Forget 100: LeBlanc focused on No. 30

There has been lots of talk of goals numbered 100 – both Canada’s Christine Sinclair and USA’s Abby Wambach are stuck on No. 99 heading into Monday’s clash at BMO Field. For Canadian goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc, however, she is completely focused on another number: clean sheet #30.



LeBlanc is Canada’s all-time leader with 29 clean sheets, more than double her closest teammate Erin McLeod (13). She is also the longest-serving member of the Canadian team, now in her 12th season with a record 69 appearances under her belt. She twice recorded five clean sheets in a season, which before last year was also a national-team record.

There has been lots of talk of goals numbered 100 – both Canada’s Christine Sinclair and USA’s Abby Wambach are stuck on No. 99 heading into Monday’s clash at BMO Field. For Canadian goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc, however, she is completely focused on another number: clean sheet #30.



LeBlanc is Canada’s all-time leader with 29 clean sheets, more than double her closest teammate Erin McLeod (13). She is also the longest-serving member of the Canadian team, now in her 12th season with a record 69 appearances under her belt. She twice recorded five clean sheets in a season, which before last year was also a national-team record.



Throughout her career, LeBlanc has had a pretty good view of Sinclair’s goal-scoring heroics. LeBlanc has been in net – at the other end of the pitch – for 39 of those 99 Sinclair goals. At the other end of the pitch, LeBlanc has recorded 13 clean sheets in games in which Sinclair has scored.



LeBlanc is just as anxious as any of her teammates to see Sinclair score goal number 100 on Monday night. As for USA’s Abby Wambach, LeBlanc has no interest in having Canada’s captain share the limelight with the visiting striker.



While Canada and USA have met 44 previous times, Canada has only won three times against the world’s number-one ranked country (3-4-37). Wambach has scored three times in those 44 matches, but never against LeBlanc.



LeBlanc, meanwhile, is the only Canadian goalkeeper to record a clean sheet against the Americans. She was in goal for that last Canadian win back on 11 March 2001 at the 8th Algarve Cup.



In all, LeBlanc has played 10 times against USA, claiming one of Canada’s three wins and two of Canada’s four draws. Her most recent meeting was the quarter-final stage of the 2008 Olympic Football Tournament, a 1:2 loss, but only after she pushed the eventual Olympic champions into extra time.



This Monday 25 May will be the first Canada-USA meeting since those very Olympic Games nine months ago.



So while the Canadian offence guns for number 100, Canada’s defence will be protecting the back end in the hunt for No. 30. Ms. Wambach will simply have to wait for another night to celebrate the century mark. You can count on Karina LeBlanc to make sure of that.

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