The Players: Brittany Timko

When you watched Canadian Brittany Timko run dead on to American goalkeeper Hope Solo at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, you knew it had to hurt. In fact, she was hurt – two broken ribs and a collapsed lung after the collision late in the second half before extra time. Canada had reached the quarter-final stage against the world’s number-one ranked USA, but eventually lost the match 1:2 after extra time and were eliminated by the Olympic champions.

When you watched Canadian Brittany Timko run dead on to American goalkeeper Hope Solo at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, you knew it had to hurt. In fact, she was hurt – two broken ribs and a collapsed lung after the collision late in the second half before extra time. Canada had reached the quarter-final stage against the world’s number-one ranked USA, but eventually lost the match 1:2 after extra time and were eliminated by the Olympic champions.



Timko recovered, as she always does. She is an aggressive player, never one to slow down if it means winning the ball on defence or joining the attack up front. She just does her job, doing whatever it takes to help Canada get ahead.



“When it comes to playing on the national team, you have to give it your all and not be worried about getting injured,” said Brittany Timko.



Last year, Timko suffered another injury just before the Cyprus Women’s Cup, this time an ACL injury in a Women’s International Friendly match against Poland. The injury cost her two months of rehabilitation and then several more months just to get up to full speed. She officially returned to action with the Canadian team on 15 December at the Torneio Internacional Cidade de São Paulo in Brazil, nearly 10 months after her initial injury in Cyprus.



“It was the hardest part of rehab,” said Timko. “You want to play so bad, but your body is not ready.”



At the 2011 Cyprus Women’s Cup in March, Timko got an in-house round of applause from her teammates and staff for her performance and goal after a lengthy road to comeback. Playing the second half against England, she scored 10 minutes after her entry to give Canada a 2-0 lead and to help seal the fate of Canada’s top-10 opponent.



Still only 25 years young, Timko has played close to 100 matches for Canada since her 9 April 2002 debut in Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA (a 2:1 victory over Jamaica). She was just 16 years old at the time. Before this year, Timko has already participated in two FIFA Women’s World Cups, one Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, four CONCACAF women’s “A” tournaments, one Pan American Games, and two FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cups. She was the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Golden Shoe winner in 2004.



“Every time it is a new experience,” said Timko. “I’m still in awe to be playing for Canada.”



One of the highlights was Canada’s silver-medal performance at the inaugural FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2002. The under-aged Timko played in all six Canadian matches, including the championship final in front of a packed 47,194 Canadian fans at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, AB.



“2002 was a really special experience,” said Timko. “I’m still so, so close with players from that team.”



Amazingly, seven of those 18 players from the 2002 team still play for Canada at the “A” level. That group, along with several other players that joined the program around the same time, form the nucleus of the Canadian team vying for a FIFA medal at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011.



“I think we have grown so much as a team,” said Timko. “We are working towards something special. This is such a great staff and group of players.”



Should Canada win a medal, expect Timko to be a big part of that success. After all, we’ll be watching for that all-out spirit when the games begin this summer in Germany.



Champions



In the summer of 2004, Canada’s women’s youth team won a confederation championship on home field at Frank Clair Stadium in Ottawa. Timko was in the lineup that day as Canada won 2:1 after extra time against rival USA.



It was Canada’s first of two CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championships. Four years later, Canada won again over USA, this time by a 1:0 margin.



One of Timko’s teammates in 2004 was Emily Zurrer, today Timko’s roommate on the road to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011. Zurrer was the Most Valuable Player of the 2004 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship.



Five months later, Timko and Zurrer were in action again for Canada, this time at the second FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Thailand. Canada reached the quarter-final phase, but lost to eventual silver-medalist China PR. Timko won the adidas Golden Shoe award with seven goals in four matches.

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