|Christine Sinclair, of Canada, celebrates her goal against Mexico with teammates during the first half of their semifinal CONCACAF Women's Olympic qualifying soccer match in Vancouver, British Columbia January 27, 2012. (REUTERS)
Forward Christine Sinclair was among the 18 players named Monday to the Canadian women's soccer team that will play in the 2012 Olympics.
Sinclair, who has scored 134 goals in 180 games for the Canadian team, will captain the veteran-laden team, which includes six players who have represented Canada on more than 100 occasions -- Diana Matheson, Rhian Wilkinson, Brittany Timko, Candace Chapman and Karina LeBlanc. Fourteen players on the roster helped Canada qualify for the Games during the CONCACAF tournament in Vancouver last January and 12 played for Canada at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
"We're a very confident team right now and we feel that on any given day we can beat the Japans, the U.S.A.'s, the Swedens," Sinclair said on a conference call with media Monday. "But realistically we haven't shown that in a huge tournament like the Olympics or World Cup in quite some time. We're a confident team and we fell that we can beat them, but that's just words. We have to actually do it."
LeBlanc and Erin McLeod will share the goaltending duties while Sinclair, Melissa Tancredi and Timko lead Canada's forward crew. Veterans Matheson and Sophie Schmidt were among the group of five midfielders named to the team while Wilkinson and Chapman anchor the back line.
Lauren Sesselmann, Chelsea Stewart, Kelly Parker, Desiree Scott, Kaylyn Kyle and Carmelina Moscato will all be making their Olympic debuts in London.
Canada opens the Olympic tournament July 25 against Japan in Coventry and later plays South Africa and Sweden. Japan won the 2011 World Cup in Germany while Sweden took the bronze medal.