Vancouver Whitecaps FC would like to congratulate Andrea Neil, as she will become the first female soccer player to be inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Andrea retired on December 3, 2007, after 18-year career with the Canadian women's national team program, and six years with Whitecaps FC women. From 2001 to 2006, Neil played for the 'Caps (originally known as the Breakers). She was the club’s captain for the first six years of the franchise’s existence and was a player/assistant coach for the last three seasons. In 2004 and 2006, she led the club to two United Soccer Leagues W-League championship titles. She ended her Whitecaps FC career as the club’s all-time leader in assists (22), minutes played (6,066), and games (69). The native of Vancouver, BC, also ranks third for points (70) and is tied for third with goals (24) and game-winning goals (8).
Neil made her senior international debut with Canada as a 19-year-old in 1991 and went on to play 132 times for her country. This included four consecutive FIFA Women's World Cup tournaments, with her final match coming at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China.
"When I received the call that I was to be inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, I was surprised and excited," said Neil. "I felt very honoured to be selected. I’ve always been an avid sports fan, and have enjoyed watching and hearing about our Canadian athletes in various sports over the years. To be included with these 514 great Canadian athletes and builders is truly humbling and gratifying at the same time."
"Andrea is the ultimate pioneer and ambassador," said Vancouver Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi. "Her relentless commitment to growing women’s soccer in Canada is second to none. She is a natural leader and was instrumental during Whitecaps FC's two W-League championships in 2004 and 2006."
Neil will be inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame during a gala dinner and celebration in Calgary, Alberta, on November 8.