The Eh Game

Christine Sinclair and John Herdman nominated for FIFA awards

Dustin Pollack
Eh Game

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Christine Sinclair provided an inspirational performance at the London Games. (AP)

Christine Sinclair and the Canadian women's soccer team were Canada's biggest story coming out of the London Games.

Sinclair captained the underdog Canadians, scoring six goals -- including a hat-trick in the semi final against the United States -- en route to the countries first medal in a traditional team sport at the Summer Olympics in more than 70 years.

Though the bronze medal Sinclair helped the women's soccer team to may not stand out as well as Rosie MacLennan's lone gold, it was Sinclair's individual performance that earned flag bearing honours for Canada at the Closing Ceremony in London. And now she's being recognized by soccer's international governing body, FIFA as well.

On Thursday FIFA announced that Sinclair was among 10 players on the early nomination list for the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award. Other nominees include Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe from the United States team, Homare Sawa, Miho Fukumoto and Aya Miyama from Japan and five-time winner Marta of Brazil

And Sinclair isn't the only Canadian receiving the well-deserved recognition. FIFA also announced 10 nominees for the World Coach of the Year for Women's Soccer and Canada's John Herdman was among those nominated. Herdman coached Canada to a 14-7-1 record this year.

The nomination of Sinclair comes about two weeks after the 29-year-old Canadian soccer star was suspended four games and fined $3,500 by FIFA for her unsportsmanlike behaviour after Canada fell 4-3 to the U.S. in the semi final in London.

It's a moment in time that Sinclair admits she hasn't moved past yet. "I don't think any of us have. Not at all," she told the Chronicle Herald Tuesday. "It was an emotional time. We just lost a chance at winning a gold medal, and I spoke my mind."

The awards nominations bring another wave of attention towards Canadian soccer and Sinclair has made it clear how important carrying the momentum from the forward from the Games is for the sport in Canada.

She told the Ottawa Citizen yesterday:

"There are so many opportunities that have come around because of our success in London and the way Canadians viewed it," Sinclair said. "That's why we need to keep playing games in Canada to keep the momentum going. We just can't let it stop now.

"We can't go three years without playing home games and then expect the country to fall back in love with us when the World Cup rolls around. We need to get out there and play home games in many different cities so that young kids can see their heroes play and can dream of one day representing Canada. … The success that we had in London can't be forgotten about for three years."

The award winners will be announced at an annual FIFA gala in Zurich, Switzerland on Jan. 7.

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