Karina LeBlanc begins her fourth season as an assistant coach “On the Banks.” She was selected fifth overall in the Women’s Professional Soccer league draft by the Los Angeles Sol and will rejoin the team at the completion of the season.
LeBlanc competed with the Canadian National Women’s Team in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, posting 12 saves in her team’s 2-1 overtime loss to eventual gold winner Team USA. She has played with the Canadian Women’s National Team since 1998.
“Karina brings a very well-rounded knowledge of the game and she is a vital member of our staff,” said Glenn Crooks.” “She develops an immediate bond with the players and provides great motivation for them. The value of the experience she has with the Canadian National Program, from World Cups to the Olympics, when shared with our players, is tremendous.”
LeBlanc led the Canadians to a fourth-place finish at the 2003 Women’s World Cup as well as a spot in the 1999 Women’s World Cup. She competed at the 1999 Pan-American Games, and has served as a worldwide ambassador for the Canadian WNT.
LeBlanc played with the New Jersey Wildcats in the W-League from 2005-07, leading the Wildcats to the 2005 league title and a runner-up finish in the Eastern Conference in 2006. For her efforts, she was named a member of the 2005 W-League All-Tournament and All-League Teams. Prior to her W-League experience, she was drafted by the Boston Breakers of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA). LeBlanc was the starting keeper for the World Team at the 2003 WUSA All-Star Game, and helped lead the Breakers to that year’s league championship.
A native of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, she has served as a goalkeeper coach with the Canadian Under-15 National Team, has developed goalkeeping clinics throughout the United States and Canada, and has been active with several charitable organizations. A two-time All-Big 12 selection during her collegiate career at Nebraska, she was named an All-American and a Hermann Trophy finalist in 2000. She received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Nebraska, and was a two-time First Team selection to the Academic All-Big 12 Team as well as a recipient of the Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar Award.