think it’s a result of the emotional and the training days lost and you add all those things up, they definitely play into it. Not to make excuses, but I thought the US came out really well.”

After Brazil’s own 1-0 win against Japan earlier in the day, Brazilian players expressed their solidarity with the Canadian team.

“We are together,” Marta said. “Women’s soccer worked so hard for being (at) this level and we can’t regress. We can’t take (a) step back. So we need to fight for everybody, develop for everybody. This is not acceptable.”

Debinha also voiced her support.

“We’re talking about the best team in the world. They just won the Olympic games. This position, I think it’s not good. And of course, we’re always gonna stand with them. And I just think they need respect,” she said. “It’s a shame what is happening, and if they need us for sure, women’s soccer, we’re always going to stand with them.”

The U.S. women’s national team showed support for archrival Canada ahead of their SheBelieves Cup match Thursday, after the players of the Canada women’s national team told the public they will be playing the tournament in protest of their federation.

USWNT players have had their fair share of conflict with their own federation, leading to a landmark equal pay agreement in the team’s most recent collective bargaining agreement. But what Canada is fighting for is greater than just compensation. Canadian players have outlined their concerns about budget cuts to both the senior national team and the youth teams that paint a bleak picture of the sport’s future.

It’s a nuance that isn’t lost on the USWNT, even as they speak up for their club teammates and fierce rivals for country.

“In a way, we did write the playbook a little bit on this, and I think that public pressure that can be put on, the pressure that can be asked of sponsors, I think those are things that we can share with them,” USWNT captain Becky Sauerbrunn told reporters Wednesday in Orlando.

“I don’t know Canada law, so I don’t quite know the distinctions between job action for Canada as compared to the U.S.,” she continued. “So what I feel like is we can support them in how they want and need right now. That might be different from what we needed when we were fighting with our federation for pay equity. We’re just trying to be supportive, and giving them the chance to allow us to support them however they need right now.”

Canadian players say they have not been paid for their international duties for all of 2022, and they intended to boycott SheBelieves games in an attempt to force Canada Soccer to come back to the bargaining table with a renewed commitment to financial transparency. Their federation said the boycott was in violation of Ontario labour laws, and players felt threatened with litigation should they not participate in the friendly tournament.

With Thursday’s game back on, there’s been communication between both teams on a way to amplify the Canada WNT’s fight to the public.

“A lot of our players know Canadian players on a very personal level, have played with them and against them for so many years,” Alex Morgan told reporters. “We’re definitely in contact with them over the last week or so, and we want to support them in any way possible. Hopefully, there’s a way to show that publicly [Thursday] as well.”

With their own CBA signed and without any formal dispute with an outside federation, the USWNT doesn’t have much jurisdiction to help the Canada WNT outside of resource sharing and signal boosting. But having gone through their own experience with the pressures of speaking out, U.S. players hope to be an outlet that can relieve some of the stress as players also prepare for games.

“We know the burden that is carried through the U.S. players as we went through the lawsuit and the fight with U.S. Soccer, deciding to strike or not, how to protest, when to protest, whether we would get support from the fans and from our country,” Morgan said.

For Canada’s players, the issues at hand need both short and long-term fixes, including financial stability that undermines the team’s fight for equitable treatment as compared to the men’s team.

“I hope it’s a shorter road for them,” Morgan said. “And we’ll do anything possible to try and publicize what they’re fighting for, and why they should achieve that.”

Megan Rapinoe told reporters she wants the U.S. to be an ultimate resource for the Canada WNT in the months to come.

“Whether it’s England winning Euros in the fashion that they did, or the WNBA and their CBA, or the (U.S.) hockey team and our team, the NWSL, Canada now, we’re all on the same team off the field,” Rapinoe said. “It all feels like a snowball effect.”

Olympic gold medalist Sophie Schmidt announced on Tuesday that she will be retiring from international soccer after the 2023 World Cup due to what the team has described as unequal treatment from Canada Soccer.

