Twenty for Canada 2015: Canada's Christine Sinclair

(Soccer America continues its countdown to the 2015 Women's World Cup with the 15th of 20 profiles of the women to watch in Canada.)

No less a player than U.S. women's national team keeper Hope Solo says Christine Sinclair is the best player in the world. She knows from experience.

CHRISTINE SINCLAIR:
Country: Canada
Age: 31. Position: Forward
Club: Portland Thorns
Twitter: @sincy12

Sinclair had one of the great individual games in women's soccer history when she scored three goals to give Canada the lead three times in its semifinal against the USA at the 2012 Olympic Games before finally losing, 4-3, in overtime. The outcome was controversial as the USA equalized after a rare call against Canada keeper Erin McLeod for delay of game.



“It’s a shame in a game like that, that was so important, the ref decided the result before it started," said Sinclair, whose post-game remarks critical of Norwegian referee Christiana Pedersen earned her a four-game international suspension from FIFA.

All the pressure will be on Sinclair at home as Canada hosts the 2015 Women's World Cup. It is considered the weakest of the six seeds.

"You don't always get to see how brilliant she is," Solo told the CBC last year, "because she doesn't always have the support players but I think now she's starting to get the support players she needs to really highlight her own play."

Solo placed Sinclair ahead of her U.S. teammate, Abby Wambach, the only player in the world with more international goals that Sinclair's 153 for Canada, and Brazilian Marta, the five-time Women's Player of the Year.

"She plays both sides of the ball," Solo added. "Marta, she gets the ball with her feet, she can score goals. But Christine Sinclair, she reads the game, she passes, she gets assists and she's dangerous every time she gets the ball."

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
11. Asisat Oshoala
12. Lianne Sanderson
13. Louisa Necib
14. Ali Riley

The niece of former NASL players Bruce and Brian Gant, Sinclair grew up in Burnaby, British Columbia, and attended the University of Portland, where she led the Pilots to NCAA titles in 2002 and 2005. She set a Division I goal-scoring record with 39 goals in 2005.

TRIVIA. Sinclair wears No. 12 after former Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Roberto Alomar. She played Little League baseball as a girl growing up in Burnaby.
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