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10 Best Canadian Soccer Players of All Time 

Canada might be more famous for its Ice hockey players than its soccer players, but there is a depth to the pool of players available to the Canadian national soccer team that might surprise you. 

From upcoming stars that play for some of the biggest teams in world soccer to legendary players with an incredible number of international caps, Canadian soccer players have a history of being hardworking, excellent team players. 

Soccer has been played in Canada as far back as 1877, so there’s a lot of history to delve through. And though many of the players on our list have moved away from Canada to ply their trade, all have stepped up to the plate when the national team has come calling. 

Today, we’re going to look at the very best Canadian soccer players of all time; some from years gone by and some who could turn out to be some of the best players in their respective leagues. 

10. Owen Hargreaves 

Okay, so Owen Hargreaves is a former England international with 42 caps to his name, but the former Bayern Munich and Manchester United players were born in Calgary, Alberta, and you don’t get much more Canadian than that. 

The former midfielder also played several under-19 games for Wales, so it seems he took some time to decide which nationality suited him best. Hargreaves was an excellent defensive midfielder, a technically proficient, calm player with superb passing range. 

The former player only made 199 league appearances in his career, as some genuinely horrific injuries cut short what could have been a world-class career.

One of the world’s best sports surgeons once declared Hargreaves’ knees to be in the worst condition he had ever seen in his 35-year career. It’s a shame because the Canadian was a superb midfielder when he was able to play. 

9. Junior Hoilett 

Born in Ontario, Junior Hoilett has spent much of his career in the English leagues and has built a reputation as a pacy, hard-working attacking winger.

After impressing during a tournament in Wales, a young Hoilett was scouted by both Manchester United and Blackburn rovers. The young Canadian eventually chose Blackburn as he felt there would be more chance of making the first team. 

Unfortunately, Hoilett was refused a work permit and had to be loaned to several Gerrman clubs before finally being granted permission to play in England. The winger quickly settled in at Blackburn and was such a promising player that FIFA named him one of the best young players to watch in 2012. 

Hoilett would leave Blackburn, move to Queens Park Rangers and Cardiff City, and make a combined 361 league appearances for the three clubs.

It’s Hoilett’s pace and ball control that causes defenders serious trouble. In 2021 the Canadian international moved to Reading FC, where he remains today. 

8. Dwayne De Rosario 

In a career that started in the Major Arena Soccer League, Dwayne De Rosario would eventually progress into the MLS in 2001 with the San Jose Earthquakes and make a name for himself as a superb attacking midfielder. 

With 133 league goals for the ten different teams that he played for, De Rosario was a highly efficient and consistent player. De Rosario also made 81 appearances for Canada, scoring 22 times for his country. 

Having played for several of the biggest teams in the MLS, the Canadian certainly got around, and is one of the most respected Canadian soccer players of all time. 

7. Craig Forrest 

A Canadian goalkeeper who made over 263 appearances for Ipswich town, Craig Forrest was named a Canadian all-time XI team member in 2012. Having also played for English giants Chelsea and West Ham United, Forrest represented Canada 56 times in 14 years. 

Ironically, Forrest only found his way into the gloves of a goalkeeper as a child after offering to take a friend’s place in a soccer game when the friend couldn’t make it to the game.

It’s lucky for Canada that he did, as Forrest went on to become his country’s number one for several years. 

6. Julian De Guzman 

Toronto-born Julian De Guzman has played in Germany, Spain, the United States, and Canada and has become one of the most-capped players in Canada’s history. After starting his career in Canada, the young De Guzman was spotted by Marseille and moved to France in 1997.

Despite never playing for the French club, De Guzman was talented enough to remain in Europe and would eventually move to Hannover 96, where he would stay for several seasons.

The Canadian international would then see his career take another leap; after being linked with English side Tottenham, the player would eventually move to Spain. 

Three seasons with Deportivo La Coruna were successful, if not spectacular, and De Guzman eventually returned to Canada with Toronto FC. A talented, athletic player, De Guzman was a skilled midfielder and could operate as a defensive midfielder and a box-to-box midfielder. 

