Sinclair scores to give Canadian women draw with the Whitecaps

Christine Sinclair

An estimated crowd of around 500 gathered Thursday in the Vancouver suburbs to see hometown hero Christine Sinclair scored a late chip-shot goal to give the Canadian women’s team a 1-1 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps women’s side.

The two teams played at South Surrey Athletic Park, and the game was as much as a goodwill mission as it was a preparation for coach John Herdman’s Canada squad ahead of their friendly against China next week in Moncton. Autographs were signed, players stayed well after the final whistle. And, admission to the game was free — a gesture to the city that has become the home of the women’s program, and showed its passion during the Olympic qualifiers.

““The support we get here is great,” said Sinclair, who, like many of her Canadian teammates, is a former Whitecap. “You wouldn’t have seen anything close to this just a couple of years ago.”

The game was broken up into three sections, a 40-minute first period and two more periods of 25 minutes each.

Whitecaps striker Mele French drew a penalty to give the Whitecaps a shot at opening the scoring. Canadian keeper Erin McLeod (yup, another former Whitecap) made the save, but French stuck with it and scored on the rebound.

French, an American striker who has played in Germany, joined many W-League diaspora in the W-League.

Even though the game had a feel-good component to it, Herdman wasn’t entirely happy with Big Red.

“We played well today but we have to be more clinical with our finish around the net,” said John Herdman in a release isssued by the Whitecaps.

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About Steven Sandor

I'm currently the colour commentator for FC Edmonton broadcasts on Sportsnet, NASL.com and TEAM 1260. I've covered the Toronto FC beat for four years, worked for the Edmonton Aviators of the USL for a season, covered the Edmonton Drillers of the NPSL and started covering Canadian World Cup qualifiers in 1996. I've covered the CONCACAF Champions League and the U-20 World Cup. I'm passionate about soccer in North America.