TEAM: Soccer POSITION: Striker BORN: Dec. 27, 1981 SCHOOL: Cathedral High School; University of Notre Dame
TANCREDI is a legend and longtime role model in international women’s soccer, and a constant thorn in the side of Canada’s most bitter rivals — the U.S.
The Ancaster native is one of only six returning players from the 2012 women’s Olympic team that caught all Canada’s attention at the London Games, first with a rousing, controversial 4-3 loss to the U.S. in the semifinals, followed by the redemptive 1-0 victory over France in the bronze medal game. Her four goals in the group stage tied her for the early lead in the Olympic tournament. She set up two of Christine Sinclair’s three goals against the U.S. in what is considered the greatest women’s game ever played, and drove the American players to distraction with her tenacious physical play.
Tancredi has been one of the most identifiable players on the senior team on a regular basis since 2007. She has also played in three World Cups for Canada. As an all-American she led Notre Dame to an NCAA title, won a bronze medal in the 2007 Pan Am Games, and last June she earned her 100th cap when Canada played England in a friendly before a sold-out Tim Hortons Stadium crowd right in her hometown.
She returned to the national team in 2014 after two years off to finish her chiropractic studies and after the Games will go back to her team in Sweden, the ninth team for which she has played professional football.
“She’s played at the highest level consistently for the last 10 years,” says coach John Herdman. “She’s still in great physical shape and has a great deal of experience on the international stage in tournaments. With that sort of passion and enthusiasm she brings to the environment, for me it’s a no-brainer.”
Melissa Tancredi: Ten years of playing at the highest level