Andrea Neil

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Andrea Neil
Personal information
Born October 26, 1971 (1971-10-26) (age 43)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Andrea Neil (born October 26, 1971, in Vancouver, British Columbia) is an accomplished female badminton and soccer player.

A long time athlete having played badminton at the junior national level, Neil decided to focus her career on soccer after almost losing her leg to gangrene due to a motorcycle accident in the Dominican Republic.[1] In 1991, at 19, she made her international debut against Jamaica in Haiti. Over the next 18 years she went on to play for her country 132 times, appearing in four FIFA Women's World Cups as a player (1995, 1999, 2003, 2007), including Canada's best ever finish at a FIFA World Cup (men's or women's), when the Canadian women's national team finished fourth in 2003. Neil earned her 100th cap against Costa Rica on March 5, 2004, becoming the second player to do so in Canadian history. On April 21, 2007, prior to the World Cup in China, she represented Canada at the World All Star Game.

Neil attended the University of British Columbia where she earned a degree in human kinetics. She played a key role in UBC's winning of the CIAU National Championship in 1994 and in 1993 was named UBC's female athlete of the year and then was the winner of the Marilyn Pomfret Award. In April 2009 she was inducted into the UBC Sport Hall of Fame.[2]

From 2001 to 2006 Neil played for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC and set records for games played, minutes played and assists. While captain of the team she led them to two W-League championships in 2004 and 2006. On May 28, 2008, the Vancouver Whitecaps retired the #5 jersey in honor of her career.

"Andrea Neil is the ultimate pioneer and ambassador. Her relentless commitment to growing women's soccer in Canada is second to none. She is a natural leader and was instrumental during the Whitecaps two W-League championships, 2004 and 2006." -Bob Lenarduzzi, Vancouver Whitecaps FC President- [3]

Neil played her last game for Canada on September 15, 2007, against Ghana during the FIFA Women's World Cup in China. At the time of her retirement she was the most capped Canadian soccer player (men's or women's) of all time and fifth overall for goals. On June 2, 2012, she was inducted into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame.

In addition to playing Neil has also been very successful as a coach. From 1997 to 1999 she was the assistant coach for the UBC Thunderbirds Women's Team. 2004–2006 she was an assistant coach for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC women's team and their Youth Academy Girls Head Coach. After her retirement as a player from the Canadian women's national team, Neil went on to be one of their assistant coaches, helping the team to win the Cypress Cup twice (2010, 2011), the Brazil Four Nations Tournament (2010) and the World Cup Qualifying Tournament (CONCACAF) in 2010.

On November 8, 2011, Neil became the first woman and third player overall to inducted for soccer into the Canada's Sport Hall of Fame.[4]

Neil is due to be inducted into the BC Sport Hall of Fame as the first female soccer player in the athlete category in September 2012.[5]