Canadian women to get new soccer coach soon: CSA
The Canadian Soccer Association says the search for a new national women's team coach is on track.
A new coach will be in place before Canada plays two exhibition matches against the United States in September, Peter Montopoli, the CSA's general secretary, said Thursday.
The women's team has been without a coach since Carolina Morace resigned suddenly following Canada's disastrous performance at the World Cup in Germany.
"We are comfortable where we are with the process and the selection," Montopoli said. "We're not uncomfortable.
"I believe we will get the right coach for the right team at the right place at the right time."
Montopoli said there is a "September time frame" to name the coach.
Canada is scheduled to play the World Cup finalist Americans on Sept. 17 in Kansas City and Sept. 22 in Portland, Ore.
Canada will also send a women's team to the Pan American Games in October, then hopes to punch its ticket to the 2012 London Summer Games at the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament being held a B.C. Place Stadium in January.
The CSA might not know the name of the coach yet, but the association knows the qualifications it wants.
"We made it clear from the beginning," said Montopoli, who managed to look cool on a scorching hot roof patio. "We're continuing with the clearness that we are looking for the best coach possible with international experience."
Montopoli was in Vancouver to announce ticket packages for the Olympic qualifying tournament will go on sale Sept. 9.
The tournament, to be held Jan. 19-29, will attract eight teams including Canada, Mexico and the United States, plus three from the Caribbean and two from Central America. The top two countries earn spots in the London Games.
The Canadian women were ranked sixth in the world and had sky-high expectations when they began the World Cup on June 26.
Their dreams crashed when three loses resulted in a first-round exit.
Canada managed just one goal during the tournament and has since dropped to eighth in the world rankings.
Morace turned in her resignation in July during an internal review. Under the 47-year-old Italian's guidance the women had a 25-11-5 record.
Montopoli re-iterated it was Morace's choice to leave, but wouldn't say why.
"I'm not in the position to really say," he said. "Carolina would be the one to be in a better position to explain that."
Montopoli was careful when asked if the CSA was angry over Morace's departure.
"What it does is provide a unique opportunity to bring in a fresh approach," he said. "We work in the parameters that are given us.
"We are looking for a new coach. The coach will be in place in time for the next competitions."
The players were extremely loyal to Morace but Montopoli expects they will adapt to a new coach.
"I believe once the new coach is appointed, they will be ready," he said. "I think they are hungry to show Canada what they really are.
"They are ready to play for our country."
Under Morace, the women spent about four months training in Italy prior to the World Cup.
In the future, Montopoli thinks more training will be done in North America.
"We have to work within the environment and the weather conditions we have," he said. "Sometimes Florida or California seem to be a better solution.
"Certainly the camps will be held more often in Canada."
It will be the coach's decision what sort of team Canada will field at the Pan Am Games, which will be held in Guadalajara, Mexico, from Oct. 18-27.
Montopoli expects it will be a mixture of senior athletes and developmental players.
The Olympic qualifying tournament will be the first international competition held at B.C. Place. The downtown stadium is undergoing $565 million in renovations, including a retractable roof.
Ticket packages range from $69 to $125.
The tournament logo was also unveiled Thursday. It shows a stylized Canadian flag waving over B.C. Place.
The 2015 Women's World Cup will be held in Canada. The tournament will feature 24 teams, an increase from the 16 that competed in Germany.
Vancouver is one of seven cities that has shown an interest in hosting matches.
Montopoli said FIFA officials plan a venue inspection tour next month. An announcement of which cities will host games is expected in 2012.