Huitema, Cornelius named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

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Canada's Jordyn Huitema (right) celebrates after scoring a goal. (Chris Young/CP)

TORONTO — Canada Soccer has named striker Jordyn Huitema and defender Derek Cornelius as the 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year.

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay, scoring in three of the five matches she played in.

Huitema scored 10 goals in 16 youth international matches in 2018, including winning Golden Boot honours with five goals at the CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship in January.

"Jordyn Huitema has continued performing and adding to her repertoire as a striker throughout 2018," Kenneth Heiner-Moller, the head coach of Canada’s national women’s team, said in a statement. "Scoring goals have always been a part of Jordyn’s game, but she has shown continued improvements in numerous aspects of the game throughout 2018. It is going to be very interesting to follow her pathway, and the next steps in her development."

Cornelius was a standout for Canada at the Provence Toulon tournament in May and June, with Canada finishing sixth at the prestigious international youth tournament in France. Canada were undefeated with Cornelius in the lineup at centre back, including a 1-0 win over Turkey in which Cornelius was Canada’s man of the match.

Cornelius also helped Canada open with a 0-0 draw against Portugal and then wore the captain’s armband for a 1-1 draw with Japan.

"Derek Cornelius came into the March camp in Spain with the men’s national team and showed a lot of maturity and composure for a young player which led us into the Toulon tournament in May and June, where he took the captain’s armband and helped us to achieve some pretty remarkable results" Canada’s national men’s coach John Herdman said. "He has strong character and a drive to reach the top so we hope he can continue to progress."

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