Desiree Scott: The Destroyer
by: Lindsey Daley,Special contributor to FCKansasCity.com
Standing at 5’3”, midfielder Desiree Scott does not let her height get to her. Ask experts who have watched the Canadian play and words like “tank” and “bulldozer” start to get thrown around. Canadian Women’s National Team Coach John Herdman said that Scott was “destroying people out there [in the 2011 Olympic qualifying match]” and the nickname ‘The Destroyer’ stuck.
Despite the intimidating nature of the nickname, Desiree loves it, saying “I kind of feel like a superhero.” A superhero for FC Kansas City, but she is a force of nature for other teams. The top National Women’s Soccer League scorers have a difficult time getting past Scott and the rest of FC Kansas City’s defense. Sydney Leroux, who leads the NWSL, has not scored on the ‘Blues’ while other big names like Alex Morgan, Christine Sinclair and Diana Matheson have only put one goal past Scott and her teammates. With the shut-down power that Scott displays, it is easy to think she has been the first line of defense for years, but she actually started her career as on offense.
In college, Desiree was a magnificent striker, earning Rookie of the Year in 2005 for the Canada West Universities Athletic Association. After finishing her time at University of Manitoba, Scott was second all time leading scorer and played in 69 of 77 matches. She started moving backwards on the pitch from there, starting midfield for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the Canadian Women’s National Team. As for her position in the FC Kansas City lineup, Desiree loves playing in front of her dear friend, roommate and fellow Canadian National Women’s National Team member, Lauren Sesselmann. Becky Sauerbrunn, Leigh Ann Robinson and Kristie Mewis round out the backline for FC Kansas City, which Scott says, “I think we have one of the best back four in the league. We’re so strong and we’re fast back there, we can compete with the best strikers in this league.” Though she plays an important transition role, pushing the ball from the backfield up to the forwards, Desiree wants to get back to her offensive roots. This season she has had 5 of her 7 shots on target and Scott says, “My defensive side of my game is strong, so I want to build my offensive side up and show that.”
Playing position was one of the bigger moves Desiree made; moving from Canada to Kansas City was another. Her Canadian Women's National Team teammates poked fun at Scott for her new home in the United States’ Heartland, but she said “the more you’re here, the more you learn to love it.” Having familiar faces in Lauren Sesselmann and Tiffany Cameron was nice but there were even more friends to be made in the rest of FC Kansas City. Desiree is known on the team for always having a good time and a contagious laugh. While Lauren Holiday was away for her wedding, Scott and Sesselmann created a short video singing wedding songs and wearing Lauren’s jerseys before the game against Western New York. Desiree’s teammates mention her when it comes to being the funniest or singing the loudest.
While the differences between NWSL and international play vary from player to player, Scott says the pressure is a big one. As for FC Kansas City and the rest of the NWSL, Desiree would not want to be anywhere else. “We’re here training with the best of the best on a daily basis.” The slightly lower pressure of the NWSL allows Desiree to showcase her personality on the pitch as well. Before games she is dancing along with the pregame music and during games she is playing soccer to her true personality. Scott described her style of play as sneak attacking, “I’m the one who sort of appears when you least expect me and come take the ball off of you.”
Desiree has her goals set for the future of Canada and FC Kansas City. As hosts, the Canadian Women's National Team is already qualified for the 2015 Women’s World Cup where Scott wants to step up and be a major starting factor for her country. NWSL playoffs will be at the end of August and she hopes to help the ‘Blues’ secure a spot and the inaugural championship. Personal growth is also on Desiree’s agenda, saying, “Just try and get better each game and hopefully win a MVP of the week award.” FC Kansas City is thrilled to have “The Destroyer” on this side of the pitch and looking forward to the tracks Desiree Scott will leave behind.