5. Alphonso Davies 

We’re on a different trajectory now; unlike many Canadians who move abroad to further their careers, young superstar winger Alphonso Davies was actually born in Ghana, in a refugee camp, and thankfully managed to emigrate with his family to Canada in 2005. 

Thanks to his family making a move to Canada, the young Davies was able to live a safer, happier life with his family and would join the Edmonton internationals, a youth team, almost as soon as he moved to Canada. 

Quickly spotted as an immense talent, Davies moved to the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2015 and would make 65 appearances before a high-profile and very lucrative move to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in 2019.

Davies is taking the Bundesliga by storm and is already considered to be one of the best left-backs of all time. 

It’s not unfair to say that Alphonso Davies is already the most successful Canadian soccer player of all time. Having won the Bundesliga four times already, two DFB Pokal Cups, a Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup, and the FIFA World Club Cup, Davies star will only rise further. 

4. Jonathan David 

Another young rising star of Canadian soccer, Jonathan David, is currently making a name for himself in Ligue 1 with Lille and is quickly becoming one of the most critical players in the Canadian national team. 

After starting his career with Gent, the New York-born striker quickly made a name for himself as a deadly striker, scoring 30 goals in just 60 appearances in Belgium. A move to the French top division in 2020 saw the Canadian hit the ground running, and he’s currently on 35 goals in 85 appearances for Lille. 

A quick and intelligent player, David is known to drop deeper into the hole behind the striker and is able to use his pace to pick up the ball and move into shooting positions. Tactically astute,

there’s every chance the young Canadian could become one of the best strikers in France; he’s definitely one for the future. 

3. Cyle Larin 

Averaging almost a goal every two games for Canada, Cyle Larin’s statistics are excellent, especially for a winger.

The former first pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, the Brampton-born player scored an impressive 44 goals for Orlando City before a move to Turkey in 2018. 

In his four years with Besiktas, Larin again showed he was a talented player, and his goalscoring exploits continued apace; by the time the Canadian international moved to Club Brugge in 2022, he had another 31 league goals to his resume. 

Still relatively young, Larin looks set to continue his prolific goalscoring record, and his current tally of 25 international goals for Canada, making him the all-time leading goalscorer for the men’s team, is unlikely to be beaten any time soon. 

2. Paul Stalteri 

Being able to play at both wing-back and midfield positions certainly helps a player make the teamsheet; the versatility to be able to play in multiple positions can be a massive help to a team.

Paul Stalteri, one of the most capped players in Canadian history, could fill many roles and is regarded as one of the best Canadian soccer players ever. 

After just one season with the Toronto Lynx, Stalteri moved to Germany after being spotted by a Werder Bremen scout. In his seven seasons with Bremen, Stalteri would make 151 league appearances and helped the club to win the 2004 Bundesliga. 

In 2005 Stalteri moved to Tottenham and quickly established himself as a steady, capable player, even popping up with several crucial goals for the club.

Sadly, the club career of Stalteri would start to fade away at Spurs, but he would remain a vital player for Canada and eventually finished with 84 caps over his 14-year international career. 

1. Atiba Hutchinson 

The most-capped player in Canadian soccer history and one of the most consistent and well-regarded players in Canada, Atiba Hutchinson takes the number one spot on our list.

In a career that’s spanned two decades and is still going, Hutchinson has proven to be an outstanding defensive midfielder with both Canada and Besiktas. 

The captain of both the national team and the Turkish giants, Hutchinson is hugely respected by players and fans alike, and the 39-year-old has so far won six Canadian players of the Year awards.

Hutchinson has won trophies in three countries, having won four league titles with Copenhagen in Denmark, the KNVB Cup and Johan Cruyff Shield with PSV Eindhoven, and three Super Lig titles with Besiktas.

A member of the All-Time Best XI for Copenhagen, the Canadian All-Time XI, and former Danish Superliga player of the year, Hutchinson is recognized as one of the most successful Canadian players in history. 

We could well look back on this article in ten years and find the number one spot being taken over by the increasingly impressive Alphonso Davies, whose career looks to be heading interstellar.

But for now, Hutchinson is easily the most successful Canadian player, and no matter where he finishes on the list in ten years will remain one of his country’s most respected players.