Melissa Tancredi

'Caps for Canada: Melissa Tancredi

Later this month, BC Place will be host to the 2012 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament. For many players on the team, this won’t be the first time playing in front of fans in Vancouver, as the squad includes 14 former members of Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Over the next two weeks, will be profiling each of these players as we get set to support our fantastic Canadian women!

If the Canadian women’s national team are going to battle their way to a spot at the 2012 London Olympics, they’re going to need all of their artillery to do it. Luckily, they’ve got a tank in their arsenal.

Striker Melissa Tancredi has been a force on the soccer field, earning herself the nickname ‘Tank’.

"I like to think that it's from my last name being Tancredi," she said in an interview with Canadian Living, "But I guess my style of play has been a bit more physical."

With 66 appearances for Canada, ‘Tank’ brings experience and leadership, not to mention a strong presence up top that makes defending against her a difficult task for any opponent.  That’s not the only reason she’s on the field though. She is also offensively gifted, counting 14 goals in her international career.

Whitecaps FC fans saw Tancredi’s talent firsthand during the 2010 W-League season. The Ancaster, Ontario, native led the team with six goals and two assists, guiding the 'Caps to an undefeated regular season and a spot in the W-League Final Four.

However, while Tancredi may be a tough competitor on the field, she is also a passionate role model that is well-spoken and uses her elite level of sport as a means to educate and inspire young athletes.

"It doesn't hurt to dream, and now your dream can come true,” Tancredi recently told Canadian Living.  “There are so many opportunities out there for women's soccer, whether it be in North America or even in Europe, to make money to have a living in the sport”.

Along with her motivational skills, Tancredi is also an excellent dancer. Even dance-wonder Carmelina Moscato admits that Tank can really bring it on the dance floor.

“Melissa Tancredi would give me a good fight,” said Moscato. “She is the real deal.”

The real deal, indeed.

For more details on how to purchase tickets, please visit the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying tournament information page.