VANCOUVER — They call her The Destroyer and Canadian midfielder Desiree Scott wears the badge proudly.
“I absolutely love it,” she said. “I think it matches me perfectly.
“Most people wouldn’t think a five-foot-two loving-hearted girl as myself would get that nickname but I think my play on the field matches it. I feel sort of like a mini-super hero when I hear The Destroyer,” she added, lowering her voice for The Destroyer part.
“It suits me very well.”
The nickname came from coach John Herdman during the 2012 Olympic qualifiers.
“He did an interview after and he said ‘How about that Desi Scott?’ He just said ‘She’s destroying them out there.’ And it just sort of stuck from there.”
The 27-year-old from Winnipeg plays holding midfielder, patrolling in front of the Canadian backline like a pit bull. Cross her at your peril. Crunching tackles are her bread and butter,
“That’s what gets me excited,” she said.
Eighth-ranked Canada plays No. 6 England on Saturday at B.C. Place Stadium before an expected crowd of 50,000-plus at B.C. Place Stadium.
Scott, as the only Canadian who plays in the English women’s league, knows the enemy.
Notts County Ladies FC teammates Alex Greenwood, Laura Bassett, Ellen White and Carly Telford are all part of the England squad.
Scott plans to return post-tournament to Notts County for the second half of the season. Circled on her calendar is the Aug. 1 Women’s FA Cup final against Chelsea Ladies at Wembley Stadium.
Based on her first year’s experience in England, she is happy with her decision to play there rather than return to the NWSL.
“I didn’t know what to expect going over there,” she said. “It’s definitely competitive and a good-quality league and it’s only improving.”
Scott describes herself as a homebody so the move overseas was out of character. But she figured she only had so many years of playing at the top level so why not make the most of them.
Scott got a taste of celebrity when she returned home to Winnipeg from the London Olympics, where Canada won bronze.
Her mother had told her there might be few fans at the airport. But when she came down the escalator, she was surrounding by a crowd chanting her name.
“I was excited, I started crying, like I didn’t know what to do. The support from my local fans there was unbelievable.”
Scott played a key role in the bronze medal game against France, deflecting a shot that was headed at the Canadian goal.
Away from the pitch, the former University of Manitoba player is a certified Zumba instructor. In other words, she can shake a leg and work up a sweat.
“I love to dance,” she said. “If I had not played soccer, I think I would have gone into dance.”
Scott’s pre-game routine is to dance, to get the nerves out.
She followed brother Nick into soccer. “I wanted to be like my big brother,” she said.
“He’s always said I’m living his dream,” Scott added with a laugh.
Scott has won 94 caps since making her Canadian debut at age 22 in February 2010. She played in 49 consecutive Canada matches from 2011 to 2014.