Lauren Sesselmann: perfect scapegoat for Canada’s elimination



Entire teams win or lose games, not individual players, but Canada’s Lauren Sesselmann certainly did her part to help bring on the host country’s elimination from the Women’s World Cup. FIFA, acting as FIFA often does, set up the knockout round bracket to be as easy as possible for both the Americans and Canadians.

The way FIFA set up the brackets, it sent a clear message that they wanted the host nation and their immediate neighbors to the South to advance as far as possible.

The U.S. faces Germany, the best team in the world, in the semifinals on Tuesday night. Canada, who got a truly awful game out of Defender Sesselmann (who we profiled earlier here), were eliminated 2-1 by England last night in the Quarterfinals.


Canada fell behind 2-nil by just the 11th minute, and those early setbacks dug them a hole that was impossible to get out of. Sesselmann embarrassingly fell down to set up England’s second goal. How bad was it? It was comparable to Liverpool Captain Steven Gerrard’s slipping and falling in 2014 versus Chelsea; allowing Demba Ba to score and then LFC to lose all the momentum they had towards winning the Premier League title.

“It’s a soccer player’s nightmare,” Canadian midfielder Sophie Schmidt said of Sesselmann’s gaffe. “It’s unfortunate. That’s how soccer goes, but I’m still proud of her. She didn’t let that affect her performance.”

Lauren Sesselmann later added a yellow card to her dreadful performance. The ESPN FC pundits described her play as “suspect” last night, and “suspect” for the entire tournament. Many believe she shouldn’t have even been starting to begin with.


Former Canadian international Christine Latham says Lauren Sesselmann should not have started for Canada in the team’s loss to England:

“Lauren Sesselmann – her name has been repeatedly brought up in this tournament. She consistently has been playing poor.

“It’s disconcerting that John Herdman continues to start her when she was continuously having problems in the back line, and teams were scouting it out and targeting her.”

Eric Wynalda disagrees with decisions made by Canada coach John Herdman:

“There’s a coach who feels that he’s such a good motivator that he can make his players better than they sometimes are. I think he got this one wrong.

“The guy’s a showman. He knows the camera’s on. He loves it. But some of his tactics were wrong, and what let him down is this belief of, ‘I can make a player better than what they are.’”

lauren sesselmann

Latham agrees: “He has mismanaged this World Cup for his team.”

So why did Herdman keep starting Lauren Sesselmann, even though it was obvious she was playing bad? I guess we’ll never know. The situation reminds us of that Seinfeld episode which articulated how extremely attractive people are often given preferential treatment. That’s a joke by the way.

However, the media has certainly been harsh on Sesselmann, so she’s certainly not getting any favors there. Perhaps she’s not worthy scapegoat here, maybe the fingers should be pointed at Herdman instead?

The buck always stops with the Coach after all. There are some positives here though. Canada made the quarterfinals this time; after finishing dead last in 2011.

Also, Sesselmann’s close friend and teammate Adriana Leon (pictured below) had a solid tournament. Leon did not start Saturday night.


There are also dissenting voices out there standing up for Sesselmann; like The Province‘s Steve Ewen, who penned this defense of the center back three days ago. 

-USWNT Profile Series:

Alex Morgan

Hope Solo

Sydney Leroux

Christen Press

Abby Wambach

Julie Johnston

Ali Krieger

Amy Rodriguez

-Canada profile series

Lauren Sesselman

Adriana Leon


-World Cup On-Air talent profiles

Alexi Lalas

Heather Mitts

Leslie Osborne

Jenny Taft 

Julie Stewart-Binks

Kate Abdo

Paul M. Banks owns, operates and writes The Sports, which is partnered with Fox Sports Digital. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, currently contributes to the Chicago Tribune RedEye edition. He also appears regularly on numerous sports talk radio stations all across the country.

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  1. Oh Jeepers says

    Oh Jeepers….

    Love to seek controversy …. but extremely lazy at it.

    Why don’t you spend some time and effort researching the ingrained biases of Christine Latham and Eric Wynalda before you quote tehm. Wouldn’t that be waht a “journalist” would do, instead of feeding what he’s provided out of that bias.

    Chsistine Latham sued the Canadian Soccer Asssociation as a member of the national team (and lost), for crying out loud. She enver played another game for them. And you’re giving her the time of day on her thoughts on the team?!?

    “Miscreant Journalism”, it’s called.

  2. Must be thanks for the nice article.

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