This year has been a long one for members of the Canadian women’s national team, with the dispute between players and their national federation extending up to (and beyond) the 2023 World Cup.

Speaking on Just Women’s Sports‘ “Snacks” podcast, Janine Beckie – who missed the World Cup with a torn ACL – called the fights “soul crushing.” In February, the team threatened to boycott the SheBelieves Cup over budget cuts, but players were told they didn’t have the legal standing to do so.

“Come January 2023, they’re like, ‘Oh, we’re in this really bad position financially, we’re going to cut budgets to make sure that we can continue to operate over the next couple of years,’” Beckie said. “And it was just like so soul-crushing as a player, and especially as someone who’s been so involved in the conversation, to have had all the conversations that we had and felt like we were making progress, and then your budget is slashed in a World Cup year off the back of being Olympic champions. It was just like, ‘What is going on?’”

It took nearly six months for the team to reach an interim agreement with Canada Soccer over pay, despite captain Christine Sinclair saying that players needed a deal in place before playing in the World Cup. Instead, that deal came days after the World Cup began. And it still was a disappointing deal for players, as it remains incomplete.

On “Snacks,” Beckie reiterated that players are still unhappy with the deal as it stands.

“We don’t have any kind of formal CBA that we are happy with at this point,” she said. “That’s still all to be negotiated. Our full intention is to have a substantial CBA that we are happy with moving forward over the next couple of years, instead of continuing to come back to the table and just negotiate these short-term deals. There’s a lot of it that we can’t control as players, and I think that’s been one of the hardest things.”

As the injury crisis in women’s soccer continues, players want to see changes.

On the latest episode of Just Women’s Sports‘ “Snacks” podcast, Canada star Janine Beckie – who missed the 2023 World Cup with an ACL tear – told USWNT players and co-hosts Lynn Williams and Sam Mewis that teams must set a new standard in order to help prevent injuries.

During the latest international break, three players tore their ACLs, including Scotland’s Caroline Weir. Beckie tore her ACL in March while playing in a preseason match for the NWSL’s Portland Thorns.

After her own injury, she called out the packed schedule for women’s players, telling Reuters that as games for women increase, so must the resources.

“You’ve changed the schedule to mimic the men yet you’re not giving the female players the same level of resources,” she said. “Premier League players are playing 40-, 50-plus games a season and are able to maintain fitness levels because they’re treated like gold, which they should be. If you’re going ask an elite athlete to play 50 games a season, you’ve got provide them the top-of-the-line care.”

She expanded upon that thought on “Snacks.”

“My point in saying that was you’re asking these players to play under a really, really heavy load, and then you’re not counterbalancing that with extra recovery sessions, equipment, more medical personnel,” she said. “I think like, at [Manchester] City for the men’s team, they have some stupid ratio of three players to one physio, or something like that. Like, they just have a wild amount of medical staff. … If that’s how they’re operating, that’s how it should be. And you see these Premier League teams that have their big-time players available all the time, so they’re doing the right things off the field.”

Unfortunately, Beckie says, the reality is that men’s soccer players likely don’t have to worry about their facilities as much as women’s soccer players. Additionally, no women’s club is likely to have every resource.

“We have to continue to push that standard in our own environments,” she continued. “Because if we don’t change the resource availability for our players, we’re just going to continue to see these mayhem moments happening more and more frequently.

Williams agreed, noting that there are club teams where people are “wearing three different hats.”

“So then things slip through the cracks. And so if we can change that, start there and just have those resources, I think that’s a good first step,” she said. “It is amazing to see, I think Portland is up there with doing incredible things. You have your whole setup, it seems like you go into training and you have everything right there. We need more teams to continue to push the top so it forces the bottom to come up.”

England’s Beth Mead, Sweden’s Fridolina Rolfö and the U.S. women’s national team’s Alex Morgan were among the many international soccer stars who voiced their support for Jenni Hermoso amid Spain’s World Cup controversy.

Hermoso and her teammates have called for leadership changes at the Spanish soccer federation after president Luis Rubiales’ unsolicited kiss of Hermoso at the World Cup final. Rubiales has refused to resign from his position, describing the growing backlash against him as a “social assassination” by “false feminists.” The Spanish government plans to suspend Rubiales during its investigation of the incident.

“So does he actually think he is the victim?” Swiss star Lia Wälti wrote. “The whole world has seen what happened. Makes me feel sick!

