Home Canadian Soccer Sinclair proves again that she deserves to be in Marta’s company

Sinclair proves again that she deserves to be in Marta’s company

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Christine Sinclair
When FIFA names the winner of the female World Player of the Year, Christine Sinclair doesn’t even have to bother going to the ceremony. Marta, her teammate with the 2010 WPS champion FC Gold Pride, will likely walk away with her fifth win in a row.

And, FIFA has already stated that the other two contenders for the award are both from Germany; Birgit Prinz and Fatmire Bajramaj.

It’s a shame that, because Sinclair hails from a soccer country as humble as Canada, she will likely never get an award she so richly deserves.

How many of Marta’s goals this year came from the WPS assist leader, Sinclair?

Sinclair’s worth was highlighted Sunday in a head-to-head match-up with Marta in the finale of the Sao Paulo Tournament. Canada needed to draw or beat the host Brazilians to win the tourney. But, with time winding down in the second half — and down to 10 players after defender Marie-Eve Nault was red-carded for handling the ball in her own penalty area — Canada was down 2-1.

Sinclair smashed an inspired winner to snatch a draw — and a tournament victory — from the jaws of defeat. Once again, she proved that no player is as valuable to her national team as she is to coach Carolina Morace. Read again, no woman is as valuable to her national team as Sinclair is to Canada.

Wrap your head around this; Sinclair scored the decisive goal in the WPS championship game; she scored the goal that gave Canada the Gold Cup win over Mexico; and she scored the goal to today to snatch a trophy at a tourney hosted by the No. 3-ranked women’s program in the world.

But she won’t get any support from the voters for the FIFA Player of the Year award.

That’s not to say Marta isn’t deserving; she scored both goals for her side — one on a penalty after the Nault handball — in the 2-2 draw with Canada. She scored 19 goals in WPS play, six more than second-place finisher Abby Wambach.

But, again, in WPS, Marta was partnered with Sinclair. And the fact that the two best women playing soccer today (sorry to the Germans, but this is the hard truth) played together in the FC Gold Pride attack helped Marta pad that goal total.

It would be nice for FIFA to even mention Sinclair as a possible candidate for the award. But as long as a Brazilian is helping women’s soccer rise in that country, there’s no chance for a Canadian woman to break through. Brazil has always mesmerized FIFA voters; there’s no denying that wearing a canary-yellow national-team shirt has helped swing more than a few votes a player’s way —whether it be male or female.

Canadian soccer fans will have to be live with the fact that, unless this country continues this astounding growth under Morace, that it can go on a run deep into the 2011 Germany tourney, Sinclair will continue to be ignored by the European voters.

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