Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Soccer star kicks it into high gear on the road

Melissa Tancredi likes her Volvo’s sleek exterior.

Melissa Tancredi

Profession: Soccer player

Age: 30

Story continues below advertisement

Hometown: Hamilton, Ont.

The car: 2005 Volvo S40

Notable achievements

* Started playing soccer at age four and made her debut for Canada at 22, helping the team to a third-place finish at the 2004 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Costa Rica

* Won a gold medal with Canada at the 2010 CONCACAF championship/FIFA Women's World Cup Qualifiers for Germany 2011

* Won a silver medal with Canada at the 2012 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying tournament in Vancouver

* Won silver with Canada at the 2006 CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup/FIFA World Cup Qualifiers for China 2007

Story continues below advertisement

* Played in the United States with Saint Louis Athletica of Women's Professional Soccer in 2009, the Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the W-League in 2010, and currently plays for Dalsjofors GoIF in Sweden's top division

*Graduated from Notre Dame University in Indiana in 2004 with BA in anthropology


*Aiming for her third World Cup appearance at FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 – Canada hosts the tournament for the first time

* Melissa Tancredi is one of the best women's soccer strikers in the world.

* The forward with the women's national soccer team captured Canadian hearts at this summer's Olympic Games in London, scoring four goals and helping her teammates win a bronze medal.

Story continues below advertisement

* She's aggressive, quick, and nimble on the field – and on the road in her 2005 Volvo S40 sport sedan.

Why did you buy a Volvo?

I was looking to upgrade from the good, old Pontiac Sunfire.

I was looking at a bunch of cars, but the Volvo won me over due to its safety and because it's good in the winter.

Did you cross shop it against a BMW 3-Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

Exactly. We were looking at those three.

The Volvo stood out for how it drives in the winter and the safety.

At first, I was like, 'No, thank you.' But that was around the year when they remodelled everything, they redid the whole model of Volvo, and now it's a really attractive car.

They did a great job. It's attractive for young people to get in the Volvo and rip around town. I love it. It drives really well. It's very deceiving actually.

What does a Volvo say about you?

I think it's pretty practical, but it's sleek in its exterior design.

I think it's also deceiving. That's what I'm kind of like on the field. I think a lot of people see me as one type of player but I come off as a different type.

As a person, I'm not about flashy cars. I like a car that works and a car that drives fast. That's really all I need.

Is it as quick and agile as a soccer player?

Yes. Anyone that has driven with me knows it works just as well as I do on the field.

So you like to drive fast?

Am I allowed to say that? Yeah. It's a problem.

I'm pretty aggressive. I'm in a car right now in Victoria and the people I'm with are dying – they're laughing because they know I'm pretty aggressive and fast.

I love it. It's a little toy for me. It's perfect on the highway and in traffic as well.

Have you had any speeding tickets?

I haven't. I have a clean record.

Has the Volvo ever let you down?

My air conditioning went on me. I was in and out of the country with soccer and the battery died on me, obviously. Other than that, it has been pretty good.

Was the Sunfire your first car?

That was my first car. The year we bought our Sunfire was the first year it came out. I think it was '95 or '96.

It was the first really cheap car, but looks like a sports car at the same time. For parents who have first-time drivers, that's an easy car to go with. I loved it. It was pretty cool when I was driving it. It was fresh on the market. Our first one was black with a pin stripe so I thought it looked pretty cool. That was my parent's car, which they pretty much bought for my sister and I.

What's your best memory with it?

I was in the car with my friend Janis Chapman and I was driving her to Ajax and we were really, really late. I hit 160 on the QEW and it was shaking like a little box. That kind of driving with the Sunfire was pretty hilarious!

We traded it in for another Sunfire. And then the lease was up on it and I moved on to the Volvo. I'm very happy with the step up.

Did the Sunfires ever break down?

No. But we got broken into a lot. It had manual locks – it wasn't automatic. It was pretty good. I used to drive it back and forth from school which was six-and-a-half-hours away and it was pretty amazing on gas as well. It was prefect for me.

Now my car does a lot of cross-country and cross-border driving – more than a lot of cars out there. My trips aren't very short. They're 10- or 13-hour trips.

What do you listen to when you're on those long hauls?

A lot of Rihanna. Fun is good for drives. And a lot of old school – 112, Janet Jackson.

Do you sing behind the wheel, too?

Absolutely. Coming back from college, I would be so bored I would film myself singing while I was driving. And then I'd watch it later on. I don't know why? It's probably not the safest driving.

What do you listen to before and after a soccer match?

Rihanna, Fun, Drake – all those are must haves on our pregame playlist. Post-game, Celine Dion's Power of Love. That's a shocker, but a team favourite. It's a good come-together song.

What's your best and worst driving story?

Best story in general is having a destination and it says six hours and I get there in four. My car is pretty amazing and pretty good on gas as well. Traveling across country and being happy with your car. There's a friendship there – it has been with me through a lot of times and I've travelled across North America with it. To me, that's my best driving story.

My worst? I was in high-school and there was a Tragically Hip concert and we were in traffic and I smashed into my boyfriend's car in front of me. I was waving to the fans and I pressed the gas – I don't know why. The back of his car ended up on my hood! His poor little Escort didn't bode well. My Sunfire made it through – the thing was made out of Titanium.

If I can bring you the keys to any vehicle what would it be?

A Mercedes G-Wagon right away! I'm in love with that. It's gorgeous! My family hates it, but I think its one of the coolest car on the market.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this resolved by the end of January 2018. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to