Canada, Brazil set to renew women’s soccer rivalry in Ottawa

Karina LeBlanc, head of Women’s CONCACAF, joined Prime Time Sports to talk about how much the sport has grown and where it can go from here.

Fans are in for a treat this weekend when Canada and Brazil face off at Ottawa’s TD Place Stadium in an international women’s friendly.

Never mind two of the world’s best players in Christine Sinclair and Marta going head-to-head. The sides have played some entertaining matches over the years, including their most recent meeting that secured Canada a second consecutive Olympic bronze medal.

Here’s a closer look at Canada and Brazil over the years:

5 — Five players from Brazil’s 22-member roster play in the National Women’s Soccer League. The trio of Marta, Camila and Mônica are teammates of Canada’s Shelina Zadorsky at the Orlando Pride, Debinha suits up with Sabrina D’Angelo with the North Carolina Courage, while Andressinha and Christine Sinclair play together for the Portland Thorns.

7 — Only two spots separate the countries in the FIFA world rankings. Sitting seventh represents a dip for the Brazilian side, as it has averaged a fifth position since the world ranking system was first implemented. Brazil’s lowest ranking was 10th, exactly two years ago. During the late 2000s, Brazil held steady at third and even made it as high as No. 2 in March 2009. Canada is currently fifth.

8 — Brazilian coach Vadão has selected a squad made up of players who suit up professionally around the world. Eight different countries are represented on his roster, including the Brazilian domestic league, the United States, Spain, China, Germany, South Korea, Portugal and Italy.

11 — Captain Sinclair is inching closer and closer to tying Abby Wambach’s record of 184 international goals. Now 11 away, she scored earlier this summer during a loss in a friendly versus Germany in Hamilton, Ont. Eight of Sinclair’s goals have come against Brazil, her earliest in 2006 at the Peace Queen Cup in South Korea. For those keeping track, Sinclair has scored 173 goals in 268 matches for Canada in her career.

20 — Canada and Brazil have faced one another 20 times. The earliest meeting dates back to 1996, a 2-1 win for Brazil in San Diego. Canada’s first victory against the South Americans came in July 2003 in Montreal. Quebec-native Rhian Wilkinson scored the game-winner in just her second cap with the senior team.

 
Christine Sinclair on the state of the National Team without Jon Herdman
August 16 2018

23 — Number of players on Kenneth Heiner-Møller’s Canadian roster. Twenty-two of them have senior experience.

25.13 — Average age of the Canadian squad. Five teenagers are in the group (Maya Antoine, Julia Grosso, Jordyn Huitema, Jayde Riviere and Deanne Rose). An appearance by Antoine would mark her senior debut. The 17-year-old centre-back was named to the Best XI at this year’s CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship. She has represented Canada at the U-15, U-17 and U-20 levels.

35 — The two oldest Canadian players are Sinclair and goalkeeper Erin McLeod at 35 years old. Combined, they have played an incredible 385 international matches.

110 — Marta, a five-time FIFA Player of the Year, has scored 110 international goals in 120 appearances. That’s a rate of 0.97 per match — the highest of any active top 10 goal scorer in the women’s game.

2016 — Leading up to the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Canada and Brazil split a two-game series. The visitors won the first match 2-0 in Toronto, while the home side came away with an entertaining 1-0 victory in Ottawa thanks to a Janine Beckie goal in the 90th minute.

39,718 — A big crowd was in attendance for the bronze medal game between the two sides at the 2016 Olympics. Sinclair and Rose scored to secure a 2-1 win for the Canadians and a spot on the podium. With her tally, Rose became the youngest goalscorer in the history of the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament.

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