Fri, September 20, 2013

A dozen things you need to know about Canadian Olympic soccer star Christine Sinclair

By QMI Agency


Canada's Christine Sinclair is dumped during the London 2012 Olympic Games women's football match at St James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, on July 31, 2012. AL CHAREST/QMI AGENCY


If you hadn't heard of Canadian soccer sensation Christine Sinclair before this week, you certainly have now.

Her three-goal tour de force against the U.S. gave her a permanent place in national Olympic lore, and reinforced what many soccer fans already knew — that she's undoubtedly the best soccer player Canada has ever developed.

But she's not well-known among most Canucks.

So, heading into Thursday's bronze-medal match with France, here are 12 facts on our big No. 12:

  • She started playing soccer at age four with the South Burnaby Metro Club Bees in her B.C. hometown
  • Attended the University of Portland (Oregon) from 2001 to 2005, where she studied life sciences
  • As a senior at Portland, she set an all-time NCAA Div. I record by scoring a whopping 39 times en route to a national title.
  • ESPN The Magazine named her Academic All-American of the Year (remember, she's Canadian) that season.
  • She won the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy — essentially the Heisman of NCAA soccer — in consecutive seasons, just the fourth player to do so.
  • Started playing for Team Canada in 2000
  • Has made 189 caps, or game appearances, for Canada in senior international play
  • Currently has 143 international goals; tied with American Abby Wambach for second all-time. (U.S. soccer legend Mia Hamm holds the record with 158 goals — more than any man or woman in soccer history)
  • Her uncles are Bruce Gant (who played for the old North American Soccer League's Portland Timbers) and Brian Gant (who played for the NASL's Vancouver Whitecaps and Timbers)
  • Has been named Canada's female player of the year seven times
  • Widely considered the best female soccer player on earth
  • Turned 29 on June 6

QUOTABLE:

"I don't think I'd want to be the team that plays us next." — an angry Sinclair following the controversial semifinal loss to the U.S. this week