Here is a little bit about me from Canada Soccer and my playing career at Notre Dame and professionally in North America as well as Europe.
Since 2004, Melissa has played in 124 international contests (playing her 100th in front of her hometown fans in Hamilton, ON in the last scheduled friendly vs England ahead of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup). The game in Hamilton was the first for Canada Soccer to be played by either the men or women in an international friendly in 28 years.
“It is pretty special for me, honestly,” Tancredi said after Canada trained at Tim Hortons Field on May 28, 2015. “For sure it’s going to be an emotional game. I’m going to try and control that but I’m really honoured to be able to do this in front of my family and bring it back here to Hamilton. It’s pretty cool to have the home crowd around us.”
After taking 2 years off from the Canadian Women's National Team to complete her Chiropractic degree (at Logan School of Chiropractic in the United States) and a successful London 2012 Summer Olympic Games helping the team earn Canada's first summer team medal (a bronze) since 1936. Melissa made a successful return to the Canadian national team with her play in a USA v Canada international friendly in May 2014 in Winnipeg and has been back with the national team since then centralized in Vancouver.
Melissa was named to her 3rd Women's World Cup squad in April 2015.
During the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, she started the first two games (China & New Zealand) of the Group Stage and came off the bench in the 3rd match (The Netherlands). She additionally started in the Round of 16 (Switzerland) and Quarterfinal (England) as well.
In her 124 caps, Melissa has 90 starts and 27 goals / 20 assists.
Melissa participated in the CONCACAF Olympic Women's Soccer Qualifying Tournament in Houston, Texas in February 2016. The top 2 teams (Canada & United States) at this event moved on to the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
Following the CONCACAF Tournament, she will be heading overseas to play professionally in Sweden for Champions League participant KIF Orebro. She signed with the team on January 8, 2016. She will then return in June 2016 for Olympic camp in Vancouver. Melissa was named to the Rio 2016 Olympic Team, June 20, 2016.
At the 2016 Summer Olympics, Canada was able to sweep their bracket of the round robin with victories over Australia, Zimbabwe and Germany. In the match vs Germany with many Canadian starters on the bench to rest for the quarterfinal game, Melissa led the charge as the Team Captain and had 2 goals. This win over Germany was the first ever in the history of Canada women's soccer and snapped a 22 year losing streak. The victory also allowed gave Canada their first sweep of a group stage in Olympic or World Cup play (men or women).
In the crossover quarterfinal match, Canada defeated France in a rematch of the 2012 Olympic Bronze medal game. The semi finals saw a rematch with Germany in which Canada could not get their second win over and had to settle for the opportunity to beat host nation Brazil in Sao Paulo.
Playing in front of 45,000 Brazilians as well as some of the Canadian parents and friends, to say that the Bronze medal match was truly a road game was probably the biggest understatement of all. In football mad Brazil, the home team had massive expectations on their shoulders after a loss to Sweden in PKs. Canada came out and withstood the initial rush by the home team with their fans singing and dancing at Arena Corinthians with a first half goal that gave Canada a 1-0 lead at the break.
Canada made it 2-0 in the second half before Brazil made it on to the scoreboard with under 10' to play and with the crowd in full throat rocking the stadium. Canada held on to win 2-1 becoming the first Summer Olympic Canadian team to win back to back medals since 1904 / 1908.
Melissa started every game of the 2016 Summer Olympics playing an average of 65.6 minutes per start, though Canada played a man down in the first match after 19 minutes and she was substituted out for defensive purposes after 23 minutes that match. The other 4 games she averaged 76.25 minutes per match.
Professional Women's Soccer
During Melissa's professional soccer career she has called home to the following teams and leagues:
- KIF Orebro 2016 (Sweden)
- Chicago Red Stars 2014 & 2015 (NWSL)
- Houston Dash 2014 (National Women's Soccer League)
- Dalsjofors 2012 (Sweden)
- Pita IF 2011 (Sweden)
- Vancouver Whitecaps 2010 (W-League)
- St Louis Athletica 2009 (WPS)
- Atlanta Silverbacks 2005 & 2006 (W-League)
- Detroit Jaguars 2004 (W-League)
University of Notre Dame, NCAA Soccer
During her time at Notre Dame, reality struck early that your going to an institution to not only play sport, but to also get yourself a college degree for when you are done. Melissa tore her ACL and did not play her first year because of it. Upon her return to the sport, she earned the accolades of being a 2x First & 2x Second Team All-American, 2x Big East Defensive Player of the Year, 2x First Team All Big East Conference and being a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy (Heisman equivalent). On the pitch, in her senior year at Notre Dame, she was a co-captain and helped lead the Irish to the 2004 NCAA National Championship game where they defeated UCLA in penalty kicks to capture the school’s 2nd title.