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!
There are many talented players across Canada, but it can be difficult to get noticed when you don’t live near one of the largest cities, such as Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal. That, however, never stopped Winnipeg, Manitoba, native Desiree Scott.
"I think the prairies get overlooked a little bit," Scott told the Canadian Soccer Association in June. "Our training conditions are not always perfect, you can't train all year round, and we have -40 weather in Winnipeg. So, it is not always fun to train, but you got to do what you've got to do."
At 24-years-old, Scott has become a key member of the Canadian women’s national team. She began playing for Canada in 2003 at the U-16 level and also represented Canada at the 2006 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Russia. She was also a standout player at the University of Manitoba, earning many accolades.
In the middle of all this, Scott suited up for Whitecaps FC in the summer of 2006. Playing with many of the biggest names in Canadian women’s soccer, Scott appeared in five matches for 450 minutes of action as the ‘Caps took home their second W-League title that season.
However, as she finished her collegiate career, she didn’t think that she would play for Canada again. But while playing for her local club team in the summer of 2009, the national team coaching staff came out to see her play.
“I had thought my national team years were over after the U-20s,” said Scott. “I was behind as a player. I wasn't fit, I wasn't even in the mind set of a national team player. Every day, I was like, 'I don't know if I can do this, there is so much pressure.'”
Scott pushed though and her performance saw her called into camp for Canada. She then returned to Vancouver to play for the Whitecaps during the 2010 W-League season. After helping the ‘Caps make it to the W-League final, Scott was named to the roster for last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany and came on as a substitute in two of the three matches.
Then in October, Scott made another breakthrough. With new head coach John Herdman leading the way, Scott played every minute of the semifinal and final of the 2011 Pan Am Games, as Canada took gold in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Now she’s back playing with Canada again, looking to add another achievement and help lead her country to the 2012 London Olympics.
“There are not a lot of players that come from (Manitoba), so people are saying ‘Go Des' and ‘you're our hometown hero',” said Scott. “I don't want to let them down.”
For more details on how to purchase tickets, please visit the CanadaSoccer.com CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying tournament information page.