Who is Canadian Midfielder Jessie Fleming?
Canadian midfielder Jessie Alexandra Fleming was born in London, Ontario, Canada on the 11th of March 1998. Growing up she played a variety of different sports including soccer, hockey (in a full-contact boys’ league), track and field, and cross-country. However, her love for soccer started at the age of 3 as she played for the London-based Nor’West Optimist Soccer Club, where she stayed until 2015.
In the early months of 2015, she moved to Vancouver to train full-time with the national team ahead of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and she started in all three matches for the 2015 Four Nations Tournament in China, which Canada won. She scored her first senior international goal in a 2-0 win against Scotland at the 2015 Cyprus Cup.
She first attracted attention to her sporting talents at 15 when she made her senior debut for Canada and won a bronze medal with the team at the 2016 Summer Olympics. At the age of 17, she was the youngest player on the Canadian team and was named on the roster for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup where she scored the only goal in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Mexico. During 2016, she joined the UCLA Bruins as she attended university. She appeared in 19 games as she made 16 starts and finished as the leading scorer for the team with a total of 11 goals and 5 assists. Fleming was one of two freshmen to receive an All-America honours and she was selected to the NSCAA All-America third team.
In her sophomore year she scored 6 goals which included three game-winning goals and racked up a total of 8 assists. After helping UCLA reach the College Cup final and scoring an impressive goal in the championship match, she was selected for the Hermann Trophy and was chosen as one of four nominees for the Class of 2018 Honda Sports Award for soccer.
Despite missing nearly half of her junior season due to national team duty, she still earned first-team All-Pac-12 honours for the third year in a row and was an honouree for the second team after scoring 5 goals with 5 assists. Getting more into her midfielder role, she primarily played defensive midfield in her senior year as she finished their soccer season with 22 appearances and an impressive 3 goals with 4 assists. She was chosen as one of the three finalists for the Hermann Trophy and was one of four finalists for the Honda Sports Award, including being one of ten finalists for the Senior CLASS Award.
In 2018, she made her 50th senior appearance for Canada and scored her fifth international goal in their 3-0 win over South Korea in the 2018 Algarve Cup.
On the 22nd of July 2020, Fleming moved over to England where she signed for FA WSL Champions Chelsea FC Women on a three-year deal. She made her debut for the club as a substitute in the 2020 FA Community Shield game against Manchester City Women at Wembley. She then made her UEFA Women’s Champions League debut in the blues 5-0 win against Benfica. She played the full 90 minutes in their 2021 FA Women’s League Cup Final victory over Bristol City on the 14th of March 2021.
She graduated from UCLA in 2021 with a major in materials engineering and a minor in environmental science alongside an impressive 25 goals out of 75 appearances for the UCLA Bruins. She was also named Player of the Month three times by the Canadian Soccer Association in the months of March, October and November and was voted as Canadian Player of the Year.
In the 2021-22 FA WSL season, she scored her first club goal in their 6-1 victory against Manchester United Women in September of that year. A few days later she got her first assist for the club in the 2020-21 Women’s FA Cup quarter-final over Birmingham City Women setting up Fran Kirby. Following their 2021-22 WSL season, Fleming’s usage within the club was increased significantly as she featured in 21 games with 11 first team starts and tallying 6 goals with 4 assists. As the end of the WSL came to ahead Chelsea won for a third consecutive time as Fleming won the title with the club for her second time, before she played in her second consecutive run with the club in the 2022 Women’s FA Cup Final. Currently standing, she has 6 goals out of her 35 appearances for Chelsea with hope to add more in the 2022-23 WSL season.
At the 2022 Arnold Clark Cup, she started the first match against England as captain in the absence of their regular captain. To date she has 15 goals out of 99 appearances she’s made for the Canadian national team.