“Following our meeting [with Canada Soccer] on Saturday, I immediately approached Bev [Priestman],” Schmidt told reporters on a press call organized by the Canada Soccer Players Association. “I told her of my intentions to retire from international soccer and I would like to fly home. She asked me to sleep on it.”

After that meeting with Canada Soccer, Canada’s women’s national team players say they were forced to end their work stoppage due to threats of litigation toward the union and the individual players currently in camp preparing for the SheBelieves Cup.

The players had boycotted training on Friday with the intention of also refusing to play games, in protest over unequal treatment compared to the men’s national team and a lack of financial transparency after being told that funding for both the first team and the youth national teams had been cut.

Captain Christine Sinclair described the players being at their “wits end” as they attempt to rectify both short- and long-term issues with only a few months before the World Cup.

“After a long chat with Sincy trying to debrief what has just transpired, she talked me off the ledge so to say, for lack of a better word,” Schmidt said. “She made me promise that I will see this final fight through, that we need to leave this place a better environment moving forward and ensure a sustainable pathway that gives girls an opportunity to be successful and to chase after their dreams.”

While Schmidt is committed to the fight for the future, she said she will not continue with the team after the World Cup. Outside of international soccer, Schmidt signed a two-year extension with the NWSL’s Houston Dash in the offseason.

“My views of the CSA have never been more concerning. I am still rocked to my core by the situations we are currently in,” she said.

The players say that talks of a strike are not over, and if they can’t come to a resolution with Canada Soccer, the team is prepared to refuse to play scheduled friendlies during the next international window in April.

“For me, it’s devastating,” OL Reign and Canada midfielder Quinn said about being forced to return to play. “I think we’ve come to a lot of realizations of the realities that we’re in with our organization, but for us we’ve put everything … [into] playing for our country. And to understand that our organization put us in that position, for me, it was shattering.”

The players emphasized that the entire Canada player pool, which expands beyond the 23 currently in camp for the SheBelieves Cup, is being included in decisions. They are united in pushing for the same resources the Canada men’s national team received during their 2022 World Cup campaign, as well as simple remedies like being paid for services rendered (players say they have not been paid for their work in 2022.)

With support from the men’s team, the women’s national team is also pushing for greater transparency from Canada Soccer about the financial discrepancies that have caused youth national team funding to be slashed despite record revenues in the past calendar year.

Canada’s women’s national team is entering the 2023 World Cup this summer as a top contender after winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. They open the SheBelieves Cup against the United States on Thursday.

“It’s pretty disgusting that we’re having to ask just to be treated equally,” Portland Thorns and Canada defender Janine Beckie said. “It’s a fight that women all over the world have to partake in every single day, but quite frankly we’re really sick of it. And it’s something that now, I don’t even get disappointed by anymore, I just get angry about.

“Because it’s time, it’s 2023, we won the damn Olympic Games. And we’re about to go to the World Cup with a team who could win.”

The Canadian women’s national team players attended training on Sunday ahead of the SheBelieves Cup, but not without making statements of protest.

Players trained for roughly two hours, wearing their kits inside out or with tape over the Soccer Canada crest, per TSN’s Rick Westhead. The protests come as the Canadian players prepare to participate unwillingly in the SheBelieves Cup after Canada Soccer considered their attempted strike to be “unlawful” and threatened legal action in response.

The players had planned to boycott the friendly tournament in the United States over budget cuts, equal pay grievances and lack of support from the federation.

The Canada women’s national team launched a strike on Friday. The next day, Canada Soccer used union busting tactics to end the team’s strike, threatening to sue players for “what could be millions of dollars in damages.”

In a statement, Canada Soccer said that the players “were not and are not in a legal strike position under Ontario labour law.”

“Canada Soccer therefore took the necessary steps to ensure that such games will be played as scheduled,” their statement continued.

Longtime Canada captain Christine Sinclair pushed back against the federation’s representation of the events.

“[Canada Soccer] flat-out just lied,” she said. “And now the public’s being lied to. That’s how they operate.”

