Canada Soccer will honour Olympic champions Erin McLeod, Sophie Schmidt and Christine Sinclair as part of the home match festivities at Vancouver’s BC Place on 5 December 2023. The three legendary footballers have all left international football after remarkable Canada careers which culminated with an Olympic Gold Medal at Tokyo in 2021.
McLeod announced her departure from international football earlier this year while both Schmidt and Sinclair plan to make their final international appearance in their home province at BC Place against Australia. Sinclair has represented Canada at the international level since 2000, McLeod since 2002 and Schmidt since 2005.
Since 2015, Canada Soccer have made a commitment to honour their outgoing Olympic Medal Winners at home international matches, thus giving fans an opportunity to celebrate their Canadian heroes one more time on home soil. From 40 players that won Olympic Medals between 2012 and 2021, McLeod, Schmidt and Sinclair will be the 19th, 20th and 21st players that will be celebrated at the end of their international careers.
“What these three players have done for Canada collectively will be very difficult for anyone to replicate, with 672 combined international appearances between them and Canada’s three Olympic Medals, they truly are legends that have laid a foundation for our National Team to carry forward,” said Bev Priestman, Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team Head Coach. “As human beings I have had the pleasure of witnessing the sound values, class and high-performance habits that they have continued to maintain throughout their careers. Off the pitch in 2023, all three players have driven change for our sport and country with gender equality, diversity and inclusion, leaving this team in a better place than they found it. For that reason, we can’t wait to give them the send off they deserve with our fans.”
Across their combined careers, Canada won a youth Silver Medal at the inaugural FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in 2002, finished fourth overall at the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003, qualified for the Olympic Games for the first time in 2008, won the 2010 Concacaf Women’s Championship and 2011 Pan American Games, won back-to-back Olympic Bronze Medals at London 2012 and Rio 2016, and won an Olympic Gold Medal in 2021.
Goalkeeper McLeod leaves international football as Canada’s all-time leader with 119 goalkeeper appearances across 21 seasons from 2002 to 2022. She ranked second all time with 46 career clean sheets for Canada. A tournament All-Star at the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in 2002, McLeod had already made her international “A” debut earlier that season at the 2002 Algarve Cup in Portugal. A three-time runner up in Canada Soccer Player of the Year voting, she represented Canada at three Olympic Games, four FIFA World Cups and six Concacaf tournaments.
One of McLeod’s biggest moments was her Player of the Match performance in the Bronze Medal match at the London 2012 Olympic Games, a 1:0 clean sheet victory over France. Three years later, she had another memorable Player of the Match performance in the Round of 16 at Canada’s home FIFA World Cup, a 1:0 clean sheet victory over Switzerland played in front of a record crowd of 53,855 at BC Place (at the time, the largest in-stadia attendance for a Canadian national team event of any sport ever held in Canada).
Midfielder Schmidt leaves international football ranked second all time with 224 appearances for Canada across 19 seasons from 2005 to 2023. She was Canada Soccer’s U-20 Player of the Year in 2007, the runner up in Canada Soccer Player of the Year voting in 2011, and the Women’s National Team goalscoring leader in 2014. A two-time Women’s National Team assists leader, she represented Canada at four Olympic Games, five FIFA World Cups and eight Concacaf tournaments.
Schmidt earned Canada’s Player of the Match honours in the opener of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, a 1:0 home win over China PR in front of a record crowd of 53,058 at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium. One year later, she scored a dream goal in the Olympic Quarterfinals when Canada eliminated France with a 1:0 at São Paulo in Brazil.
Captain Sinclair leaves international football as Canada’s all-time leader in appearances and the world’s all-time leader in career goals. She was a 14-time Canada Soccer Player of the Year and a recipient of both the Canada Soccer President’s Award and The Best FIFA Special Award for breaking the international goalscoring record. She represented Canada at four Olympic Games, six FIFA World Cups and 10 Concacaf tournaments.
An Officer in the Order of Canada, Sinclair has served as Canada’s captain since 2006, although she made her first start wearing the captain’s armband in Schmidt’s international debut on 19 April 2005. She was also Canada’s captain at the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship Canada 2002 when she was named a tournament All-Star alongside McLeod, also winning both the FIFA Golden Ball and FIFA Golden Shoe. At the international “A” level, Sinclair made 79 of her 329 appearances playing alongside both McLeod and Schmidt.
Tickets to the 5 December match at BC Place, including Upper Bowl seating, are on sale now via CanadaSoccer.com.