Sinclair And Rustad Take Season Off

VANCOUVER (Wednesday, June 25, 2003) – It was announced today that superstar striker Christine Sinclair of Burnaby has decided to sit out this W-League season, allowing her to rest up and concentrate on preparing for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup, which kicks off September 20 in the US.



Over the past 12 months, Sinclair has enjoyed tremendous success, despite an exhausting schedule that has seen her divide her time between four different teams: the Canadian National Team, the Canadian U-19s, the University of Portland, and the Vancouver Breakers (now Whitecaps). In 2002, in all competitions, she scored an astonishing 76 goals in 56 games, with most of those games coming in the latter half of the year.

VANCOUVER (Wednesday, June 25, 2003) – It was announced today that superstar striker Christine Sinclair of Burnaby has decided to sit out this W-League season, allowing her to rest up and concentrate on preparing for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup, which kicks off September 20 in the US.



Over the past 12 months, Sinclair has enjoyed tremendous success, despite an exhausting schedule that has seen her divide her time between four different teams: the Canadian National Team, the Canadian U-19s, the University of Portland, and the Vancouver Breakers (now Whitecaps). In 2002, in all competitions, she scored an astonishing 76 goals in 56 games, with most of those games coming in the latter half of the year.



“Obviously we’re disappointed that we’ll be without Christine as we once again challenge for the W-League Championship,” said Whitecaps Director of Soccer Operations Bob Lenarduzzi, “but we fully understand her need to take a break. Canada’s success at the Women’s World Cup is obviously Christine’s top priority, and we completely support her decision.”



Sinclair has not played a game for the Whitecaps this season. Last year, national team commitments allowed her to play only four games for Vancouver, and she still finished as the team’s top scorer with 7 goals and 2 assists. In 10 career games for Vancouver, she has 9 goals and 6 assists to rank 4th in all-time scoring.



Sinclair, who turned 20 on June 12, has scored 38 goals in 47 games for the National Team, and now ranks as Canada’s second all-time scoring leader, tied with veteran Silvana Burtini (Charmaine Hooper is first with 56). Sinclair scored 22 goals in 15 games for the Canadian U-19s last year, while winning both the Golden Ball as tournament MVP and the Golden Boot as top scorer at the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championships. This past winter she led the University of Portland Pilots to the NCAA Division One Championship, scoring 36 goals in 27 games.





DEFENDER CLARE RUSTAD ALSO OPTS OUT

20-year-old National Team defender Clare Rustad of Salt Spring Island, BC, has also opted to sit out Vancouver’s season to rest up for the World Cup. Rustad has played 21 times for the National Team, and like Sinclair, is a former star with the Canadian U-19s. However, Rustad has never played a game for Vancouver, and had not yet reported to the team.



The Whitecaps still feature seven current National Team players on their roster: forwards Kara Lang and Amber Allen, midfielders Andrea Neil, Brittany Timko, and Carmelina Moscato, goalkeeper Erin McLeod, and defender Sasha Andrews. Lang, Allen, and Timko are currently in Vancouver, resting after a recent National Team trip to Mexico. Neil, Moscato, McLeod, and Andrews are with the Whitecaps on their four-game road-trip. Even without their international strikers, the Caps have still managed to score 20 goals in their last three games.

Guidelines for the Return to Soccer

Canada Soccer outlines return to soccer guidelines. The return to soccer guidelines provide member organizations with a five-step process, including a checklist of weighted questions known as the Return to Soccer Assessment Tool.