Canada defender Vanessa Gilles outlined the team’s full list of grievances on Saturday, while U.S. women’s national team stars Alex Morgan and Becky Sauerbrunn voiced their support for the Canadian players. Canada’s women’s national team has been negotiating a new CBA with an emphasis on equitable pay after their previous contract expired in 2021. The USWNT reached a landmark CBA with U.S. Soccer and the men’s national team last year guaranteeing equal pay.

The USWNT and Canada meet in the first game of the SheBelieves Cup on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET in Orlando, Fla.

Canada women’s national team is being forced to play in the SheBelieves Cup after Canada Soccer used union busting tactics to end the team’s strike.

The CANWNT began their strike on Friday over budget cuts, equal pay issues and lack of support from Canada Soccer. They had threatened to boycott the SheBelieves Cup if the issues were not resolved.

The two sides met on Saturday in what the players described as an “hours-long meeting.” But it was before that meeting that Canada Soccer informed the players that “they consider our job action to be an unlawful strike.”

Canada Soccer threatened to take legal action against them if they did not commit to playing in Thursday’s game against the USWNT. They also threatened to take steps to collect “what could be millions of dollars in damages” from both the players’ association and individual players.

“As individual players who have received no compensation yet for any of our work for Canada Soccer in 2022, we cannot afford the risks that personal action against us by Canada Soccer will create,” they wrote.

In a statement, Canada Soccer said that the players “were not and are not in a legal strike position under Ontario labour law.”

“Canada Soccer therefore took the necessary steps to ensure that such games will be played as scheduled,” they said.

National team player Janine Beckie told The Athletic that on Feb. 6 the team filed a “no-board” request to their conciliator that was essentially a request to strike. But as it has yet to be approved, resulting in it being unlawful. In Canada, an unlawful strike can be punishable by “substantial fines.”

But players maintain that the fight is not over.

“To be clear,” wrote captain Christine Sinclair. “We are being forced back to work for the short term. This is not over. We will continue to fight for everything we deserve and we will win. The SheBelieves is being played in protest.”

Alex Morgan and Becky Sauerbrunn are speaking out in support of the Canada women’s national team.

In response to budget cuts, equal pay issues and an overall lack of support from Canada Soccer, the team has gone on strike. They have said that they will boycott the SheBelieves Cup if the issues are not resolved.

“What do they have to do, win a gold medal? Sell out stadiums? Oh wait…” wrote Morgan, referencing the fact that the women’s national team are the reigning Olympic gold medalists. “It’s 2023, wake up Canada Soccer you’re on the clock.”

A number of national teams around the world have implemented equal pay resolutions in the wake of the USWNT’s landmark CBA, which guaranteed equal pay between the women’s and men’s teams.

Canada’s teams, meanwhile, have had ongoing talks for their own CBA and have previously called out disparities and corruption within Canada Soccer.

On Friday, Canada’s women’s team called for a change in leadership if a resolution cannot be reached.

“The players of the Canadian women’s national team are demanding immediate change,” wrote USWNT captain Sauerbrunn. “Treat your world-class players as world class.”

Janine Beckie and Christine Sinclair are calling attention to the pay disparities between the Canada women’s and men’s national teams.

In 2021, the men’s team was given over $11 million for expenses, while the women received just shy of $5.1 million. Both marked increases from 2020, though the men’s team’s budget jumped from $3.08 million while the women’s sat at $2.8 million in 2020.

That means that the gap between the two teams’ funding grew from roughly $267,000 to nearly $6 million.

“Numbers don’t lie,” wrote Beckie.

The Canada women’s national team has since gone on strike and has said that it will miss the SheBelieves Cup in protest, which is set to begin next Thursday.

Other players have also called out Canada Soccer’s lack of equality despite previous claims that they would do more to ensure that the women were paid equally. Beckie also tweeted out a video on Friday, in which Canada Soccer president Nick Bontis goes on the record prioritizing equal pay.

“The other right thing to do is to make sure whatever we pay the men, we pay the women. Because that’s the right thing to do,” he says.

Other Canadian stars like Desiree Scott joined in the public protest against Canada Soccer.

“We have been beyond successful as a program and is players have given our all to this team!” she wrote. “We are simply asking for what we deserve! Enough. Is. Enough! It’s time!