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Canada Soccer to honour national team trio during B.C. farewell

Retiring veterans Sinclair, Schmidt and McLeod to be recognized at Australia friendly
Canada’s Christine Sinclair ,centre, and Sophie Schmidt, right, run during a training session at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, July 30, 2023. Captain Sinclair won’t be the only player in the spotlight when Canada hosts Australia in Victoria and Vancouver next month. Veteran goalkeeper Erin McLeod and midfielder Schmidt, who have also called time on their international career, are also being honoured at the Vancouver game. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Scott Barbour

Captain Christine Sinclair won’t be the only player in the spotlight when Canada hosts Australia in Victoria and Vancouver next month.

Veteran goalkeeper Erin McLeod and midfielder Sophie Schmidt, who have also called time on their international careers, are also being honoured at the Dec. 5 Vancouver game.

The friendly at B.C. Place Stadium, which comes four days after the 10th-ranked Canadians face the 11th-ranked Matildas at Starlight Stadium in Langford, B.C., will serve as the curtain call on Sinclair’s decorated international career. More than 35,000 tickets have already been sold for the Vancouver game.

The 40-year-old from Burnaby, B.C., world soccer’s all-time leading scorer with 190 goals from 329 senior appearances, announced in October that she was retiring from international football. The B.C. games, taking place in her backyard, mark her swan song.

Sinclair plans to play one more season for the NWSL Portland Thorns.

Canada Soccer said Schmidt will join the team for the Vancouver game, which will mark her final international appearance. The 35-year-old from Abbotsford, B.C., who has made 224 appearances for Canada, had previously said she would retire from international football after the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

McLeod last played for Canada in October 2021. The 40-year-old from Edmonton, who has won 119 caps, announced her international retirement in January.

Coach Bev Priestman has announced a 25-player squad for the two December games, with a first senior call-up for Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Jeneva Hernandez Gray.

Earlier this month, the 17-year-old from Coquitlam, B.C., was named most promising female player at the Whitecaps Girls Elite Academy.

Hernandez Gray scored the winning goal in last year’s League1 BC final, and provided the assist on the decisive goal this year as the Whitecaps repeated as champions. Hernandez Gray also helped Canada qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Veterans on the squad include Kadeisha Buchanan (138), Ashley Lawrence (124), Jessie Fleming (121 caps), Adriana Leon (103), Quinn (who goes by one name, 95), Nichelle Prince (94), Shelina Zadorsky (93) and Jordyn Huitema (71).

Forward Janine Beckie (101 caps) and midfielder Desiree Scott (186) will join the team in B.C. as they continue their recovery from injury.

The roster also includes 19 year-old midfielder/forward Olivia Smith, 20-year-old defender Jade Rose and 20-year-old midfielder Simi Awujo.

Australia blanked Canada 4-0 at the World Cup in their Group B finale Aug. 31 at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, sending the Canadian women home early after a disappointing campaign. The Matildas went on to finish fourth at the tournament, after losing 3-1 to England in the semifinal and 2-0 to Sweden in the third-place game.

Canada finished 21st in the 32-team tournament.

The Canadians have an 8-8-3 career record against Australia, winning away matches in Brisbane and Sydney in September 2022 before the World Cup. Five of the Canadian losses to Australia came before 2000.

Defending champion Canada is preparing for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Australia continues qualifying play in February in the Asian Football Conference.


Goalkeepers: Sabrina D’Angelo, Arsenal (England);​ Lysianne Proulx, Melbourne City (Australia); Kailen Sheridan, San Diego Wave ​(NWSL).

Defenders: Kadeisha Buchanan, Chelsea (England); Gabrielle Carle, Washington Spirit ​(NWSL); Sydney Collins, North Carolina Courage  ​(NWSL); Vanessa Gilles, Olympique Lyonnais (France); Ashley Lawrence, Chelsea (England); Jayde Riviere, Manchester United (England); Jade Rose, Harvard University (NCAA); Bianca St-Georges, Chicago Red Stars ​(NWSL); Shelina Zadorsky, Tottenham (England).

Midfielders: Simi Awujo, USC (NCAA); Jessie Fleming, Chelsea (England); Julia Grosso, Juventus (Italy); Jeneva Hernandez Gray, Vancouver Whitecaps (USL W-League); Quinn, OL Reign ​​(NWSL); Sophie Schmidt, Houston Dash ​(NWSL).

​Forwards: Jordyn Huitema, OL Reign ​(NWSL); Cloé Lacasse, Arsenal (England); Adriana Leon, Aston Villa ​ (England); Nichelle Prince, Houston Dash ​(NWSL); Christine Sinclair, Portland Thorns (NWSL); Olivia Smith, Sporting CP (Portugal); Evelyne Viens, AS Roma (Italy).

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