By Steve Keating
(Reuters) – Christine Sinclair was named to her fifth women’s World Cup team on Saturday and will lead Canada in France where she will have a chance to also claim the career all-time scoring record on the sport’s biggest stage.
Sinclair, who is four goals shy of passing retired U.S. forward Abby Wambach’s mark of 184, has been a cornerstone of the national team for almost two decades, helping Canada to back-to-back bronze-medal performances at the 2016 and 2012 Olympics and fourth place at the 2003 World Cup.
The Canada squad features nine returning players from the 2015 World Cup, including midfielder Sophie Schmidt, who will be playing in her fourth showcase, and Olympique Lyonnais defender Kadeisha Buchanan.
The 22-year-old Buchanan, who recently signed a contract extension with the French and European champions, was a tournament all-star selection and named Best Young Player at the 2015 World Cup.
The fifth-ranked Canadians will be an interesting blend of experience and youth with midfielder Julia Grosso, forward Jordyn Huitema and fullback Jayde Riviere all 18 years old.
“We are going there to win it but we have been very good at taking things one step at a time,” said coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller. “We didn’t look beyond the Algarve Cup and we didn’t look beyond matches against England or Spain; we only looked at what was right in front of us.
“Right now, there are three group matches in front of us and we are focused very clearly on Cameroon, New Zealand and Netherlands.”
Canada head to France unbeaten in 2019 with five wins and three draws, conceding just one goal.
The World Cup runs from June 7 to July 7 with Canada starting in Montpellier on June 10 against Cameroon.
Canada’s other group games will be against New Zealand on June 15 in Grenoble and Netherlands five days later in Reims.
Goalkeepers: Stephanie Labbe, Kailen Sheridan, Sabrina D’Angelo
Defenders: Allysha Chapman, Kadeisha Buchanan, Shelina Zadorsky, Rebecca Quinn, Jayde Riviere, Ashley Lawrence, Shannon Woeller, Lindsay Agnew
Midfielders: Julia Grosso, Desiree Scott, Gabrielle Carle, Sophie Schmidt, Jessie Fleming
Forwards: Jordyn Huitema, Christine Sinclair, Janine Beckie, Adriana Leon, Jenna Hellstrom, Deanne Rose, Nichelle Prince
(Editing by Clare Fallon)