'Caps for Canada: Sophie Schmidt

Schmidt sees the woman in the mirror

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!

Sophie Schmidt doesn’t consider herself a superstitious player. However, one pre-game tradition she does maintain is her music playlist.

“I've had the same pre-game playlist since forever,” said Schmidt in an interview with CBC.  “Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson is my special pre-game song.”

The fact that Schmidt uses Michael Jackson’s calming, yet periodically up-tempo Man in the Mirror speaks about the way she plays on the field. She’s a steady force in central midfield, someone who can control the pace of a match.

That solid, determined play was largely developed while playing for Whitecaps FC. The Abbotsford, BC, midfielder spent six seasons playing for the ‘Caps, winning a W-League title in 2006 while playing a big role in the team’s undefeated regular season and run to the W-League final in 2010.

Now 23-year-old, Schmidt is getting ready for the upcoming 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament back in front of her hometown fans. She has been a member of the national team since 2007 and has played in two FIFA Women’s World Cups and an Olympics.  She’s become one of the most consistent players on Canada’s squad and this past year was named a finalist for the 2011 BMO Canadian Women’s Player of the Year award. Her accomplishments in 2011 included breaking the record for most appearances within a year (24), helping the national team win gold at the Pan American Games and while also helping her magicJack team make the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) semi-finals.

“She’s so dangerous for us,” magicJack player-coach Abby Wambach said in an interview on the club’s website. “She does the simple things, and for a centre midfielder to just play and do things simply — make things predictable for everybody around you — really they’re the engine.  They’re the heart and soul of the team that makes it go, and not go.”

That description is what comes up in the mirror as well.

“I don’t strive to be the marquee player, that’s not the role of my position,” Schmidt said on the magicJack website. “The best players in the world make it look easy, so that’s what I have tried to do. … I think I pride myself in being consistent and being that calm in the middle of the field.”

Quiet and reserved is how she is off the field, but on it she is known for being tenacious, outwardly confident, strong and consistent – all things you would want to play next to and not have to play against, face-to-face.

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