From Stephanie Labbé's heroics in goal, to Canada's backline turning away some of the best attackers in the world, and Jessie Fleming converting four of four penalties, Canadian players stepped up at Tokyo 2020. Walking away from the Olympics with gold medals around their necks as a result, Canada found ways to do what needed to be done to win matches -- the sign of a championship-worthy team. They needed big contributions from most of their squad in order to win intense games, and ultimately the tournament. In order of squad number, here's a rating out of 10 for everyone who represented Canada at Tokyo 2020.
#1: Stephanie Labbé -- 9.5/10The new "National Minister of Defence" for Canada, Stephanie Labbé ended up being Canada's most important player in Tokyo. She made big stops all throughout the tournament when she was needed most -- stopping a penalty in the first game of the group stage against Japan (while injured), and helping Canada win penalty shootouts in the quarterfinal and gold medal match. Her grinning and dancing on the goal line, in what will likely go down as the biggest moment of her career, was an incredible sight. It helped Canada win the shootout, and is one of several reasons why she earns the first -- and only -- 9.5 on this list.
#2: Allysha Chapman -- 8/10There's one guarantee with Allysha Chapman -- when she's on the pitch she'll give a 150% effort to do what it takes to get results. A fearless defender, and solid with the ball at her feet, Chapman was impressive in Canada's opener against Japan, and started all three of Canada's knockout matches -- replaced by Jayde Riviere in extra time of the quarterfinal and final. When she's on the pitch, you notice, and her physical style of play was important against some tough opponents, especially Canada's rivals from south of the border in the semifinal.
#3: Kadeisha Buchanan -- 9/10Only one Canadian played every single minute at Tokyo 2020 -- centre-back Kadeisha Buchanan. The reigning Canadian Player of the Year, Buchanan was crucial at times, holding off some of the world's best attackers -- and in a high-pressure environment where some would crumble. Her experiences of playing for Olympique Lyonnais on the biggest stages was evident. Canada's biggest strength at Tokyo 2020 was their defence -- conceding only four times in six matches -- and Buchanan, as always, was a key part of it.
#4: Shelina Zadorsky -- 7.5/10Shelina Zadorsky was the starting centre-back alongside Buchanan for Canada's opening draw against Japan, and the win over Chile in match number two, but didn't see the pitch again until the 120th minute of the gold medal match. She looked defensively sound for the majority of both matches, but was responsible for giving up the penalty that let Chile back into the match. When Vanessa Gilles replaced her for the third match against Great Britain, she was simply too good to drop, and Zadorsky was the unfortunate casualty of that. She was brought on for the penalty shootout against Sweden, and while she didn't take one in the end she showed her leadership qualities, appearing to be the first to approach Gilles after her effort came back off the crossbar. She was very important to Canada's success in Tokyo, even if it didn't always show on the scoresheet.
#5: Quinn -- 7.5/10Sitting just ahead of the defenders in a deep midfield role, Quinn proved that they are an important member of the national team's midfield, and will be for years to come. While they didn't look at their best in the final, committing a few turnovers in midfield and being replaced by Julia Grosso at halftime, Quinn produced several moments of brilliance throughout the tournament with long, diagonal passes. A solid defensive showing at Tokyo 2020 was enough for them to earn the trust of Bev Priestman, and start five of Canada's six matches, including all three in the knockout rounds. They also made history as the first out transgender and non-binary athlete to win an Olympic medal -- and a gold one at that.
#6: Deanne Rose -- 7.5/10Deanne Rose was responsible in part for some huge moments at Tokyo 2020. Most memorably, she scored the important equalizing penalty with the gold medal on the line against Sweden, but she also drew the penalty that saw Jessie Fleming fire Canada into the final. She played in every match for Canada, usually coming off the bench -- she burned tired defenders with her pace, and isn't hesitant to shoot the ball, something that this Canadian was guilty of sometimes in this tournament. Rose gets things done, and did so when it mattered most for Canada.
#7: Julia Grosso -- 8.5/10Julia Grosso played in five of Canada's six matches at Tokyo 2020 -- only missing Canada's opener against Japan. She was limited to substitute appearances in four of those, but was one of Canada's best players against Chile in the match she started, and was trusted by Bev Priestman to enter the game in crucial moments in the matches she didn't. She hardly put a foot wrong at Tokyo 2020, and confirmed that she's Canada's midfield star of the future, still just 20 years old. She also scored a pretty important penalty, as you may have heard by now -- the one that secured Canada's first gold medal.
