Scott advocating for women’s pro soccer team in Winnipeg

Winnipeg could be the future home of a professional women’s soccer team.

Read this article for free:


Already have an account? Log in here »

To continue reading, please subscribe:

Monthly Digital Subscription

$4.75 per week*

  • Enjoy unlimited reading on
  • Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
  • Access News Break, our award-winning app
  • Play interactive puzzles

*Billed as $19.00 plus GST every four weeks. Cancel anytime.

Winnipeg could be the future home of a professional women’s soccer team.

Canadian soccer legends Christine Sinclair and Diana Matheson announced earlier this week they are launching a domestic pro league in 2025 featuring eight teams across the country.

Winnipeg’s Desiree Scott, a longtime teammate of Sinclair and Matheson on the Canadian national team, hopes her home town can be a part of the league. Only two teams, Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Calgary Foothills Soccer Club, have been confirmed to date.

The season would start in April and end sometime in the fall.

“I’ve been a hard advocate for pushing Winnipeg as a market. I think anytime the Canadian team has come here, fans show up and we’ve shown that. So, hopefully we’re on the board, I can’t guarantee it, but I’m a hard advocate for it,” Scott told the Free Press on Wednesday.

“I have a direct line (to Matheson and Sinclair). I talk to them all the time. I’m like, ‘Winnipeg’s in and I’d love to be involved in it and help make this league successful.’ Especially being the Winnipegger that I am, I’m very proud and I would love to see that come here and help the sport grow.”

Sinclair is working with the league as an advisor, while Matheson, who retired in 2021, is spearheading it with her company, Project 8 Sports, along with a business partner. The unnamed league also has CIBC and Air Canada on board as investors and sponsors.

A fledgling franchise is expected to cost $8-10 million.

It’s not known if the Winnipeg Football Club, which owns the CFL’s Blue Bombers and men’s pro soccer team Valour FC, has expressed interest in operating a team in the proposed women’s circuit.

Matheson told reporters earlier this week the league is not just looking to men’s pro clubs in Canada as potential owners. In fact, the league is hoping to attract independent owners, particularly with women in leadership roles.

The goal is for each team to feature at least one player from the national squad, and to recruit many of the 100-plus Canadians who currently play in other countries.

“It’s important that we have something to look forward to and an option to be professional within our own borders. For all the young players striving to be a pro, they can see it in their backyard with some of the best people playing right in their province,” said Scott.

Scott, a 35-year-old midfielder who got her start with the University of Manitoba Bisons, currently plays for the National Women’s Soccer League’s Kansas City Current.

“That would be the dream for me,” Scott said.

“I wish I was five years younger or just starting out my career. I said that about university, I was a homebody and didn’t want to go away because I wanted family and friends in the stands watching me play. To be able to do that professionally would be a dream. Am I still going to be in the game? I don’t know. But to play, or coach, or be involved in some aspect would definitely be my game plan.”

Valour FC, part of the Canadian Premier League, averaged just over 3,000 fans per game this past season at IG Field. The last time the Canadian women were in town was 2017 when they hosted Costa Rica for a friendly in front of 14,434 spectators at IG Field.

Winnipeg was also one of the host sites for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and had more than 30,000 fans in the stands for a match between United States and Australia.

“I think we’ve got to start believing that there is a market here in Winnipeg. I think a lot of people discredit Winnipeg, Manitoba as a flyover city and you don’t stop there,” said Scott. “But we’ve had a World Cup here before and we have people who want to come out to the games and see women’s sport and I think the more we believe that we can be a market and get people invested in it that anything is possible.”

Scott said she has unfinished business to attend to before this league kicks off.

While she already has three Olympic medals — a gold from Tokyo 2020 to go with a pair of bronze medals — Scott and the No. 7-ranked Canadians are searching for their first ever top-three finish at a World Cup. They will have a chance to do so at next summer’s global soccer series in Australia and New Zealand.

“That would be my fourth World Cup if I could make the roster, which, every time I put on that jersey, I’m grateful, especially to have as long of a career as I’ve had. And then the funny thing is, the World Cup comes and then the Olympics come six months later. So, you’re like, ‘Ah, I’m done after the World Cup.’ But then there’s another major tournament right around the corner,” said Scott.

“So, I definitely want to play in 2023 and possibly 2024, but a couple years or so is all that’s left in the tank for me.”

Twitter: @TaylorAllen31

Taylor Allen

Taylor Allen

Eighteen years old and still in high school, Taylor got his start with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of...


Updated on Thursday, December 8, 2022 10:55 AM CST: Adds attribution to quote

Report Error Submit a Tip