Canada has announced its official roster for the FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011. Coach Carolina Morace has selected 21 players, including South Burnaby star international Christine Sinclair, eligible to play in the world's biggest women's sporting event, which runs this Friday, June 26 to July 17 in nine German cities.
All 16 national rosters are posted on FIFA.com, including those of Canada's opening round opponents Germany (June 26 in Berlin), France (June 30 in Bochum) and Nigeria (July 5 in Dresden).
This will mark Canada's fifth-consecutive participation in the FIFA Women's World Cup dating back to 1995. The team has also already qualified for the next FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015, when the event will be hosted by Canada.
Of note on the Canadian roster, goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc has been selected for her fourth FIFA Women's World Cup, making her just the second Canadian to earn that distinction. Canada's only other four-time FIFA Women's World Cup participant is Andrea Neil, now an assistant coach (along with Elisabetta Bavagnoli) on coach Morace's staff.
Canada's captain and all-time leader in appearances is Christine Sinclair, now taking part in her third FIFA Women's World Cup. Sinclair ranks amongst the top-5 all-time global leaders in international goals, with 116 to her credit in 159 career matches.
Canada's vice-captain is Diana Matheson, who ranks second amongst active players with 122 career appearances for Canada. Sinclair, Matheson, Erin McLeod, Rhian Wilkinson, and former Burnaby Girls Soccer Club product Brittany Timko are all taking part in their third FIFA Women's World Cup.
Sinclair, Matheson, Timko (101) and Wilkinson (100) are all part of Canada's century club. An additional seven players have made 50 or more appearances. Counting all 21 players, this squad has made 1,244 player appearances at the international level, an average of nearly 60 matches per player.
Nine players are taking part in their first FIFA Women's World Cup. The youngest players are Jonelle Filigno (still only 20) and Chelsea Stewart (just turned 21), both of whom have won Canadian under-20 player of the year honours in recent years.
Of the nine first-time participants at the FIFA Women's World Cup, three are actually taking part in their first-ever FIFA event: Christina Julien, Marie-Eve Nault and Kelly Parker. The other six players have all previously taken part in at least one FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup.
Along with Canada's official list of 21 players, coach Morace has selected four alternates that would be selected in case of injury before the opening match.
Canada, whose title sponsor is Winners and presenting sponsor is Teck, has a 2011 record of 10 wins, one draw and two losses in 13 matches. This marks the first time Canada has won 10 or more games in back-to-back seasons. Canada also enters the FIFA Women's World Cup as the reigning CONCACAF champions, having won the confederation title back in November in CancÃºn, Mexico