Next Saturday, June 6, Canada’s women’s national team opens the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup against China on home soil. It’s the biggest soccer tournament ever hosted in our country, and the Red and White will be well represented by former members of the Blue and White. Many of Canada's national team stars kickstarted their career with Whitecaps FC.
Below is a look at each of the 10 'Caps alumnae who will be representing Canada at the World Cup.
#1 Erin McLeod, goalkeeper (2003 – 2004, 2006)
Over her two seasons playing in net, Erin McLeod never lost a game for Whitecaps FC, earning a 29W-0L-5D record during the team’s W-League dominance.
The native of St. Albert, Alberta was the hero in the club’s first championship victory over New Jersey Wildcats in 2004. Not only did she keep a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw, she then made two saves in the shootout and scored the winning penalty herself. Two years later she did it all again, capturing the crown on home soil with another clean sheet, a 3-0 win over Ottawa Fury.
#5 Robyn Gayle, defender (2010)
The Toronto, Ontario native played in all 13 matches for the ‘Caps during their undefeated 2010 regular season, adding two assists. Gayle and the ‘Caps made it all the way to the championship final before ultimately falling 3-1 to Buffalo Flash.
#4 Carmelina Moscato, defender (2003 – 2004, 2009)
In her three seasons in Vancouver Moscato played more as a midfielder, scoring five goals and recording five assists in 20 appearances, including three of each in 2004 when the team won their first W-League title. Her three assists came in the same match, a home win over Colorado Storm, all to Kara Lang.
#2 Emily Zurrer, defender (2005 – 2008, 2010)
Born in Vancouver and raised in Crofton, BC, Zurrer first suited up for her hometown W-League club in 2005 and went on to make 39 appearances for the ‘Caps. She played in five matches in the 2006 championship season and scored her first career goal, a 90th minute tying goal, in the 2008 season opener at Swangard Stadium.
Zurrer then returned to the team in 2010, making 10 appearances and adding another goal, this time close to home in a 1-1 draw versus Seattle Sounders in Victoria. Zurrer went on to start all three playoff matches, including the 2010 W-League final.
#18 Selenia Iacchelli, midfielder (2006 – 2008, 2010)
Iacchelli first joined the ‘Caps as part of the undefeated 2006 W-League championship team, making four appearances and scoring one goal.
The Edmonton, Alberta native returned for the following two seasons, making an additional 16 appearances and scoring another goal. Iacchelli was also on the team in 2010 when the Blue and White made the W-League final.
#6 Kaylyn Kyle, midfielder (2006 – 2008, 2010 – 2012)
After first joining the championship squad of 2006, Kaylyn Kyle became one of the longest serving ‘Caps on the W-League team. Over her six seasons in Vancouver, the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native made 32 appaearances and scored five goals with three assists.
In addition to the 2006 W-League title, Kyle was also on the 2010 finals team, and 2011 final four squad.
#11 Desiree Scott, midfielder (2006, 2010, 2012)
Yet another future national team star who got her start on the 2006 W-League championship team. The native of Winnipeg, Manitoba made five appearances as a 19-year-old in her debut season.
Scott returned to the team in 2010, establishing herself as a force in midfield. That season she made 10 appearances, scoring one goal and adding one assist as the ‘Caps made the W-League final.
#13 Sophie Schmidt, midfielder (2005 – 2010)
The Abbotsford, BC native was a mainstay on the ‘Caps for six seasons. Schmidt made her debut as a 16-year-old in 2005, started the 2006 W-League championship final, and went on to make a total of 48 appearances for the club, including nine playoff matches.
Schmidt also added six goals and six assists, and started in a second W-League championship match in her final game wearing the Blue and White in 2010.
#14 Melissa Tancredi, striker (2010)
The Ancaster, Ontario native played only one season in Vancouver, but it was a very successful one. Tancredi led the ‘Caps with six goals and two assists in 11 appearances and was named to the All-League Team.
Her season included a terrific performance with a goal and assist in a 2-1 win over Pali Blues in the Western Conference final. Unfortunately Tancredi had to miss the final four to attend her sister’s wedding as the ‘Caps came up just short of attaining a third W-League title.
#12 Christine Sinclair, striker (2001 – 2002, 2006, 2008)
The most decorated soccer player in Canadian history had an equally big impact on Whitecaps FC. Initially, the Burnaby, BC native suited up for the Vancouver Breakers (as they were known at the time) in 2001 and 2002, flashing her future brilliance with nine goals and six assists in only 10 matches.
After a three-year hiatus from the club, Sinclair returned in 2006 and proved that she was (and still is) undoubtedly one of the top players in the game. In her 10 appearances, she posted a ridiculous 12 goals and four assists, including three goals in the two matches at the W-League final four to lift the championship trophy on home soil.
Just for fun, Sinclair made one more cameo appearance in the 2008 season. And yes, she scored two goals in that match too.
TWO MORE FORMER ‘CAPS AT THE 2015 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP
Siobhan Chamberlain (England), goalkeeper (2010)
In her lone season with the ‘Caps, the England international went undefeated through the regular season and Western Conference final. She missed the W-League semi-final on international duty against Turkey, but returned in time for the championship match, falling just short of glory.
Sydney Leroux (United States), striker, (2005, 2011)
The youngest player to ever play for the club at the senior level, making her debut at 15 years and seven days in the 2005 season opener, a match in which she also registered one of her two assists on the season. Following five seasons away, she returned in 2011 and had a very strong season, scoring 12 goals and recording four assists in 14 games played. Her performance saw her named W-League Rookie of the Year, and to the All-Western Conference team as the ‘Caps made it to the W-League final four before bowing out in the semi-finals.