Canada’s roster for the SheBelieves Cup has been ravaged by injuries and pandemic-related travel issues, with captain Christine Sinclair one of seven players to miss the four-country soccer tournament that starts next week in Florida.
Canada Soccer announced Saturday that Sinclair and midfielder Diana Matheson, who have 500 caps and 205 international goals between them, didn’t make it to camp in Orlando because of injury. And that veteran goalkeeper Erin McLeod and uncapped defender Bianca St-Georges had both gone back to their clubs after picking up injuries at camp.
Adding to the roster woes is the fact that centre back Kadeisha Buchanan (Lyon), fullback Ashley Lawrence and forward Jordyn Huitema (both Paris Saint-Germain) were denied release by their French clubs.
Canada, tied for eighth with Brazil in the world rankings, opens play Thursday against the top-ranked Americans.
The 37-year-old Sinclair has been a constant for Canada. Since her senior debut in 2000, she has played in 296 of Canada’s 341 international matches (86.8 per cent). Since 2007, when she became full-time captain, Sinclair has missed just three camp call-ups.
Priestman, in her first camp at the Canadian helm, opted to see the glass half-full, saying the absences mean opportunity for other players and a chance to assess the depth of the program.
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