Christine Sinclair, aged 40, has been selected to participate in her sixth Women’s World Cup. She will lead a group of 23 Canadian players who are eager to capitalize on their previous success of winning Olympic gold.
The squad includes experienced players such as Kadeisha Buchanan, a three-time Canadian Player of the Year, as well as Jessie Fleming, who was recognized as Canada’s top player in both 2021 and 2022. Additionally, Sophie Schmidt, a midfielder, will be participating in her fifth World Cup.
The competition begins in Australia and New Zealand on July 20.
“It’s a great mix of veterans, experienced and new players who can all bring something different this summer,” coach Bev Priestman said in a statement.
Sinclair, a Canadian football legend with 323 international appearances, currently holds the record for the most international goals (190). Her ambition is to become the first player to score in six consecutive World Cups.
“She’s humble on the top and then below is this competitive high performer,” Priestman told reporters.
“I’m 37 and I’m thinking, ‘She’s three years older than me and she’s putting this out.’ And we did fitness testing, she’s come out brilliantly in that area. I’m in awe as many Canadians are as to what Christine is doing.”
Sinclair will receive support from six new players, one of whom is Olivia Smith, an 18-year-old who has only played twice for the senior team.
“(Smith is) young but she’s got some great experience in our youth system,” said Priestman. “I think she’s come in and to be honest she’s been absolutely outstanding. I can tell the players are blown away with her impact coming in.”
Midfielder Desiree Scott, who has participated in the 2011, 2015, and 2019 World Cups, was noticeably absent from the list. On Sunday, she admitted that her injury recovery was not at the level required for her to perform at her best.
“I’m naturally devastated for the players who have missed out, especially due to injuries, but I know every player will be with us on our journey and have been pivotal in getting us to this point,” said Priestman.
The team members have been involved in a salary disagreement with their federation. Priestman stated that this disagreement has not caused any distractions within her team and she anticipates that the negotiations will be concluded before the first match of the World Cup.
“I know they’re in their final stages of getting things across the line,” she added. “There’s been every effort on both parties.”
Canada will begin their World Cup campaign against Nigeria on July 21 in Group B.
Canada 2023 Women’s World Cup Squad
Goalkeepers: Kailen Sheridan, Sabrina D’Angelo, Lysianne Proulx
Defenders: Kadeisha Buchanan, Vanessa Gilles, Shelina Zadorsky, Allysha Chapman, Ashley Lawrence, Jayde Riviere, Gabrielle Carle
Midfielders: Quinn, Simi Awujo, Jessie Fleming, Julia Gross, Sophie Schmidt
Forwards: Jordyn Huitema, Cloe Lacasse, Adriana Leon, Christine Sinclair, Nichelle Prince, Deanne Rose, Evelyne Viens, Olivia Smith