Canada Soccer’s Kadeisha Buchanan, Alphonso Davies and Christine Sinclair have all been recognised as Canadian Athletes of the Year in 2020. Davies won the Lou Marsh Memorial Trophy as Canada’s Outstanding Athlete of the Year, the Lionel Conacher Award as The Canadian Press Male Athlete of the Year and the Postmedia Canadian Male Athlete of the Year Award; Buchanan won the Postmedia Canadian Female Athlete of the Year Award; and Sinclair won the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as The Canadian Press Female Athlete of the Year.
This marks the third time since 2012 that soccer players have been named Canadian Athletes of the Year, albeit the first time that both men and women have been recognised in the same year. Since the inception of The Canadian Press awards in 1932, only athletics (1936), golf (2000), hockey (2007) and tennis (2013, 2014) have previously been recognised with male and female winners in the same year.
“We are tremendously proud of Canada Soccer’s National Team stars Kadeisha Buchanan, Alphonso Davies and Christine Sinclair for being recognized as Athletes of the Year across all three major Canadian athlete awards in 2020,” said Dr. Nick Bontis, Canada Soccer President. “They are truly deserving of the recognition they have received from both the national and global communities for their achievements with our National Teams and their respective professional clubs. For both our sport and our country, they are all a great inspiration to young Canadians chasing their dreams.”
In early December, Davies and former NFL star Laurent Duvernay-Tardif were named co-winners of the 2020 Lou Marsh Memorial Trophy. In late December, Davies picked up both the Lionel Conacher Award for the first time and the Postmedia award for the second time. In between those three honours, he became the first Canadian named to the FIFA FIFPro Men’s World11 at The Best FIFA Football Awards.
Davies, a two-time winner of Canada Soccer’s Canadian Player of the Year Award, won five club trophies in 2020 with world-renowned FC Bayern München including his first UEFA Champions League title. He won the Bundesliga Rookie of the Season, was named to the UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season, and was the runner up for UEFA Champions League Defender of the Year.
Buchanan won the Postmedia Canadian Female Athlete of the Year award after she was previously a runner up in both 2015 and 2016. Buchanan was also a top-5 finalist for the Lou Marsh Memorial Trophy in 2020 and a second-time runner up for the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award (2015 and 2020).
A three-time winner of Canada Soccer’s Canadian Player of the Year Award, she helped Canada qualify for the Olympic Games and she won three trophies with her club Olympique Lyonnais, including her fourth UEFA Women’s Champions League title. She was also named to the Best XI at the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship and was a year-end nominee for the UEFA Team of the Year and the FIFA FIFPro Women’s World11.
Sinclair won the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as The Canadian Press Female Athlete of the Year for the second time in 2020. She is the first team-sport athlete to win the award twice and the first athlete from a professional sport club to win the award. She also set a record for the longest span of years as a top-5 finalist by a team-sport athlete for The Canadian Press Athlete of the Year awards (19 years from 2002 to 2020, which are two years longer than Mario Lemieux and four years longer than Wayne Gretzky in their eras as top-5 finalists).
In 2020, Sinclair became the world’s all-time international goalscoring record holder after she scored her 185th goal for Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team. A 14-time winner of the Canadian Player of the Year Award, she again qualified Canada for the Olympic Games in 2020 while also winning the NWSL Community Shield with Portland Thorns FC. The top scorer in the 2020 NWSL Fall Series, she now has more than 300 goals at the club and international levels, including her record 186 international “A” goals for Canada.