Soccer: AFCAA welcomes Olympic gold medalist Jayde Riviere to 2022 roster

By Ryan Makuch

AFC Ann Arbor are pleased to announce the signing of Jayde Riviere ahead of the 2022 USL W League season. The 21-year-old fullback has made 31 appearances with the Canadian national team, including starts in both the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2020 Summer Olympics of 2021, in which Riviere and Canada earned gold.

Riviere, an attendee of the University of Michigan, where she is set to begin her senior season with the Wolverines, was part of the Canadian women’s soccer team that became the first in the country’s history to win gold at the Olympics. Riviere came on at the 93rd minute of extra time in the Olympic Final, where Canada knocked off Sweden in penalty kicks.

In addition to appearing in the gold medal game, Riviere also made an appearance in the quarterfinal penalty shootout victory over Brazil and made a pair of starts in the group stage against Great Britain and Chile.

Riviere also made multiple appearances in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and, as was the case on the Olympic roster, was the second-youngest player on the side. Riviere made a start in the final group stage game against New Zealand, and Riviere would make an appearance in the Round of 16 1-0 defeat Canada would suffer at the hands of eventual bronze medalist Sweden.

In addition to her senior-level experience, Riviere also was named to the Canadian U17 side that traveled to Jordan in 2016 to take part in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. Just 15 at the time of the tournament, Riviere made two appearances and was able to set up her eventual senior successes through her youth national appearances.

At the university level, Riviere has been part of a Michigan program that has made the NCAA Tournament in two of Riviere’s three seasons in the program and, in 2021, went to the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals for just the third time in program history and that won the Big Ten Tournament for the first time since 1999. Despite missing time due to international commitments, Riviere still finished the season with 1,620 minutes played, and she has maintained her status as a fixture of the Michigan side at right back.

On joining The Mighty Oak, Riviere said, “I’ve heard nothing but great things from teammates and coaches regarding AFCAA. With the World Cup qualifiers coming up in the summer, I wanted to play with a team that I know would challenge me and help me grow individually as a player.” Riviere would also add, “I believe that AFCAA would not only help me prepare for my national duty, but also expose me to some great players and a new environment.”

Riviere also discussed how her extensive international appearances have been able to help her as a player and person. “Since I was a kid I could only dream about playing on the biggest international stages for football and to be able to have accomplished that is something that I am most honored and humbled by,” Riviere would say. “Being in an environment where there is an enormous amount of pressure to do well for your country has tested my mental strength as a player and has only made me tougher.”

Riviere would continue, saying, “In the Olympics, with quick turnarounds in between matches being physically demanding, I have grown to learn what type of resources I need to ensure that I am available for the next game. With all my experiences, I have learned so much about myself as a person, and being able to play against the best teams in the world has only expanded my soccer horizons towards my goal of being the best player that I can be.”

As a player, Riviere analyzes herself as such: “I would like to think I am not the traditional full back. As much as there is a defensive aspect to my position, I love to live in the attacking third of the field.” Talking about her specific strengths, she would highlight her 1v1 defending abilities, as well as her attacking ability and her speed, which allows her to get involved and be active both offensively and defensively.

When it comes to direct attacking contributions, at the university level, Riviere has a trio of assists to her name, in addition to a goal. She has also scored a goal in World Cup qualifying, scoring the sixth goal in an 11-0 romp of Saint Kitts and Nevis in January 2020.

Women’s Head Coach Boyzzz Khumalo was very pleased to sign Riviere for 2022. “One thing I noticed talking with her, is she’s a very humble person. I can tell she’s very serious, she’s got that pro mentality. She’s somebody that I think can help the team, and that the younger girls can look up to since she’s played at the highest level.”

On the thing she looks most forward to this season, Riviere would answer, “I’m honestly looking forward to learning and meeting new people!” She would add, “I think with the number of international players that AFCAA receives in the summer as well as the knowledgeable coaching staff, I am in good hands to grow as a player and person.”

We would like to once again welcome Jayde Riviere to the AFCAA Family, and we look forward to her joining the squad in the summer.

About AFC Ann Arbor

Association Football Club Ann Arbor (AFC Ann Arbor) was founded in 2014 and competes in USL2 (men’s) and USLW (women’s) national amateur leagues. We are a community-based club, focused on equity, justice, and anti-racism. We consider all of our stakeholders, including supporters, players, staff, and ownership to be part of the #AFCAAFamily. Come On You Mighty Oak!