As Canadian soccer fans continue to celebrate the women's Olympic gold-medal win last month, the Simcoe County Rovers FC have their sights set on growing the women’s game in the region.
The Rovers have announced the club will be operating a high-performance senior women’s program in 2022. The women’s first team will be led by Audra Sherman and David Monsalve.
Simcoe County Rovers president Julian de Guzman said the club has grand ambitions for the women’s program.
“Canada continues to enjoy a pinnacle moment in women’s soccer and you couldn’t ask for a better time to help spur the development the women’s game needs," de Guzman, a former Canadian international player, said in a news release. "Our aim is to set a high standard of professionalism and to be one of the best women’s football programs in the county."
Sherman joins the club overseeing the women’s program as general manager and head coach. Holding a Canada Soccer National 'A' License, coupled with her extensive background ranging from grassroots to professional, Sherman is looking to advance the women’s game in the country.
As the head coach of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) women's soccer program, she also spent six years with Ottawa Fury FC as the director and head coach of the Elite Girls Academy.
Prior to coaching, Sherman was a member of Canada Soccer’s national program from 1995 to 1997, followed by time with Clemson University from 1998 until 2000 and played at Hofstra University from 2000 to 2002, as well as five seasons playing professionally in the USL W-League.
“Audra’s vision and knowledge of women’s soccer in this country is rare and needed,” de Guzman said. “Simcoe County and the surrounding area will benefit from her high standard values and passion she brings to the game.”
Sherman will be joined by Monsalve as an assistant coach.
Monsalve is a former professional goalkeeper who made his professional debut with Toronto FC in 2007. Since then, he has played in the NASL, USL, Finland, Sweden, Colombia, and Guatemala. He participated in the 2007 U20 World Cup and represented Canada at the U17, U23 and men’s full national team level.
With 15 seasons of experience as a player behind him, Monsalve is continuing his life in football as a coach and is currently the assistant and goalkeeper coach for UOIT for the women’s side and goalkeeper coach for the men’s side.
“It’s always great to see pro players transitioning into coaches and giving back to our country,” de Guzman said. “David’s commitment to excel as a coach is exactly what Simcoe County Rovers FC stands for.”
The Simcoe County Rovers FC are a newly formed soccer club playing in the Canadian football system. The club is based out of Barrie and is affiliated with three youth clubs in the Simcoe County and surrounding area, including the Barrie Soccer Club, Aurora Football Club, and Athletic Institute FC.
The Rovers, whose ownership group also includes current Canadian international player Cyle Larin, are expected to announce their league status in the near future.