Sinclair leads Canada’s squad into her 6th WWC

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Christine Sinclair will travel to her sixth Women’s World Cup as she leads a 23-player Canada squad named on Sunday that is hungry to build on their breakthrough Olympic gold.

Three-times Canadian Player of the Year Kadeisha Buchanan and her Chelsea team mate Jessie Fleming, who was named Canada’s top player in 2021 and 2022, are among the veterans named along with midfielder Sophie Schmidt in her fifth World Cup.

The tournament kicks off on July 20 in Australia and New Zealand.

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“Every single person has given their all to make this squad. 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, who holds the international goal-scoring record (190), is already a Canadian soccer great with 323 international appearances. She hopes to become the first player to score in six different World Cups.

The 40-year-old will be backed up by six newcomers including 18-year-old Olivia Smith, who has made just two appearances for the senior team.

The average age of the squad is 27, Canadian Soccer said.

Canada are ranked seventh in the world and left Tokyo with gold medals around their necks two years ago but their run up to the tournament has been far from smooth with key players, including forward Janine Beckie, sidelined due to injury.

Sweden eliminated Canada in the last 16 in France four years ago.

“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 players have also been locked in a pay dispute with their federation, boycotting a February practice and at one point threatening to boycott the four-team tournament.

Canada kick off their World Cup against Nigeria on July 21 in Group B.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Kailen Sheridan (San Diego Wave FC), Sabrina D’Angelo (Arsenal FC), Lysianne Proulx (SCU Torreense)

Defenders: Kadeisha Buchanan (Chelsea), Vanessa Gilles (Olympique Lyonnais), Shelina Zadorsky (Tottenham Hotspur), Allysha Chapman (Houston Dash), Ashley Lawrence (Paris Saint-Germain), Jayde Riviere (Manchester United), Gabrielle Carle (Washington Spirit)

Midfielders: Quinn (OL Reign), Simi Awujo (University of Southern California), Jessie Fleming (Chelsea), Julia Grosso(Juventus), Sophie Schmidt (Houston Dash)

Forwards: Jordyn Huitema (OL Reign), Cloe Lacasse (Benfica), Adriana Leon (Portland Thorns), Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns), Nichelle Prince (Houston Dash), Deanne Rose (Reading), Evelyne Viens (Kristianstads), Olivia Smith (Pennsylvania State University)

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