'Caps for Canada: Brittany Timko

Timko shows her toughness, eager to play in front of hometown fans

Later this month, BC Place will be host to the 2012 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament. For many players on the team, this won’t be the first time playing in front of fans in Vancouver, as the squad includes 14 former members of Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Over the next two weeks, whitecapsfc.com will be profiling each of these players as we get set to support our fantastic Canadian women!

The last time Brittany Timko played in the Olympics, she ended up with two broken ribs and a collapsed lung, courtesy of a collision with United States goalkeeper Hope Solo. That play typifies Timko – despite her wiry frame. Being passionate and aggressive is exactly why she has been a big part of the Canadian women’s national team for 10 years now.

She first started with the senior national team back in 2002, when she was just 16-years-old and, at the time, the second youngest player to ever play for Canada.  She has now totaled over 100 appearances – one of only a handful of players to reach that milestone.  As amazing as it is to reach that level, to know that she has also endured some pretty serious injuries over the years makes it all the more impressive.

It’s standard to see some injuries in any career as an athlete, however, not so standard to come back from what Timko has.  Her most recent source of pain was one of the most devastating in soccer – a torn ACL.  With two full months of rehab and ten months in total before she was back to game shape, Timko has worked very hard to get back to playing the sport she loves, but she’s come back with that same intense style.

“When it comes to playing on the national team, you have to give it your all and not be worried about getting injured,” said Timko to the Canadian Soccer Association last May.

While Timko has shown her toughness of late, it was her skill that got her to this level. She was an elite striker during her college years at the University of Nebraska, becoming one of less than 50 players to register over 40 goals and 40 assists in NCAA history. She took that nose for the net to the youth international level, winning the Golden Shoe as the top goal scorer at the 2004 FIFA U-19 World Championships in Thailand with seven goals in four matches.

In between, the Coquitlam, BC, native played for her hometown Whitecaps FC, registering four goals and six assists while winning W-League titles in both 2004 and 2006. She's also played abroad for Melbourne Victory in Australia, Piteå IF in Sweden, and SG Essen-Schönebeck in Germany.

For Canada she’s played more in the midfield and on defence, where a certain degree of grit is surely required. Now, as she prepares to aid in Canada’s quest to return to the Olympics, Timko gets set to put her body on the line once more, this time in front of her hometown fans.

“Injuries are a part of the game and I feel very fortunate to be playing for Canada and to have the opportunity to share and work towards something really special in Vancouver,” Timko told whitecapsfc.com. “Being able to play in front of my family and friends in a major tournament in Vancouver is something that I've always dreamed.”

And who knows, if Canada make it back to the Olympics, maybe this time she’ll finish the tournament with her ribs intact.

For more details on how to purchase tickets, please visit the CanadaSoccer.com CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying tournament information page.