Twenty for Canada 2015: England's Lianne Sanderson

With the international retirement of Kelly Smith, her Arsenal Ladies teammate, Lianne Sanderson could be the go-to player England is seeking as it attempts to reach the knockout phase of the Women's World Cup for the third straight time.

Country: England
Age: 27. Position: Forward
Club: Arsenal
Twitter: @liannesanderson

After a disappointing performance in a loss to the USA in February, the English, who face France, Colombia and Mexico at the Women's World Cup, got a boost in March at the Cyprus Cup, where they beat Canada, 1-0, in the final on a goal by Sanderson.

"We played every game like it was a cup final," she said of the tournament, "and we know we have to do that in the World Cup."

To prepare for the Women's World Cup, Sanderson returned to England after five seasons in the United States and rejoined Arsenal Ladies, the club at which she started her career as a teenager.

Women's World Cup: TV Schedule

Last season, Sanderson played with the Boston Breakers, where she and her fiancee, Joanna Lohman, were the only openly gay couple competing for the same pro team.

Breakers coach Tom Durkin told the Boston Globe that Sanderson and Lohman were “yin and yang," Sanderson the more emotional of the two and certainly the more soccer-driven.

Twenty for Canada 2015:
1. Veronica Boquete
2. Lara Dickenmann
3. Wendie Renard
4. Samantha Kerr
5. Ji So-Yun
6. Eugenie Le Sommer
7. Marta
8. Dzsenifer Marozsan
9. Vivianne Miedema
10. Aya Miyama

She says her father encouraged her to play pro soccer in the United States and she followed his advice: “Just make sure you take care of soccer and everything else will fall into place.”

Sanderson, who is instantly recognizable with her short blond Mohawk, and Lohmann started a foundation, JoLi Academy, so young women in underprivileged countries can have some of the opportunities they have had.
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