Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
A University of Portland Pilot legend, Christine Sinclair has become one of the best female strikers in the world, most recently leading her Canadian national team to a bronze medal in the London Olympics.
One of two international superstars on the Thorns' roster, Christine Sinclair is certainly the most accomplished. At age 29, she is currently in third place behind Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach in career international goals, with 143.
A native of Burnaby, BC, Sinclair made her first appearance for the Canadian National Team as a teenager during the 2000 Algarve Cup, during which she led her team in scoring. She then attended the University of Portland, where she led the Pilots to the college's two national women's soccer titles. In 94 career matches as a Pilot, Sinclair scored 110 goals, including an NCAA Division I-leading 39 goals her senior year. Her junior and senior year performances earned her two consecutive Herman Trophies, a feat shared in the women's game only by Cindy Parlow Cone and Mia Hamm.
As a professional, Sinclair led two teams, FC Gold Pride and Western New York Flash, to WPS titles in 2010 and 2011, scoring 10 goals in 15 matches in her most recent professional season.
She is known most recently for scoring a hattrick in the semi-final match of the London Olympics against the United States -- the first hattrick scored against the US since 2001 (thanks to Mike Donovan for finding that tidbit). Canada lost the match in spite of her efforts, thanks to a few baffling calls on the part of the referee. Her reaction to the loss in the press endeared her even more to Canadian fans, as she was chosen to carry their flag during the closing ceremonies, but it may have cost her votes for the FIFA World Player of the Year.
Too many to count, but here are but a smattering:
2002 U-19 Women's World Championship Golden Boot and Golden Ball
Every Canadian Player of the Year award since 2005, and two more before that
2 Herman Trophies
2012 Lou Marsh Award (the first footballer of either gender to win)
Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
Sinclair is a studious, intense, focused player, with raw athletic talent overshadowed only by her intrinsic understanding of the game. As difficult as it is to imagine, remembering the impressive start to her career as a teenager, Sinclair has continued to improve her game throughout her career, putting up ever more impressive numbers. If she stays healthy, look for her to continue to put her stamp on the game as a Thorn. I can't wait to start watching her from the North End.