Trio looks to win soccer’s most prestigious competition on home soil
Chicago, Illinois – Chicago Red Stars players Karina LeBlanc, Adriana Leon and Melissa Tancredi today were called up to the Canadian Women’s National Team for this summer’s 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The trio will be looking to win soccer’s most coveted trophy in front of their home fans, as the tournament will be held in Canada from June 6 to July 5.
While international legend LeBlanc looks to challenge for the starting spot in goal, rising star Leon and two-time World Cup and Olympic veteran Tancredi look to power the Canucks attack.
“I think every team in the World Cup wants to win it, but we also want to inspire a nation,” LeBlanc recently said. “I believe we can do that if we play at our best and if people see the pride we take in representing Canada. Since the World Cup is in our home country, more people than ever will pay attention. There will be young girls who will hopefully want to one day be on the national team. They will see first-hand what dreaming big can accomplish.”
With 40 days to go until the start of the World Cup, fans around the world are looking forward to the opening game between the hosts and China PR on Saturday, June 6, at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta.
Canada Head Coach John Herdman provided his thoughts on the collection of players he will be leading into the 24-aquad tournament.
“Today marks the culmination of three years of dedicated work from the team and we are pleased with the final selection,” he said. “After the Olympics, we challenged the players to shed an old skin and strive to be even better as a team, and as individuals. They all committed wholeheartedly to this vision and competition for each position was fierce. Ultimately, we feel that this group of 23 makes us the best team we can be across our four corners of the game. They fully deserve this honor.”
Captain Christine Sinclair’s 153 international goals leads the Canadian side, which will be facing China PR, the Netherlands, and New Zealand at the group stage. Sinclair is joined by a number of players who were part of the team that won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics. Red Stars goalkeeper LeBlanc will be participating in her fifth World Cup.
“It’s far greater than words can describe,” she said about the event taking place in her home country. “When you’re younger, you dream about it. You dream about playing in a sold-out stadium with everyone cheering for you. There’s something about closing your eyes during the national anthem and thinking about all the passion felt by the fans and by your family and friends, and they’re all right there with you, taking part in your journey.”
Six players on the roster have made at least 100 international appearances and six others have more than 80, including Chicago’s Tancredi, who is at 99.
“We’ve got a fantastic group of players here that are ready to step up and proudly represent their country on the biggest stage,” offered Head Coach Herdman. “It’s now up to Canadians to show them they are not alone on this journey and that they’ve got the strength of an entire country with them.”
After the tournament’s opening game, the Canucks continue with a match against New Zealand on June 11 at Commonwealth Stadium before heading east to wrap up the group phase against the Netherlands on June 15 at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Quebec.
The Red Stars host their big World Cup Sendoff this coming Saturday, May 2, against Sky Blue FC. The match will give fans one last chance to see Canada legend Karina LeBlanc, U.S. stars Christen Press, Lori Chalupny, Julie Johnston and Shannon Boxx, and New Zealand captain Abby Erceg in action before they join their respective national teams. Single-game or season tickets may be purchased by clicking here or by calling 773-698-6001.
Complete CanWNT Roster for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup (by Position)
GK- Stephanie Labbé | unattached
GK- Karina LeBlanc | USA / Chicago Red Stars
GK – Erin McLeod | USA / Houston Dash
D- Kadeisha Buchanan | USA / West Virginia University
D- Allysha Chapman | USA / Houston Dash
D- Robyn Gayle | unattached
D- Carmelina Moscato | unattached
D- Marie-Eve Nault | unattached
D- Lauren Sesselmann | USA / Houston Dash
D- Rhian Wilkinson | USA / Portland Thorns FC
D- Emily Zurrer | unattached
M- Jessie Fleming | CAN / London NorWest SC
M- Selenia Iacchelli | unattached
M- Kaylyn Kyle | USA / Portland Thorns FC
M- Ashley Lawrence | USA / West Virginia University
M- Diana Matheson | USA / Washington Spirit
M- Desiree Scott | ENG / Notts County Ladies
M- Sophie Schmidt | unattached
F- Josée Bélanger | unattached
F- Jonelle Filigno | USA / Sky Blue FC
F- Adriana Leon | USA / Chicago Red Stars
F- Christine Sinclair | USA / Portland Thorns FC
F- Melissa Tancredi | USA / Chicago Red Stars