Rachel Quon, a former U.S. youth international, has been named to Canada's roster for an upcoming friendly in Toronto -- against the United States.
Among the Olympic veterans and blue chip youngsters that make up coach John Herdman's 18-player squad for the team's upcoming match against the United States was an unknown name to many Canadian fans: Rachel Quon.
Those who follow the women's game in North America closely will recognize Quon as a promising 21-year-old defender for the Chicago Reds Stars of the NWSL, but they'll also know her as an American youth international.
The Lake Forest, Illinois, native has suited up for her birth country from under-15 all the way up to U-23, so it came as a huge surprise to see her listed alongside the likes of Christine Sinclair and Diana Matheson in Herdman's squad.
Herdman revealed that he and his scouts have had their eye on Quon for quite some time.
"Rachel came on our radar in August of last year," the coach told reporters in a teleconference. "We followed her through the college season, we tried to engage with her in January and December to bring her into camps but she was injured. She was injured for the Cyprus Cup [last February] and only returned back to full fitness in March and April and wasn't quite ready to go into those tough games against France and England."
Herdman said that the courtship was well-received by the former American youth international, and that he hopes the young defender can translate her recent professional form to her newly-chosen national side.
"She's started every game for the Chicago Red Stars team and is holding her own in that league," he said. "She's a left footer, she's a right footer, and she can play left or right side ... I'm hoping she gives us that little bit of something different in the fullback position."
Before Quon can suit up for Canada, she'll need the to be given the green light by soccer's world governing body. Herdman doesn't think it'll be much of an issue, comparing Quon to fellow American-born player Lauren Sesselmann, who is now a stalwart on the Canadian team after switching allegiances in 2011.
"It's a family connection," Herdman said of Quon's ties to Canada. "We're currently going through the process with FIFA to work on ensuring that, like the Sesselmann situation, we can have Rachel available for this game, and to our knowledge everything's under control."
When asked whether Canada should be looking to other countries for players, Herdman said the situation is not ideal and that work is being done to alleviate the domestic player pool.
"Some of the strategies we've started to implement, I think we're moving towards a solution. I would say in five, six years time, we should never have to do this. We shouldn't have to go and recruit players from other countries because our talent pool, our population base, is bigger than the majority of countries we play against."
Herdman continued on by saying that he doesn't see it as a "major crisis" given that it's only a couple of players who have joined his side from other nations.
Either way, Canada's latest recruit may end up kicking off her senior international career against the very country in which she learned to play the game.