Canada Soccer Hall of Fame adds three members

Neil Davidson
THE CANADIAN PRESS

Former Canadian internationals Patrice Bernier, Martina Franko and Rhian Wilkinson have been named to the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame in the Class of 2022.

The trio combined for 292 Canadian caps, carrying Canadian colours around the globe.

“Bernier was a Canadian champion and men’s national team hero while both Franko and Wilkinson were notable members of our Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup teams with the women’s national team,” Canada Soccer president Nick Bontis said in a statement. “All three Canadian heroes are deserving of this great honour in recognition of their careers as professional players.”

Bernier won 56 caps for Canada, including three as captain, from 1999 to 2017. He represented Canada in three cycles of FIFA World Cup qualifying as well as four editions of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

At club level, Bernier won the Canadian championship twice with Montreal and was a CONCACAF Champions League runner-up. He also played in Norway, Germany and Denmark, including appearances in the UEFA Cup and CONCACAF Champions League. He was a two-time Danish Cup winner.

Bernier was the first Canadian to play more than 10,000 MLS minutes with a Canadian team. Named Quebec Soccer Professional Player of the Year eight times, he was inducted into the Quebec Soccer Hall of Fame in 2017.

Franko made 55 international appearances as a forward and centre back from 2005 to 2009, leading Canada in minutes played in 2006 and 2007. She was voted to the All-Time Canada XI as a centre back in 2012.

Franko helped Canada reach the quarterfinals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and won two CONCACAF silver medals and a bronze medal at the 2007 Pan American Games.

Franko won club titles in the WPSL, USL W-League, WPS and Canada Soccer National Championships.

She led the WPSL in scoring in 2002 and was a USL W-League All-Western all-star in 2004. She was also named to the USL W-League Championship’s all-tournament team in 2006 and inducted into the Colorado College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2021.

Wilkinson won 181 caps for Canada between 2003 to 2017, which ranked third all-time when she quit international football.

A two-time Olympic bronze medallist, she represented Canada at four FIFA World Cups and three Olympic Games. She also won six CONCACAF tournament medals (one gold, four silver and one bronze) and three Pan American Games medals (gold, silver, bronze).

Voted to the All-Time Canada XI during her playing career, Wilkinson played professionally in Canada, the U.S. and Norway, notably helping Lillestrom SK reach the 2009 Norway Cup final and winning the 2012 Toppserien league title.

She led the USL W-League in scoring in 2005 and helped the Ottawa Fury reach the USL W-League final in 2006. A six-time Quebec Soccer Professional or Senior Player of the Year, she was inducted into the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteer Hall of Fame in 2013.

Wilkinson is now coach of the NWSL Portland Thorns.

A panel of 21 voters, including former and current Canadian internationals and media, decided the modern player inductees.

The Hall of Fame honours Canadian players who have played the game with excellence at the international and club level. The new inductees bring the Hall’s membership to 205: 140 players, 13 coaches/managers, 10 referees and 42 builders.