Archive for carolina morace

Canada’s women: Winning one for all of us

Posted in Canada, World Cup with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2010 by squizz

There have only been two instances in which I’ve been able to see Jack Warner‘s face without feeling the bile rising up in the back of my throat. On both occasions, he’s handing a Gold Cup trophy to the captain of a Canadian national team.

Ten years ago, it was Jason de Vos. And last night, it was Christine Sinclair.

Ten years ago, it was a fortuitous coin flip that allowed the men to progress into the knockout stages of the tournament. Last week, the biggest upset in women’s soccer history (the Mexicans’ semi-final defeat of the #1-ranked USA) gave Big Red an easier path to the trophy than they were anticipating.

Ten years ago, the men’s national team had high expectations after the recent appointment of a well-regarded international manager (Holger Osieck). Today, the women have Carolina Morace.

But that’s where the similarities end. Whereas the men’s Gold Cup success never translated over into World Cup qualifying, and dissension within the dressing room helped contribute to Osieck’s departure, I can’t help but think that this women’s side may be at the precipice of a defining moment in Canadian soccer. Continue reading

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Today’s the day for Big Red

Posted in Canada, Women's with tags , , , , , , , on November 5, 2010 by squizz

There’s a very good chance that by the end of tonight, we’ll be able to write “Canada has qualified for the World Cup“, and have it be accurate.

And that feels pretty damned good.

Sure, qualifying for the Women’s World Cup is a bit of a “gimme” for our ladies, considering that aside from the powerhouse Americans, there aren’t really any other sides in CONCACAF that are at our level. But we can’t allow results like an 8-0 thrashing of Guyana to let us get complacent as Canadian soccer supporters. Continue reading

Two new coaches, two new directions

Posted in Canada, Women's with tags , , , , , , , on January 29, 2010 by squizz

The fervent “sack the CSA!” brigade was forced to temper their passion somewhat for most of 2009. After the men’s national team’s monumental failure in attempting to qualify for this year’s World Cup, things looked universally grim for Canadian soccer. But early in the year, under pressure from the Voyageurs, the Canadian Soccer Association bit the bullet and fired Dale Mitchell as head coach of the men’s national team. Stephen Hart, for the second time, took on the “interim” tag in that role for most of the year, before having his job solidified in December. During that time, Canada got some good results at the Gold Cup and the CSA announced several friendlies for 2010. Progress was indisputably being made.

On the women’s side, the national team was similarly without a head coach entering 2009, after the departure of long-time gaffer Even Pellerud. In February, the CSA shocked the world (by which I mean a small cadre of soccer geeks) by introducing former Italy head coach Carolina Morace as Pellerud’s replacement. Morace’s credentials spoke for themselves, and the move was almost universally regarded as a positive. She pledged to take the teams under her control (the national and U20 squads) in a different tactical direction, abandoning “route one” footie for a more controlled, possession-oriented style. Early results weren’t good (including a 4-0 thrashing by the USA at BMO Field), though Morace is being given plenty of leeway as she attempts to put her own signature on Canadian women’s soccer.

Two new head coaches, facing new years. Both highly regarded by Canadian fans, and both wanting to take their respective sides in a new direction. Those directions, though, are about as far apart from one another as they could possibly be. Continue reading

The Reserve Squad: Morace named coach of men’s national team

Posted in Canada, CSA incompetence, The Reserve Squad, Women's with tags , , , , , , on March 31, 2009 by squizz

Mere days after firing Dale Mitchell as the coach of the men’s national team, the Canadian Soccer Association made the surprising move Tuesday of naming newly-hired women’s national and U20 coach Carolina Morace to the men’s post as well.

“We believe that with Carolina’s impressive resume, she is ready to take on all of these responsibilities,” said CSA spokesperson Richard Scott in a release. “We are looking to go in a new direction with our national program, and she will help take us there.”

Morace will be treading in unchartered waters, becoming not only the first woman to coach a men’s national team, but the first person to coach more than one national team simultaneously.

“Perhaps some will say we are putting all of our eggs in one basket,” said CSA chairman Dominic Maestracci, “but when you spend so many years just searching for a basket, and you find one, where else shall you put your eggs?” Continue reading

Morace makes her Toronto debut

Posted in Canada, Women's with tags , on March 24, 2009 by squizz

The high-profile new coach of the women’s national team, Carolina Morace, made her first appearance in Toronto today for a press conference at the National Soccer Stadium. Richard Starnes of the Ottawa Citizen provides a synopsis of the presser, as well as a very good overview of Morace’s pedigree and her plans for the Lady Reds looking forward. Our women’s team has been nothing to sneeze at over the past decade, but if Morace lives up to the hype, we may be looking at even better times ahead… our first chance to see it ourselves will come on May 25 in Toronto.

Lady Reds visit Toronto May 25 — where will you be?

Posted in Canada, Women's with tags , , on March 8, 2009 by squizz

Alright, this may be a derivative, late-Sunday-afternoon kinda post, but it still deserves your attention: our women’s national team will be playing a friendly against Japan at BMO Field on May 25, and local soccer machine Dino Rossi (a.k.a. VPjr) has taken it upon himself to buy up a chunk of tickets in the hopes of creating a rambunctious supporters section for the game (more details on the Voyageurs forum). This game represents a (depressingly) rare opportunity for Canadian fans to see a national team play on home soil, and is also our first chance to take a look at the team’s highly-touted new coach, Carolina Morace.

Also, considering that the ladies are actually, y’know, good (as opposed to our men’s team, or the first two editions of Toronto FC), providing them with a raucous home environment seems like the reasonable thing to do, and definitely something Toronto fans are capable of… if they’re willing.

Even if losing your mind yelling and chanting isn’t up your alley, the game is still worth attending — and don’t let the prospect of low attendance scare you: the team’s last game in Toronto (a pre-Olympic warmup friendly against Brazil last July) drew well over 13,000 fans, most of them pro-Canada, despite little to no promotion ahead of time. But with the exposure the game will get by virtue of being mentioned on this blog… well, you’d better rush out and get your ducats now, before they’re all gone.

(Alright, maybe the exposure on other, better blogs will help too.)