Soccer Canada will honor Olympic champions Erin McLeod, Sophie Schmidt and Christine Sinclair as part of the home match festivities at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver on December 5, 2023. The three legendary soccer players have left international soccer after a stellar career in Canada that culminated in a gold medal. Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021.
McLeod announced her departure from international football earlier this year, while Schmidt and Sinclair both plan to play their final caps in their home turf at BC Place against Australia. Sinclair has represented Canada at the international level since 2000, MacLeod since 2002, and Schmidt since 2005.
Since 2015, Canada Football has been committed to honoring outgoing Olympic medalists in international home matches, giving fans the opportunity to celebrate their Canadian heroes once again on home soil. Of the 40 players who won Olympic medals between 2012 and 2021, McLeod, Schmidt and Sinclair will be the 19th, 20th and 21st players to 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 caps between them and Canada’s three Olympic medals, they are truly legends who have laid the foundation for our national team moving forward.” said Bev Priestman, head coach of Canada’s women’s national soccer team. “As human beings, it has been a privilege to witness the sound values, uplifting habits and high performance that they have continued to uphold throughout their careers. Off the field in 2023, all three players have led change in our sport and our country through gender equity, diversity and inclusion, leaving this team in A better place than he found it. That’s why we can’t wait to give them the farewell they deserve with our fans.
During their careers, Canada won the Youth Silver Medal at the inaugural FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in 2002, finished fourth at the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup USA, qualified for the Olympic Games for the first time in 2008, and won the Women’s Under-19 World Championship title 19 years FIFA. She won the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s Championship and the 2011 Pan American Games, won back-to-back Olympic bronze medals at London 2012 and Rio 2016, and won Olympic gold in 2021.
Goalie MacLeod leaves international soccer as Canada’s all-time leader with 119 goalkeeper appearances in 21 seasons from 2002 to 2022. She ranks second all-time with 46 clean sheets for Canada. An All-Star at the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in 2002, McLeod had made her debut at international ‘A’ level earlier that season at the 2002 Algarve Cup in Portugal. She has placed second three times in voting for Canada’s Women’s Soccer Player of the Year, and has represented Canada in three Olympic Games, four World Cups and six CONCACAF Championships.
One of McLeod’s biggest moments was her player of the match performance in the bronze medal match at the 2012 London Olympics, a 1:0 clean sheet win over France. Three years later, she produced a memorable player-of-the-match performance in the round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup in Canada, a 1:0 clean-sheet win over Switzerland in front of a record crowd of 53,855 at BC Place (at the time). , the largest stadium attendance for a Canadian national team event of any sport ever held in Canada).
Midfielder Schmidt leaves international soccer ranked second of all time making 224 appearances for Canada in 19 seasons from 2005 to 2023. She was Canada’s Under-20 Women’s Player of the Year in 2007, and runner-up in Canada’s Women’s Footballer of the Year voting in 2011, and the women’s national team goalscorer in 2014. She assisted the women’s national team twice, representing Canada in four Olympic Games, five FIFA World Cups and eight CONCACAF Championships.
Schmidt was named Canada’s Player of the Year in the opening match of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada, following a 1:0 home win over China in front of a record crowd of 53,058 at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton. One year later, she scored a dream goal in the Olympic quarterfinals when Canada beat France 1:0 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Captain Sinclair leaves international soccer as Canada’s all-time leader in appearances and the world’s all-time leader in career goals. She has been named Canada’s Women’s Soccer Player of the Year 14 times and has received the Canadian Soccer President’s Award and a special FIFA Player of the Year award for breaking the international goal-scoring record. She has represented Canada in four Olympics, six World Cup Finals and 10 CONCACAF Championships.
An Officer of the Order of Canada, Sinclair has served as Canada’s captain since 2006, although she made her first start wearing the captain’s armband on Schmidt’s international debut on April 19, 2005. She also captained Canada at the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship. Canada 2002 when she was named an All-Star alongside McLeod, and also won the FIFA Ballon d’Or and the FIFA Golden Boot. At international A level, Sinclair featured in 79 of the 329 matches played alongside both McLeod and Schmidt.
Tickets for the Dec. 5 game at BC Place, including Upper Bowl seats, are on sale now at CanadaSoccer.com.