“With you, Jenni Hermoso, and with the rest of the team who deserves so much better than that!”

From the USWNT, Morgan echoed sentiments similar to those shared by teammate Megan Rapinoe earlier in the week, saying she was “disgusted” by Rubiales’ actions. Tobin Heath, who won the 2019 World Cup with Morgan and Rapinoe, called out the Spanish federation’s “patriarchy, sexism and misogyny.”

Mana Shim, who helped bring to light the coaching abuse scandal in the NWSL, called Rubiales’ refusal to resign “horrifying.”

“If we can’t agree to punish sexual misconduct caught on video in front of millions, how can women anywhere in football feel safe?” Shim wrote.

Portuguese star Jéssica Silva called out Rubiales, saying in her native language: “Let measures be taken!” She also called Rubiales’ speech “disturbing” and said repercussions should have happened “yesterday.”

“The footballers of the Spanish national team made history!” she wrote. “They were world champions for the first time!” she wrote. “And now they should be celebrating, without controversy, just with joy! However, they are fighting for something that should be common to all of us… RESPECT.”

Canada’s Janine Beckie called the behavior of the Spanish federation “unacceptable” and expressed support for Hermoso.

“No one, no player should EVER have to experience the behavior that we’ve seen from so called leaders in the Spanish federation & the continued actions suggesting this behavior is ‘normal’,” she wrote. “Unacceptable. Jenni Hermoso, we’re with you.”

Norway’s Caroline Graham Hansen, meanwhile, called Rubiales speech “all lies.” Graham Hansen plays with Hermoso for Spanish club FC Barcelona.

“We all see what really happened,” she wrote.

Sweden’s Fridolina Rolfö, meanwhile, called for change.

“No-one should ever have to fight in their place of work for respect, to feel safe or for their basic human rights,” she wrote. “Things have to change. I stand with Jenni Hermoso and the Spanish team.”

England star Beth Mead said that women’s soccer in general and the Spanish players in particular “deserve more.”

“No players should have to endure this,” she said. “It’s unacceptable, and also laughable that these men still are allowed so much power. Jenni Hermoso, we are all with you.”

Janine Beckie is one of many players who won’t compete at the 2023 Women’s World Cup as the result of an ACL tear. The Olympic gold medalist for Canada tore her right ACL last month while playing in an NWSL preseason game for the Portland Thorns.

It isn’t news that women’s soccer players are more likely to tear an ACL than their male counterparts. Studies have found that women are up to six times more likely to sustain the injury. But Beckie doesn’t want that stat to become normalized.

“I think that a lot of people have boiled it down for so long to ‘Oh, it’s just more common in women, and a common injury in women’s soccer.’ but it seems like there’s been this massive jump in the amount that it’s happening now. I don’t know what the reason is but someone needs to figure it out,” Beckie told Reuters.

The 28-year-old forward called for more resources for the women as the number of games on the calendar increases.

“You’ve changed the schedule to mimic the men yet you’re not giving the female players the same level of resources,” she said. “Premier League players are playing 40-, 50-plus games a season and are able to maintain fitness levels because they’re treated like gold, which they should be. If you’re going ask an elite athlete to play 50 games a season, you’ve got provide them the top-of-the-line care.”

Beckie isn’t the only sidelined player calling for action.

“I think it’s way too common in the women’s game,” England national Beth Mead recently told FIFPro.

“I think if that had happened in the men’s game, a lot more would have been done sooner. It’s important for us to drive the different factors and aspects around why it’s happening so often.”

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!”

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!

Janine Beckie is committed to the Portland Thorns.

The Canadian national team member joined Portland last season on a three-year contract after four seasons with Manchester City. This offseason, both Everton and Manchester City reportedly had expressed interest in bringing the winger back to the Women’s Super League, but Beckie put the speculation to rest on Wednesday.

“Wanted to take the chance to put the rumors to bed,” Beckie wrote on Twitter. “I’m not leaving Portland! Love this team and looking forward to this coming NWSL season.”

Beckie, 28, made 17 appearances for the Thorns this season en route to winning the NWSL Championship.

The Thorns are undergoing some major changes this offseason. Investigations conducted by both U.S. Soccer and the NWSL have revealed widespread misconduct within the club in relation to former head coach Paul Riley. Owner Merritt Paulson has committed to selling the club, while Rhian Wilkinson resigned as head coach after exchanging a series of text messages with a player.