#8: Jayde Riviere -- 8/10Starting against Chile and Great Britain, and making substitute appearances in extra time against Brazil and Sweden, youngster Jayde Riviere played some high-intensity minutes for Bev Priestman's team in this tournament. As was the case with Deanne Rose, in the two knockout games especially, Riviere was an attacking threat off the bench, flying up and down Canada's right flank from her right back position. In the two group stage games, she had to hold back a bit to conserve energy, but when Priestman lets her loose against tired defenders, it's a joy to watch. She was suspended for the semifinal after picking up yellow cards against Great Britain and Brazil -- one of which was an unnecessary tackle where she didn't need to go to ground at all -- and unfortunately missed the historic win over the United States as a result. If not for the good form of Allysha Chapman and Ashley Lawrence at the two fullback positions, Riviere may have won herself a starting spot in the team, but that chance never presented itself.
#9: Adriana Leon -- 8/10One of Canada's regular impact substitutes, it was impressive that Adriana Leon was even ready to play in this tournament at all -- she broke her foot in March but surgery and a quick recovery gave her enough time to win a spot on the plane to Tokyo. She always seemed to give Canada a spark off the bench, but her best game of the tournament came against Great Britain in the final match of the group stage. She scored the opening goal for Canada -- firing the ball into the top right corner after a low cross from Ashley Lawrence found her with a bit of space in the box. She always seems to be determined to be one of the hardest workers when she's on the pitch, and that was abundantly clear at Tokyo 2020.
#10: Ashley Lawrence -- 9/10Asked to play at left back, and right back, in this tournament, Ashley Lawrence was probably Canada's best outfield player. Playing as an attacking full-back, Lawrence was making overlapping runs around whichever winger she was playing behind, and firing some dangerous crosses into key areas -- most notably when she went sprinting down the left flank against Great Britain and played a low cross through the box, which found its way to Adriana Leon, who gave Canada the lead. Lawrence might be one of Canada's best 1v1 defenders as well, and was part of a brilliant backline that led the way for Canada.
#11: Desiree Scott -- 8/10Nicknamed "the destroyer", Desiree Scott was an important player for Canada at the base of their midfield. Making big tackles and interceptions, she sat in front of the centre-backs, often alongside Quinn, and was relentless in her pursuit of the ball when her opponents had it. Running hard from start to finish in all of her performances, Scott showed up when Canada needed a veteran player in the middle of midfield, acting almost like a second time at times. Turnovers in midfield were an issue in this tournament, but if she did give it away, Scott was often first to try and win it back again.
#12: Christine Sinclair -- 8.5/10Sitting in a bit of a deeper role than we're used to with her, Christine Sinclair looked great playing as a false nine/attacking midfielder role for Canada at this tournament. She picked up her 300th cap against Japan, in which she scored her 187th international goal -- and the gold medal she brought back with her is further proof of her legacy as one of the greatest international footballers of all time.
#13: -- Évelyne Viens -- 7/10We didn't see much of Évelyne Viens at Tokyo 2020 -- as she was limited to a short cameo off the bench against Japan and a start against Great Britain as Canada rotated the squad for their third group match. In her first Olympic start, Viens came close to scoring just two minutes into the match, but fired her shot just wide as Canada came out firing at the start -- and nearly assisted a Leon goal at the end of the first half. She'd be replaced before the hour mark, but was creating some good opportunities in what would be her only major appearance of the tournament.
#14: Vanessa Gilles -- 9/10Playing alongside Buchanan for the entirety of Canada's final four matches, Vanessa Gilles was sensational in this tournament. Enjoying a breakout year under Bev Priestman, Gilles sat out Canada's first two group stage matches, but started the next four en route to the gold medal. Canada's best aerial threat, she was clearing away everything played high into the box and made some crucial tackles on the ground as well. Like Chapman, Gilles is a tenacious defender and not afraid to make a big tackle. She also stepped up and scored the winning penalty against Brazil, sending Canada to the semifinal.
#15: Nichelle Prince -- 8.5/10With Sinclair playing that aforementioned deeper role, as more of an attacking playmaker than a striker, Canada's wingers had to adjust as well -- being asked to cut inside more often and try to get into good goalscoring opportunities -- and it suited Nichelle Prince perfectly. Intelligent with the ball at her feet, and one of the fastest players in the squad, Prince regularly got in behind opposing defenders and created chances for her teammates. While she didn't score at Tokyo 2020, her precise pass through the middle to set up Janine Beckie's second goal against Chile would turn out to be one of Canada's most important plays in the tournament.
