Christine Sinclair honored as Canadian Soccer Association Player of the Year
Goal scoring powerhouse Christine Sicnlair honored as Canadian Soccer Assocation Player of the Year for a seventh consecutive year.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (December 15, 2011) – The Canadian Soccer Association announced today that 2011 WPS Championship MVP and Western New York Flash forward Christine Sinclair is the female selection for the 2011 BMO Canadian Players of the Year award.
The winner of the annual award is selected by Canadian media (50%) and Canadian coaches who have taken the Canadian Soccer Association’s national course at the B and A levels (50%). Voters take into consideration the player’s performance in the past year for both club and international competition.
Other WPS Stars joining Sinclair among the top female Canadian soccer players from 2011 were Sophie Schmidt (free agent), Karina LeBlanc (Sky Blue FC) and Candace Chapman (Sky Blue FC).
Sinclair – whose career with the Canadian Women’s National team spans more than a decade – has been honored with her country’s top award for seven-consecutive years (every year since the award was re-introduced in 2005).
2011 was another successful year for Sinclair that included a WPS Championship presented by Citi in August, and the first-ever Pam-Am gold medal for the Canadian women in October.
Sinclair scored 10 goals and eight assists in 15 WPS matches during her 2011 campaign. She has led WPS in assists in each of the past two seasons, and is also one of only two players in the league’s three-year history to have scored more than 10 goals in back-to-back seasons, the other being her Flash teammate and five-time FIFA World Player of the Year Marta.
Sinclair stood out in the WPS Championship presented by Citi, scoring the opening goal of the match which ended in a 1-1 tie, and finishing her shot from the penalty mark in the shootout which helped her team to the 5-4 victory. Her title-winning performance in the WPS Championship match earned Sinclair the match’s Most Valuable Player title and marked her second-straight WPS Championship.
Another memorable match was Sinclair’s first match back without her protective mask used at the end of Canada’s run at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011. With more than 15,000 fans in the stands – a WPS attendance record – for a WPS league match, Sinclair scored two goals and one assist in a 3:1 Western New York Flash victory over magicJack.
On the international side, Sinclair led her team Canada with eight goals in 20 matches and has now led the national team in goal scoring in 11 out of 12 seasons. She also became just the fifth player to score her 120th career international goal and sits atop Canada’s record books as her country’s all-time leading female goal scorer.
The highlight from Sinclair’s 2011 international season was a gold medal at the Pan American Games Guadalajara 2011. Down 0-1 late in the championship final, Sinclair scored the equalizer that sent the final to extra time. The match ended in a 1:1 draw, but Canada came away with a gold medal after winning 4-3 on kicks from the penalty mark.
Perhaps the most memorable moment of Sinclair’s 2011 campaign was a free kick goal she scored against two-time defending champion Germany in the opening match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011. In front of 73,000 German supporters (with a broken nose suffered earlier in the second half), Sinclair curled a perfect free kick over the wall and into the corner of the net.
Next up for the Flash’s Canadian Soccer Star is the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament January 19-29, which will be held minutes away from her home town in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Following, Sinclair will return to WPS action when the League opens its fourth season in April of 2012.