Canada will be without talismanic captain Christine Sinclair for the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup competition later this month in England.
Canada Soccer said the 38-year-old from Burnaby, B.C., is missing the tournament following the death of her mother Sandi, who had been battling Multiple Sclerosis.
Sinclair, the world’s all-time leading goal-scorer with 188, was extremely close to her mother and has been prominent in raising funds to help with MS research.
In a 2017 interview with The Canadian Press, Sinclair called her mother “the strongest person I know.”
Sinclair’s mother had been living in a suburban Vancouver care home. Her father Bill died in April 2016, less than four months before the Rio Olympics. He was 69.
The sixth-ranked Canadians are joining No. 3 Germany, No. 8 England and No. 9 Spain in the first edition of the tournament in England.
Canada opens play Feb. 17 against England at Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough before facing Germany on Feb. 20 at Norwich’s Carrow Road and Germany on Feb. 23 at Wolverhampton’s Molineux.
Canada is preparing for the July final round of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship final round, which will serve as a World Cup and Olympic qualifier.