Canadian soccer players pledge part of salaries to Common Goal movement


Christine Sinclair. (Andy Jacobsohn/AP)

TORONTO — Canada will be helping others while going trophy-hunting at this summer’s Women’s World Cup.

Canada captain Christine Sinclair and 13 other national team players have followed veteran goalkeeper Erin McLeod’s lead in joining Common Goal, pledging one per cent of their salaries to the football-based charity movement.

McLeod signed on with the non-profit organization in February, joining other world soccer stars like Manchester United’s Juan Mata, Juventus’ Giorgio Chiellini and U.S. international Alex Morgan.

Common Goal is the creation of streetfootballworld, which boasts a global network of more than 120 soccer-based organizations that use the sport to tackle social issues ranging from gender equality in India to peace-building in Colombia and refugee integration in Germany.

The other Canadian players to join Common Goal are Adriana Leon, Desiree Scott, Janine Beckie, Jenna Hellstrom, Jordyn Huitema, Kadeisha Buchanan, Lindsay Agnew, Rebecca Quinn, Sabrina D’Angelo, Shannon Woeller, Shelina Zadorsky, Sophie Schmidt and Stephanie Labbe.

Former Canadian international Robyn Gayle, now a team official, has also signed on.

Common Goal says the Canadian women are the organization’s first "international XI."

In an essay for The Players Tribune, McLeod says the Canadian players decided to join after striking a new compensation deal with the Canadian Soccer Association in March.

"So it was like ‘Wouldn’t it be great if one of the first things we did, as Canadians, was to donate some of the money to the greater good?’ Why wouldn’t I want to be a part of this?" wrote McLeod, who will miss the tournament that starts June 7 in France due to injury.

"I talked to some of my teammates about it. They said yes right away. Then someone told me, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to have a whole team?’ That really fired me up. I was like, ‘Yes! That’s gonna be us.’

"And so now, I am extremely proud to say that 15 of the girls on our team have signed up for Common Goal. At the World Cup this summer, Canada will have the first Common Goal XI. It wasn’t even a hard sell. We wanted to make history. We wanted to give something back."

Common Goal started 20 months ago with Spain’s Mata pledging one per cent of his salary to a collective fund. The program says it now has close to 100 players, with US$1.3 million generated so far for football-related charities around the world.

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