#16: Janine Beckie -- 8.5/10As with Prince, Beckie adjusted well to the tactical adjustments for the most part, and a two-goal performance against Chile is proof of it. When given good chances in front of goal, Beckie usually challenges the 'keeper at the very least, and beating one of the world's best shotstoppers -- Christiane Endler -- twice in one match is not small feat. Beckie is already in the top five goalscorers in Canadian women's national team history, and could be in the top three sooner rather than later. She scored goals number 32 and 33 at Tokyo 2020, leaving her one back of tying Kara Lang for fourth all-time, and five back of tying Silvana Burtini for third.
#17: Jessie Fleming -- 9/10Scoring the winning goal from the penalty spot against the United States in the semifinal, the equalizer from the penalty spot in the final, and burying shootout goals against both Brazil and Sweden -- Jessie Fleming had ice in her veins at Tokyo 2020. One of Canada's strongest passers of the ball, and strong defensively as part of Canada's midfield press, Fleming embodies the idea that "big players step up in big moments". When Canada needed her most, Fleming repeatedly delivered.
#18: Kailen Sheridan -- 7.5/10Had Kailen Sheridan not been injured for part of 2021 after getting injured at the SheBelieves Cup, there's a real chance she would've been Canada's starter at this tournament. Ultimately, Bev Priestman went with Labbé as her main starter, but when called upon, Kailen Sheridan looked solid. She replaced Labbé in Canada's opening match against Japan after the latter hurt herself, so Sheridan was brought in for the last 30 or so minutes, also getting the start in the second match -- a 2-1 win -- against Chile. Sheridan would concede twice in her 120 or so minutes of action -- one an impressive near-post strike from Mana Iwabuchi of Japan, and a penalty against Chile. She wasn't at fault for either goal, and leaves her first Olympic tournament with an important win against Chile that helped Canada get to the knockout round, and eventually the gold medal.
#19: Jordyn Huitema -- 7.5/10The first of four alternates in the squad, Jordyn Huitema had the biggest impact of any of them. In her first Olympic tournament -- and still only 20 years old -- Huitema came off the bench against Great Britain in Canada's final group game, as well as late substitute appearances in each of Canada's knockout round matches. In the final she came on for Christine Sinclair in what seemed almost like a changing of the guard moment, but in reality, it was also a positive tactical substitution. Huitema looked lively in the limited moments she had on the pitch, and the experience of playing at the Olympics will be huge as she continues to develop into an elite young talent.
#20: Sophie Schmidt -- 7/10Playing in her fourth Olympic Games, Schmidt is another player who has served this national team well throughout her career, and has been waiting a long time for her chance to stand atop the Olympic podium. Schmidt was originally an alternate for this tournament, and her only appearance came against Great Britain -- a game in which Canada's midfield was faced with a big test against a strong British midfield -- but Schmidt held her own over 90 minutes as Canada came away with a 1-1 draw, and a spot in the next round.
#21: Gabrielle Carle -- 7/10For the second Olympics in a row, Gabrielle Carle was named as an alternate for Canada's squad, but with the rosters for these games being increased from 18 to 22, Carle was able to finally make her Olympic debut. She'd only be given a 10-minute cameo against Great Britain in Canada's final group match, but in the end, her Olympic debut, and first tournament on the roster, will be looked back on fondly.
#22: Erin McLeod -- n/aErin McLeod has well over 100 caps for Canada, but the 38-year-old served as the third goalkeeper on the squad in Tokyo. She didn't see any game action, which is why she doesn't have a rating, but she did dress as the backup for Canada's match against Chile as Stephanie Labbé was kept out for precautionary reasons after an injury against Japan. As a long-time servant to the national team -- making her senior national team debut in 2002 -- and a part of the 2012 bronze medal-winning team in London, McLeod deserves that gold medal as much as anyone, and was another veteran presence in Bev Priestman's squad.
Head coach: Bev Priestman -- 9/10Bev Priestman proved a lot of people wrong in this tournament. Canada weren't considered by many to be in the hunt for a gold medal, but by making tough decisions, and sticking to them, she got Canada to the top of the podium. Decisions like taking off Janine Beckie and Quinn at halftime of the biggest match she's ever coached -- a difficult one, but one that worked. She also found her best starting eleven and used it in all three knockout round matches. Goals from open play remain a concern for this team, but the silver gold lining is that they left Tokyo 2020 atop the podium -- exactly what she was brought in to achieve. She can worry about tactical adjustments after a well-earned break, sure to be filled with celebration.