Beckie, a 2020 Olympic gold medalist with Canada, previously played for the Houston Dash and Sky Blue FC (now Gotham FC) in the NWSL.

The Portland Thorns have signed Canadian forward Janine Beckie to a three-year contract, acquiring her rights through a trade with Racing Louisville FC in exchange for $75,000 in allocation money.

The 27-year-old striker comes to Portland by way of Manchester City, where she has played since 2018. Prior to her stint with the Women’s Super League club, Beckie played for the Houston Dash and Sky Blue FC (now Gotham FC) in the NWSL.

Beckie will join the Thorns’ roster pending the receipt of her International Transfer Certificate.

“Bringing Janine to this club is an important step as we continue to build our roster for this season and into the future. We are grateful that we were able to work with Louisville and Manchester City to make this happen in a very tight window,” Thorns general manager Karina LeBlanc said in a statement on Friday.

“Janine expressed her desire to come to Portland to play under Rhian [Wilkinson], which is a testament to the groundwork Rhian has laid in establishing herself within women’s soccer. Janine is a top sought-after international player that brings valuable experience at the club level, playing abroad and in the NWSL, and we are thrilled to have her in Portland.”

Beckie, who has made 86 appearances with the Canadian national team, helped lead her country to a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo last summer.

The Canadian star will join Canadian teammate Christine Sinclair and a talented Thorns attack that includes U.S. women’s national team forward Sophia Smith.

Janine Beckie has become co-owner of the Simcoe County Rovers FC, a new semi-professional League1 Ontario club.

The club currently has signed five players, with an open trial set for late February and an invite-only session in March. The club hopes to be an outlet for women’s players who are shut out by the North American system after competing at the collegiate level.

Beckie told the Toronto Starju that she sees the club as a stepping stone to starting a professional women’s league in Canada.

“If we want the sport to continue to grow in our country, young girls have to see their idols and their peers playing the game at a high level,” she said. “And although (Rovers) is not the highest level that we want to see in the country yet, it’s a stepping stone.”

“You don’t go from zero to 100… That’s why I’m really excited about being a part of this project, because this is one of those stepping stones.”

Currently, the club plays in the women’s Premier Division, which is considered the highest level of soccer in Canada. On the men’s side, the Premier Division is the third club tier.

Recent success of the Canadian women’s national team, including winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics, has bolstered the case for a professional league in the country.

Beckie is currently a forward for the Canadian women’s national team and Manchester City.

The final episode of Season 1 of The Soccer Show dropped Wednesday, with Dave and Haley recapping the ending of the FA WASL season and welcoming Manchester City’s Janine Beckie as their final guest. 

The Canadian Superstar and Man City utility knife stopped by to discuss the rivalry between City and Chelsea, finding her form late in the season, and what it was like playing alongside USWNT star Sam Mewis. 

“It’s definitely a fiery rivalry,” Beckie said on the show while discussing the title race between City and Chelsea. “You make it difficult when you leave the fate of the league up to another team, so we didn’t take care of business when we should have and had some pretty poor performances that resulted in draws early on in the season that came back to bite us a little bit. At the end of the day, we didn’t do enough to win and they did, so gotta tip our hat to them.”

She adds that it was odd playing opposite of Canadian National Team teammate Jesse Flemming, who is a midfielder for Chelsea, especially when they were warming up and would run into each other.

In regards to finding her form, Beckie admits that it was a bit difficult switching positions all season. 

“It’s difficult because versatility can be a double-edged sword, you don’t really get the chance to master one position,” she said, while maintaining that she tries her best to see it as a positive. “I do think it brings a lot of value to the team and I’m happy to do a job for the team when I need to.”

“Unfortunately my form came a little late to make the impact I would have liked to have had.”

But finding her form also came alongside linking up with USWNT star Sam Mewis, which Beckie says is a dream come true. 

“Of a lot of the players in the world, Sam is definitely one I would have had on my list as dream teammates, so to be able to play with her has been really great,” Beckie said. “She is the ultimate competitor, is so competitive. I love it. She’s a winner. She just wants to win and She’ll do whatever it takes to win and you can’t really complain about that as a teammate.”

“She’s come in and she’s had an impact massively on the club. Scored some really big goals for us and had some really big performances.” 

Catch the full show below, and be sure to stick around for a special announcement, as Haley announces which FAWSL team she’ll be supporting in the future.