Skip to content

Burnaby's Christine Sinclair begins quest for fourth NWSL championship

The Canadian soccer legend tallied three goals in 19 games this past season, captaining the Portland Thorns to an automatic semifinals berth — again.
Burnaby soccer icon Christine Sinclair walks out as captain of Portland Thorns FC during a 2023 NWSL regular season match. She's now one win away from playing for a fourth league title.

Christine Sinclair, fresh off announcing her retirement from international competition, is now focusing on winning back-to-back National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) championships, as well as the fourth of her club career.

And thanks to her leadership, she's captained Portland Thorns FC's return to the playoffs in an all-too-familiar position.

The Burnaby attacker guided the team to a seventh consecutive semifinals berth in the NWSL playoffs.

Portland finished with a record of 10-7-5, good enough for second place in the 2023 regular season and a first-round postseason bye.

Sinclair's contributions to the Thorns in her latest campaign included three goals on 20 shots — 10 of which were on target — in 19 games.

The 40-year-old logged one assist, 1,033 minutes on the pitch and completed 268 successful passes throughout the year.

Sinclair's three previous NWSL championships were all with the Thorns, won in 2013, 2017 and 2022.

Last year, Portland defeated San Diego Wave FC in the semis and Kansas City Current in the final to claim a third star on their jerseys.

Sinclair, a Burnaby South Secondary grad, exercised her contract option in November 2022 to play the 2023 season with Portland.

She reached a career milestone on Oct. 7 with her 175th appearance in an NWSL match.

The semifinal is set for Nov. 5. Sinclair and Portland will host the winner of the quarterfinal match, taking place tomorrow, Oct. 22, between North Carolina Courage and NJ/NY Gotham FC.

On Friday, Oct. 20, Sinclair confirmed she was retiring from the Canadian women's national soccer team after nearly 25 years in a red and white jersey.

This, after six World Cup appearances, three Olympic medals including gold at Tokyo 2020, one Northern Star Award (2012, Canada's Athlete of the Year), a spot on Canada's Walk of Fame (2013), inductions to the Order of Canada and B.C. (2017 and 2022) and The Best FIFA Special Award for being the leading international goal-scorer (2022).

"I can sit here and know that I've literally done everything I can and given all of me to this national team since I was 16 years old," Sinclair said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

"In terms of what I've done and knowing the work I've put into it, I have zero regrets … I know I've done everything I can for as long as I can. And the team's in good hands moving forward."

Sinclair is slated to play in two friendlies for Canada in Montreal, Oct. 28, and Halifax, Oct. 31 — both against Brazil. 

Two other friendlies are set to be played between Nov. 27 and Dec. 6, which is FIFA's last international window of the year.

The Canadians are rumoured to square up against Australia in Vancouver and Victoria, though nothing has been announced as of this publication.

Sinclair received a standing ovation in Toronto on Sept. 26, coming onto the BMO Field pitch with 35 minutes left in regulation to help Canada win 4-1 on aggregate over Jamaica and qualifi for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics.

That was, now officially, her last meaningful game on home soil.