Sinclair named top female soccer player

September 15, 2009, 3:22 AM

The Canadian Soccer Association announced that Christine Sinclair is the female 2007 adidas Canadian Players of the Year. Sinclair was honoured in a vote shared by Canadian media (50%) and Canadian coaches who have taken the Canadian Soccer Association’s national course at the B and A levels (50%).

Sinclair wins the award for the third-consecutive season. Her 2007 co-winner – the selection from the men’s national team – will be announced on Thursday.

“Since her first selection to the senior team at 15 years old, Christine Sinclair has been a constant member of my team – and not just any member,” says women’s national coach Even Pellerud. “It is hard to recall either a simple practice or an international game in which she has not had a massive impact on the team.”

In 2007, Sinclair served as captain of the Canadian women’s national team as they embarked on a year-long residency camp in preparation for the FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007 and then the 2008 Olympic Qualification Tournament. They also took part in the XV Pan American Games Rio 2007, winning a bronze medal in the 10-team competition.

Sinclair played in 14 matches in 2007, 13 of which were considered full internationals. The team posted seven wins, two draws and five losses in those games and rose to ninth in the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Rankings. On 30 August 2007 in Tokyo, Japan, she became the third Canadian to win 100 caps with the senior team.

Along the way, she scored 16 times in 2007, including three goals at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. She became the nation’s all-time leader with six FIFA World Cup goals. She also posted two hat tricks in 2007, both at the XV Pan American Games. On 18 July against Jamaica, she became just the third Canadian to post her second-career four-goal game.

She became the all-time Canadian leader for senior goals on 3 June 2007 when she scored her record-breaking 72nd goal. In eight years with the national team, she has scored 84 goals in 103 senior games.

“Her amazing talent was obvious from day one, so the only question was whether she would be willing to match this talent with the right level of commitment and right volume of training,” says Pellerud of Sinclair’s outstanding career. “Over the years, she has answered all these questions. We now observe on a daily basis her world-class performance level.”

After Sinclair and Canada finished ninth at the FIFA Women’s World Cup (Canada’s fourth-straight entry in the event), they began training in November for the 2008 Olympic Qualification Tournament. In December, Sinclair was nominated for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award (won by Brasil’s Marta).

“Christine has set new standards for all Canadian players growing up and those standards are high,” says Pellerud. “Any new talent coming up will be compared to the still-young Christine. You can’t find a better measuring stick today!”

Earlier this week, Sinclair’s teammate Sophie Schmidt was named a co-winner of the Canadian U-20 Players of the Year award (along with Asmir Begovic) while Monica Lam-Feist was named a co-winner of the Canadian U-17 Players of the Year award (along with Olivier Lacoste-Lebuis). Sinclair (24 years old), Schmidt (19) and Lam-Feist (16) are all currently in China at the Four Nations Tournament with the Winners – Canadian women’s national team.

“Winners is proud to support the Canadian Soccer Association and, in particular, the women’s national team and women’s U-20 national team,” says Michael MacMillan, President, Winners Merchants International. “We are extremely excited about the upcoming competitions in which these teams are both expected to compete – the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament and the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Chile 2008. On behalf of the entire Winners team, I wish to congratulate both Christine Sinclair and Sophie Schmidt as recipients of the 2007 Canadian Player of the Year for their respective national-team programs.”

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