WNT: Gayle makes birthday appearance

By having all 20 of her players see action in the first two matches, head coach Carolina Morace added to a subtle stat in Canadian women’s team history: players who have made an appearance on their birthday. In Canada’s big 8:0 victory over Guyana on Sunday 31 October, right back Robyn Gayle celebrated her 25th birthday by coming on as a second-half substitution for starter Rhian Wilkinson.

By having all 20 of her players see action in the first two matches, head coach Carolina Morace added to a subtle stat in Canadian women’s team history: players who have made an appearance on their birthday. In Canada’s big 8:0 victory over Guyana on Sunday 31 October, right back Robyn Gayle celebrated her 25th birthday by coming on as a second-half substitution for starter Rhian Wilkinson.



It was Gayle’s fourth appearance this year and 31st of her career in the Sunday night victory. She already has significant experience for Canada, having first played at age 20 in a win over Italy at home in Toronto. She has since represented Canada at one FIFA Women’s World Cup (China 2007), one Women’s Olympic Football Tournament (Beijing 2008), and three CONCACAF qualification tournaments (2006, 2008 and 2010). She has also won silver (2003) and bronze (2007) medals at the Pan American Games.



Gayle is the first birthday girl to play for Canada since, well, since Wilkinson played for Canada on 12 May 2007. Wilkinson was also 25 in her birthday appearance, a 2:6 loss to the world’s number-one ranked USA in an international friendly match. Wilkinson was one of two Canadian goal scorers on that day.



Other birthday appearances have been Christine Sinclair at age 20 in a 4:0 win over Mexico (Sinclair scored the opening goal); Breanna Boyd at age 19 in 2000 (5:1 over Japan) and a year later at age 20 in 2001 (2:5 loss to Sweden); Janine (Wood) Helland at age 21 in a 6:0 win over Trinidad and Tobago (CONCACAF Championship); and goalkeeper Sue Redepenning-Simon at age 26 in an 0:2 loss to Sweden.



After two matches, Canada is the only team at the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifier with all 20 players to have seen action. Canada, Mexico, USA and Costa Rica have all qualified for the semi-final stage, with match ups to be determined after the Monday (USA v Costa Rica) and Tuesday (Canada v Mexico) group matches.



Canada, whose title sponsor is Winners and presenting sponsor is Teck, is taking part in the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifier from 28 October to 8 November. Canada has qualified for each of the last four FIFA Women’s World Cups and hopes to make it five straight with a qualification to Germany 2011.

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