Chelsea FC Women announced the signing of Jessie Fleming on Wednesday only days after the Canada midfielder declared her intentions of turning pro after finishing her career at UCLA.
“I knew I really wanted to play in the [FA Women’s Super League], I think the league is doing really well right now and there is a ton of fantastic players in the league so that really excited me,” the 22-year-old Fleming said in a statement. “For Chelsea, it was the players here and I wanted to be in a challenging environment. Having conversations with [manager] Emma [Hayes] and learning a bit more about the team, I was just really excited about the environment and what it has to offer.”
A native of London, Ont., Fleming has been capped 77 times by the women’s senior team after appearing for Canada at a number of junior levels. Fleming was a member of Canada’s bronze medal-winning side at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.
“Jessie is one of the top young players in the world, so for us to be able to sign her is a testament to the work that has been done here for a number of years,” Hayes said in a statement. “She chose Chelsea, this was her priority, her first choice and we were over the moon to get her.”
Chelsea won the 2019-20 WSL title, its third in the last six seasons.
The Vancouver Whitecaps announced on Tuesday that goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau incurred a fractured thumb during Sunday’s MLS Is Back Tournament match against the Seattle Sounders and will return to Vancouver to undergo surgery.
The injury occurred during a second-half coming together between Crepeau and Seattle’s Handwalla Bwana. Crepeau would leave the match during the 54th minute. The Sounders went on to a 3-0 victory. Canada U-21 international Thomas Hasal took over goalkeeping duties.
“I am very thankful for all the messages of support I’ve received from all over the globe,” Crepeau said in a statement. “It touched me and my family deeply. I will always give everything I have on the field and this is just a minor setback for a major comeback. I hope to see you all soon. Stay safe and take care of your loved ones.“
The Whitecaps say the team will provide further information on Crepeau’s progress when it becomes available.
The team (0-2) finishes its group stage matches on Thursday morning when it takes on the Chicago Fire (1-1).