Story by Richard Scott
Olympic champion Sophie Schmidt will play her last international match in 2023 with plans to make her final Canada appearance at Vancouver’s BC Place on Tuesday 5 December against Australia. Schmidt leaves the international game after 19 seasons in a Canada shirt with the special opportunity to play in front of family and friends in her home province of British Columbia one more time.
“Sophie, although she initially left international football at the end of the FIFA World Cup, this opportunity to play one more time with her best mates in front of family and friends was just too unique,” said Bev Priestman, Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team Head Coach. “It gives her the platform she deserves to say her goodbye properly from the National Team as she knows best, on the pitch.”
Schmidt, who grew up in Abbotsford, was just 16 years old when she made her international “A” debut on 19 April 2005. She made her home debut less than five months later on 1 September at Burnaby’s Swangard Stadium. After 19 years, her next appearance will be the 225th of her incredible career for Canada, which ranks second all time behind only captain Christine Sinclair.
Across her career, Schmidt was Canada Soccer’s U-20 Player of the Year in 2007, the runner up in Canada Soccer Player of the Year voting in 2011, and the Women’s National Team goalscoring leader in 2014. A two-time Women’s National Team assists leader, she represented Canada at four Olympic Games, five FIFA World Cups and eight Concacaf tournaments.
She helped Canada qualify for the Olympic Games for the first time in 2008, won the 2010 Concacaf Women’s Championship and 2011 Pan American Games, won back-to-back Olympic Bronze Medals at London 2012 and Rio 2016, and then won an Olympic Gold Medal at Tokyo in 2021. She was one of just three Canadians that won three consecutive Olympic Medals from 2012 to 2021 alongside teammates Sinclair and Desiree Scott.
Schmidt’s final appearance will also be her 15th international match played in her home province since 2005. At BC Place, Schmidt helped Canada qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games during the 2012 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifiers and then played in front of a pair of record-breaking crowds during the knockout stage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015.
Schmidt was just eight years old when she started playing her international football in Abbotsford, about an hour’s drive east of Vancouver. She was just 14 years old when she made her debut in the Canadian youth program in 2003 and she featured at back-to-back FIFA youth tournaments in 2004 and 2006. At the club level, she has played her football in Canada, USA, Sweden and Germany and has spent the past five seasons with the Houston Dash in the National Women’s Soccer League.
Sophie Schmidt at the 2015 FIFA World Cup in Vancouver (Photo by Jay Shaw)
Sophie Schmidt, Olympic champion and Concacaf champion (Photo by Richard Scott)
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