Former and current Longhorns compete in Olympic Qualifiers

Donnavan Smoot

As CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship begins this week, Texas sophomore Julia Grosso will be joining her home country of Canada. The top two placing countries at the end of the tournament will automatically qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan. 

The international stage is nothing new for Grosso. In 2019, she competed with Canada during the Women’s World Cup. Grosso didn’t get much run during the tournament, but just spending time with the national team is always a plus. Grosso has played with the Canadian national team since 2017, when she was only 17 years old. 

Grosso has yet to score in international play. In the 16 matches she’s participated in, she has zero goals and one assist. Most of that time has been spent on the bench learning, so Grosso could be in a position to potentially break out. 

Getting to the qualifying tournament is never a problem for the Canadians, as they get an automatic bid along with the United States and Mexico for being one of three countries in North America. 

The past three appearances for the Canadians have resulted in a second-place finish at the hands of the United States. While they’ve qualified for the Olympics, they’ve never won the tournament. 

Along with Grosso, former Longhorn defender Chelsea Surpris will suit up for Haiti. After graduating in 2019, Surpris spent the past year as an assistant coach at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. In her time at Texas, Surpris played in 60 matches, earning starts in 42 of them. 

Surpris started in Haiti’s match against the USA Tuesday night at BBVA Stadium in Houston, Texas. She played the entire game on the defensive backline where she is most comfortable. Haiti lost 4-0 after falling down 1-0 in the second minute, leaving them with an uphill battle to reach Japan later this year.

Grosso will try and help her Canadian squad have an opposite fortune when they kick off on Wednesday against St. Kitts and Nevis.