Veteran goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc to retire after women’s World Cup

TORONTO — Veteran Canadian goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc says she will retire from international soccer after the Women’s World Cup.

“Hopefully it will be in Vancouver, because we want to be in the final,” LeBlanc said Tuesday on “Canada AM.” “Vancouver is where it started for me. I would love to leave my last goodbye on Canadian soil representing this country.”

The 35-year old from Maple Ridge, B.C., who has made 110 appearances for Canada, called it a difficult decision but said it was prefect timing.

Canada opens the World Cup on June 6 in Edmonton against China. The tournament final is set for July 5 at B.C. Place Stadium.

LeBlanc was 18 when she made her debut for Canada in July 1998. She has since represented Canada in three Pan American Games, four Women’s World Cups and two Olympic Games

She plans to continue playing club soccer. She is currently affiliated with the Chicago Red Stars of the NWSL.

LeBlanc is one of three goalies on the Canadian World Cup roster. Starter Erin McLeod and Stephanie Labbe are the other two.

“Karina has brought so much to this program and this team,” said McLeod.

In March 2012, LeBlanc became the 10th women’s footballer to make her 100th appearance for Canada.

The Canadian Press

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