Christine Sinclair to lead Canada in friendly against England


Christine Sinclair. (Action Foto Sport/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

It’s not quite the scene of the crime but Christine Sinclair will be just 7.5 kilometres away from Old Trafford when she leads Canada out against England on April 5.

The two rivals are meeting at Academy Stadium, home to Canadian teammate Janine Beckie and the Manchester City women’s side. Fourth-ranked England and No. 5 Canada are using the friendly as a tune-up for the Women’s World Cup that kicks off June 7 in France.

Sinclair and the Canadian women have a special bond with Manchester, even if it is a bittersweet one.

The Canada skipper scored three goals against the U.S. in a remarkable performance at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United, in the 2012 Olympic semifinal. The Americans won 4-3 after extra time, with the Canadians fuming over a free kick that eventually led to the penalty that tied the game at 3-3.

Abby Wambach converted that penalty. Sinclair is now chasing the retired American striker’s world record of 184 goals, needing just five to tie her.

The U.S. went on to win gold while Canada took bronze.


Sinclair is just one of four starters from that 2012 thriller in the 23-woman Canada roster for next week’s international. Erin McLeod, Sophie Schmidt and Desiree Scott also played that night. Diana Matheson also started but she is rehabbing a toe injury.

Coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller’s roster includes 10 members of the Canadian team from the 2015 World Cup on home soil where Canada was eliminated 2-1 by England in the quarterfinals.

The 10 veterans are Sinclair, McLeod, Scott, Schmidt, Stephanie Labbe, Kadeisha Buchanan, Allysha Chapman, Ashley Lawrence, Jessie Fleming and Adriana Leon.

Defender-midfielder Rebecca Quinn is recovering from an injury.

Canada is 5-7-0 against England but won 1-0 on a goal by Schmidt when the two teams faced off in Hamilton just prior to the 2015 World Cup.

Canada opens its World Cup campaign against No. 46 Cameroon on June 10 in Montpellier, before facing No. 19 New Zealand in Grenoble on June 15 and the seventh-ranked Netherlands on June 20 in Reims.

Canada Roster

Goalkeepers: Stephanie Labbe, Stony Plain, Alta., North Carolina Courage (NWSL); Erin McLeod, St. Albert, Alta., Vaxjo DFF (Sweden); Sabrina D’Angelo, Welland, Ont., Vittsjo GIK (Sweden).

Defenders: Allysha Chapman, Courtice, Ont., Houston Dash (NWSL); Ashley Lawrence, Caledon, Ont., Paris Saint-Germain (France); Lindsay Agnew, Kingston, Ont., Houston Dash (NWSL); Jenna Hellstrom, Sudbury, Ont., KIF Orebro (Sweden); Jayde Riviere, Markham, Ont., Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite; Vanessa Gilles, Ottawa, Les Girondins de Bordeaux (France); Kadeisha Buchanan, Brampton, Ont., Olympique Lyonnais (France); Shelina Zadorsky, London, Ont., Orlando Pride (NWSL); Shannon Woeller, Vancouver, Eskilstuna United DFF (Sweden).

Midfielders: Julia Grosso, Vancouver, University of Texas (NCAA); Desiree Scott, Winnipeg, Utah Royals FC (NWSL); Jessie Fleming, London, Ont., UCLA (NCAA); Sophie Schmidt, Abbotsford, B.C., Houston Dash (NWSL); Gabrielle Carle, Levis, Que., Florida State University (NCAA).

Forwards: Deanne Rose, Alliston, University of Florida (NCAA); Jordyn Huitema, Chilliwack, B.C., Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite; Nichelle Prince, Ajax, Ont., Houston Dash (NWSL); Christine Sinclair (capt.), Burnaby, B.C., Portland Thorns (NWSL); Janine Beckie, Highlands Ranch, Colo., Manchester City (England); Adriana Leon, King City, Ont., West Ham United (England).

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