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Saskatoon’s Kaylyn Kyle watches Canadian women’s soccer team from afar

Saskatoon’s Kaylyn Kyle is watching the Canadian women's soccer team from afar after being left off the squad heading to the Rio Olympics. PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Kaylyn Kyle watches the Canadian women’s soccer team from afar these days.

One of four alternates to the Olympic team, the 27-year-old midfielder from Saskatoon is not likely to add to her 101 caps this summer unless called upon due to injury or some other emergency.

READ MORE: Christine Sinclair leads Canadian soccer squad for Rio Olympics

Kyle was a fixture for Canada from 2011 to 2014, playing in 62 consecutive matches. But she was one of several veterans not to get a recall after last summer’s World Cup.

She clearly wants to resume her national team career but is not complaining.

“Obviously it’s disappointing to not be selected part of the 18 (-woman roster) for the Olympics but I’m going to support the team and anything they need as an alternate,” she said.

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“I don’t think I’m done playing for Canada at all. I think I still have a few more years left in me,” she added. “It’s just keep working hard here and keep performing with my club so I can get called back in.”

READ MORE: Olympians visit northern Saskatchewan to inspire youth

While fellow alternates Gabrielle Carle, Marie-Eve Nault and Kailen Sheridan are with John Herdman’s team in France for its final pre-Olympic preparations, Kyle stayed back to continue play with the Orlando Pride of the NWSL.

“It just didn’t make sense for her to give up her pro career with Orlando,” Herdman said.

Nault missed the Canadian camp in Vancouver earlier this month but joined the team in France after her season in Sweden ended. Carle (unattached) and Sheridan (Clemson University) were both part of the Vancouver camp and are in France with the team.

Kyle, who has stayed in contact with Herdman via Skype and has had access to his tactical plans, is grateful for the chance to keep playing with the Pride.

“If needed and called upon I can go into camp game-fit and game-ready instead of kind of just being like a practice player right now,” she said.

“I think it was incredible of John to allow me to do that and allow me to stay game-fit. He knows how I am as a person and as a player obviously.”

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READ MORE: Canadian women disappoint in 2-0 loss to Brazil in soccer friendly

Kyle is hoping for a recall some time in the future.

“Obviously I would love to get called back in at some point. But I also have to respect John’s decision in bringing in younger girls and developing them.

“Obviously our World Cup and how we went out (in the quarter-finals), if I’m being completely honest I think we could gone farther so he knew that he needed to change a few personnel and give younger players a chance to develop.

“He’s such a smart coach and he has a plan. A lot of coaches will plan for the year and he plans for the four-year cycle. He knows how I am as a person and a player and what I can bring to the field and to the team.”

In the meantime, she is enjoying her time in Orlando. Kyle, acquired last October in a trade with Portland, has played in 11 games for the 6-7-0 Pride in their inaugural season.

She says Orlando feels like home these days.

“I love it … I think we’re doing very well for an expansion team” said Kyle, whose club career has also included stops in Vancouver, Seattle, Boston and Houston. “This organization is class.”

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Orlando teammate Josee Belanger is currently with the Canadian team in France.

The move to Orlando reunited Kyle and Belanger with veteran coach Tom Sermanni whose resume includes stints in charge of Australia and the U.S. as well as an assistant coaching role under Herdman at the World Cup.

The whole team felt the pain of the nightclub shooting in Orlando, visiting local hospitals in the aftermath.

“It’s obviously been sad to be part of but I’m very proud to live and work in Orlando now,” Kyle said.

An entrepreneur off the field, Kyle has worked with headphone manufacturer Beats by Dre, Under Armour and Golazo, an organic drink company based in Seattle.

Her most recent endeavour is a soccer camp, scheduled for six cities in Canada this fall. She and her sister Courtnee have also started up a travel and fashion blog.

“Two blondes, one blog, endless opportunities,” is their summary of the blog.

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