Whitby soccer star set to smash transfer records with reported sale to Liverpool

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Published June 28, 2024 at 12:43 pm

Olivia Smith
Whitby soccer sensation Olivia Smith. Photo Canada Soccer

After a debut pro season that culminated in Player of the Year honours in Portugal, it’s no longer proper to say Whitby soccer star Olivia Smith is poised for greatness.

Smith, who is awaiting word on her inclusion on the Olympic roster with the defending gold medal women’s national team, won’t leave her teens behind until August and is already looking to be headed to England and the Women’s Super League, with the BBC reporting Liverpool is prepared to smash transfer records to bring the attacking midfielder to the famed Merseyside club.

Emma Sanders of the BBC says Liverpool have made signing Smith their “priority summer target” and are willing to pay a 250,000 Euro (about $367,000 CDN) release clause to Sporting CP of Portugal to release the Canadian star from her contract.

Smith is signed with Sporting CP through 2025.

Liverpool’s existing league transfer record is £100,000, which the club paid to bring striker Sophie Haug from Italian club Roma last summer.

Smith has been one of Canada’s top prospects for several years and became the youngest player ever capped for Canada when she suited up for two games as a 15-year-old in a tournament in China in November 2019. Her first game for the senior national team was against Brazil and her idol Marta, who she met as an 11-year-old in Montreal at the 2015 World Cup. She was named Canada’s top youth international that year and as a Canada youth player Smith is in rarified air with her 24 career goals second only to the legendary Christine Sinclair’s 27.

Smith first played house league with Whitby Soccer before playing at the competitive level with Oshawa Kicks, Ajax and Markham FC. She played for Penn State in the NCAA in the fall of 2022 but turned pro after one season and was named to Bev Priestman’s 2023 World Cup roster. She opened her senior national team goal scoring account earlier this year at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, scoring twice.

“To be honest, she’s been absolutely outstanding,” Canada coach Priestman said last year. “I can tell the players are blown away with her impact coming in.”

“She very much has held her own in this environment … she was exciting from the minute she came in.”

Olivia Smith

Smith, who scored 16 goals and added 10 assists in 28 games for Sporting CP to earn league MVP and Rookie of the Year honours, seemed to suggest earlier this month that an exit was in her immediate future, telling reporters at a recent national team camp that “God only knows what’s next for me in my career.”

She also told reporters making the Olympic team “would mean everything.”

She’s on the 25-woman provisional squad but Priestman can only carry 18 players with three alternates.

“That’s obviously a big dream of mine. Just like last year, being able to attend the World Cup was a miracle. This year has been a big year for me and it would be great to crack that roster. Time will tell.”

Canada opens defence of the Olympic title July 25 against New Zealand.

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