There aren’t enough adjectives to describe Christine Sinclair, her prolific talent, and the indelible mark she’s left on Canada.
She’s produced so many “Where were you when” moments for our country, it’s tough to keep track of them all.
The 36-year-old, whose career has now spanned three decades, has made goal-scoring history, but it’s the impact she’s left on those around her and the next generation of soccer players that’s even more profound.
To celebrate her accomplishments, the Canadian Premier League reached out to her teammates and coaches to, in their own words, share their favourite memories of the woman they know best as Sincy.
Part 1 featured comments from former Canadian national squad teammates Carmelina Moscato and Marie-Eve Nault. You can read it by clicking here.
Part 2 of our three-part series is below.
RELATED READING: Christine Sinclair breaks goals record in CanWNT’s Olympic qualifying win
Erin McLeod (Canadian national squad teammate)
I have a lot of incredible memories of Sinc. I have all the respect in the world for this woman. It makes me so proud to have played for such a worthy captain for all these years. To this day, I tease her about all her accomplishments and that she has to basically buy a house because of the accolades and things she has won to store them all. She always tells me to piss off and brushes it off. She raises millions of dollars for multiple sclerosis every year and never expects any thanks in return. She is a class act. We have played together since I was 18 or 19, and even then, I was on the youth national team, and we played the full national team, and they just schooled us — Sinc chipped me from I don’t know how many yards out. She is one of those people you never get jealous of because of who she is; any award she receives, she deserves and, in my opinion, is very underrated in international soccer.
After we lost to the Americans in the 2012 Olympics, and she played out of her mind, almost God-like scoring these incredible goals one after another, it was a devastating loss, especially for me as I was called for holding the ball for longer than six seconds and ended up causing a penalty leading to the American victory. She stuck up for me, went right to the press, which she rarely does, and said the call was wrong. On top of that, in the locker room, not one head was looking up, we gave it everything we had as a group, and we couldn’t have been more upset. Sinc walked into that room, without hesitating, got us all to stand up, looked one another in the eyes and said, “I don’t know about you guys, but I am not going home without a “******* medal.” We all agreed, and then we made history. That pact in that room, that solidarity she ignited within us still brings me to tears today. No one would ever want to let one another down in that room, but especially Sinc.
The 2015 Women’s World Cup at home against China in our opening game with seconds left, a PK was called. She stepped up, put it home, and the crowd went crazy. She admits later she was nervous as hell with her heart pounding, but no one would know. At the most recent World Cup, a PK was called in an important match against Sweden that would advance our team to the next round. Janine Beckie, a young hopeful, asked Sinc if she could take the PK, and Sinc said yes. The ‘keeper made a great save, and they ended up losing the game, and a lot of people were harsh towards this decision. This is Sinc to me: she knows how important she is to this program, but she also understands empowering the future of the team, win or lose.
I have been a witness to so many of these incredible goals and moments, where I have been able to watch a world-class human, practice mundane things over and over, before and after training, until she mastered her game.
I have watched Sinc time and time again score goals unassisted, go through entire teams, find moments of genius, and her team has tried desperately to catch up for years. Finally we are getting there.
I feel so lucky to call Sinc a friend. We have grown up together, been through ups and downs together. I don’t know how many people can say their friend and teammate are one of their biggest role models, but I feel lucky knowing I can.
RELATED READING: Sinclair proudly flies flag of Canadian soccer on international stage
Karina LeBlanc (Canadian national squad/Portland Thorns teammate)
My first memory of Sinc was when she came into camp for the first time when she was 16. We were playing a small-sided game. She took a touch and then placed it. Why that’s important is because most people will try to hammer and hit the ball as hard as they can to put it into the back of the net. But she just took that touch as a 16-year-old on the senior national team and put it where the goalkeeper wasn’t. That’s what makes the art of a fantastic finisher and player: her ability to put the ball where the goalkeeper isn’t with poise. She doesn’t feel pressure in front of the net. It’s almost like she has this extra sense in her of where to put the ball in order to score. So many goals that I watched her score, it was exactly that. It was her knowing exactly where to put the ball.
The game in 2012 [Olympics] when we played the U.S. and all I remember is her having the team on her back. She had that look in her eyes. She was literally fearless. I think she’s always fearless, but it was a different look that day. The world got to see Canadian soccer, but we got to see and feel her in one of the greatest performances of all-time by a Canadian. Obviously, we didn’t win the game, but she scored three goals, and I just remember her look. There are pictures of her, the way her eyes look on that day. It was so powerful.
At the home  World Cup in Edmonton when we played China and that penalty kick. I don’t know if people know this story, but it’s the opening day of the World Cup, so the world is watching. We get that PK and everyone was celebrating. I remember her telling the story of everyone celebrating, but she still had to take the shot. She had faked the Chinese goalkeeper twice already that year on a PK, so she had to think about what she was going to do. The mind games. She had all of these thoughts going through her head and all of that mental training we had done, but the moment she put the ball down, she knew she was okay because she knew this moment would not define her. That’s Sinc in a nutshell. She has the ability to take big moments and rise. And I think that’s why she’s such a phenomenal player because a lot of players take big moments and sometimes they aren’t consistent. But for her, when that moment is there, she rises. It’s always pretty special.
Another goal was in Rio [2016 Olympics], that first goal she scored where she fell to her knees and pointed up the sky. That was to her father. There are so many things and people that have motivated her to where she is, but she’s just a humble human being. In the biggest moment, she never wants it to be about herself. That’s what made her a phenomenal teammate and leader. It was never about Sinclair. For what she’s achieved, it could always be about Sinclair, but she’s the first to distract the attention and put it to someone else.
She’s a phenomenal human being. It’s an honour to call her a teammate and a friend.
Part 3 on Sunday: Canadian squad teammate Brittany Timko Baxter, Portland Thorns teammate Emily Menges, and Portland Thorns coach Mark Parsons.