Christine Sinclair’s Challenge Cup performance just quieted anyone who doubted the Canadian legend was past her prime.
Questions around the Canadian superstar’s age reached a fever pitch at the start of the 2021 NWSL season. Would the 37-year old be as quick or productive as she once was? Could Portland, the presumptive league favorite, count on her to be a season-long difference maker?
Christine Sinclair answered those lingering questions with an emphatic yes.
Now the NWSL’s active goals leader, it’s clear Sinclair isn’t letting up anytime soon.
"We set lofty goals for ourselves this year, and it's to win everything."Captain @sincy12 and the squad are off to a flying start. #BAONPDX pic.twitter.com/JocPyFRovf— Portland Thorns FC (@ThornsFC) May 8, 2021
"We set lofty goals for ourselves this year, and it's to win everything."Captain @sincy12 and the squad are off to a flying start. #BAONPDX pic.twitter.com/JocPyFRovf
The Canadian has proved to be a critical fixture in the Thorn’s attack, clocking 248 minutes in this year’s Challenge Cup.
Sinclair also netted two goals in the tournament, both of which were critical.
Her first came in the Thorns match against Houston. Finishing off a cross from Charley, Sinclair slipped the ball past Jane Campbell to tie up the game.
The goal was textbook Sinclair-clutch: clinical and no-nonsense.
Simone Charley to Christine Sinclair: You love to see it.#CC21 | #BAONPDX pic.twitter.com/ck5XhfPRgY— Portland Thorns FC (@ThornsFC) May 3, 2021
Simone Charley to Christine Sinclair: You love to see it.#CC21 | #BAONPDX pic.twitter.com/ck5XhfPRgY
In the championship match, Sinclair again showed just how dangerous she could be in the final third.
With no one stepping to her, Sinclair stuck a beautiful bending ball past Gotham’s keeper to put the Thorns up early in the final. The goal would prove to be Portland’s only of the match, as they defeated Gotham in PKs after drawing 1-1.
Just the 🐐 doing 🐐 things. #CC21 | #BAONPDX pic.twitter.com/HSkcpRrGwu— Portland Thorns FC (@ThornsFC) May 8, 2021
Just the 🐐 doing 🐐 things. #CC21 | #BAONPDX pic.twitter.com/HSkcpRrGwu
It’s no secret Christine Sinclair knows how to score goals, but she brings a lot more to the pitch than just a lethal left foot.
Sinclair’s work in the midfield helped Portland gain the ball high up the field, quieting Gotham’s transition. Her veteran presence and ability to step up in big moments have also proved to be critical intangibles for Portland.
Now a Challenge Cup champion, Sinclair’s stated goal of “winning everything” has just begun. Looking sharper than ever, the Canadian captain will be a force to reckon with at this summer’s Olympics. For her club, we expect her to continue knocking in goals. With a 38th birthday on the horizon, Sinclair continues to prove age is but a number when you’re the GOAT.