Christine Sinclair backs Canadian women's coach
'It's a shame that it's come to this point,' said Canada's captain
Christine Sinclair is confident she speaks for her teammates when she says she wants Carolina Morace to remain as coach of the Canadian women's soccer team.
Morace recently sent a letter of resignation to the Canadian Soccer Association stating her intention to quit following the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, which runs from June 26 to July 17 in Germany.
The Italian-born coach indicated she was stepping down because the CSA "has a strategy to achieve their goals that differs from my strategy."
Sinclair, a 27-year-old forward from Burnaby, B.C., said she and her teammates are completely behind Morace in her spat with the CSA, stating that Canadian soccer's governing body has continually stifled the Italian with regards to how she runs the women's national program and its budget.
"She just wants control of her program from the top to bottom," Sinclair told CBCSports.ca. "It's a shame that the CSA can't provide her that because she's the best coach I have ever had and she's completely changed our team. I think our results over the past year speak for themselves."
Sinclair added: "Heading into the World Cup, Carolina gives us our best shot of reaching our goals and it's a shame the CSA can't see that."
The Canadian captain was categorical in stating she wants the CSA to work things out so that Morace will remain as coach after the World Cup.
"That's up to the CSA," Sinclair stated. "Carolina knows we support her 100 per cent and she knows what we think of her as a coach. But sometimes that's not enough."
Tactical switch under Morace
Morace has been universally lauded by her players for the way she's transformed the team since taking over in early 2009, instilling the virtues of maintaining possession and playing one-touch soccer.
Her arrival marked a distinct tactical switch. Previous coach Even Pellerud preached a one-dimensional style of play that emphasized the long ball, physical strength and endurance.
But under Morace, the Canadian team has adopted a more stylish, technical and direct brand of soccer.
The players responded to Morace's tactical revolution, winning the CONCACAF Women's World Cup Qualification Tournament in Mexico last November. Canada also won last year's Cyprus Cup and a Four Nations Tournament in Brazil December 2010 during Morace's tenure.
Morace, who turned 47 last Saturday, is also credited for altering the culture of the women's program, changing the side's training methodology, and demanding her players be faster and more physically fit.
Sinclair believes the CSA should take a hands-off approach because Morace has earned the right to run the program without interference.
"Here's a coach that is obviously doing the right thing and getting the results on the field and has earned the respect of her players. So from that standpoint, it's hard to see what she could be asking for that is so outrageous," Sinclair said.
Sinclair is regarded as one of the best players in the world in the women's game. She has scored 115 goals in 151 appearances since making her national team debut in 2000, and is one of the biggest movers and shakers in Canadian soccer.
But Sinclair doesn't plan to speak directly to CSA officials about her dissatisfaction over Morace's resignation because she feels it wouldn't do any good.
"I know two of our players over the past couple of years have been dealing with the CSA with no success. So I don't think much would be resolved if I go talk to them. They probably wouldn't respond," she admitted.
Sinclair is frustrated with the how the CSA has handled the situation, and believes it has to convince Morace to remain as coach after the World Cup.
"It's just a shame that it's come to this point. It never should have gotten this far," Sinclair stated.
The timing of Morace's resignation has become a bit of a controversial subject, with the suggestion it could have come after the World Cup so as not to serve as a distraction over the coming months as the players prepare for the tournament.
Sinclair applauded the Italian's timing, saying it was vital that she bring it out in the open now, thus leaving plenty of time for possible reconciliation between the CSA and Morace.
"It gives her and the CSA five months, and hopefully between now and then, they can work things out. As players that's what we're hoping for," Sinclair said.