Player's Own Voice

Player's Own Voice podcast: Carmelina Moscato kickstarts a league

The Player's Own Voice podcast connects with Carmelina Moscato - soccer star, coach and now leader of League1 Ontario.

Player, coach, and now executive, building professional game for Canadian women

Carmelina Moscato, centre back, leader of Ontario's League1 joins the latest edition of CBC Sports' Player's Own Voice Podcast. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Just because a challenge is easily understood, doesn't mean it's easily accomplished. 

Example? A professional soccer league for Canadian women. Canadians love watching its stars in FIFA  and Olympic play. Should be an open net, right?

Welcome to the daily dilemma for Carmelina Moscato, whose job is to make pro soccer happen in Canada, starting with League1 Ontario. The former national team star and internationally accredited coach comes on Player's Own Voice podcast to break the situation down into manageable chunks.

Moscato is a first-principles kind of thinker. If you want to succeed in 10 years, you need robust systems that retain teenaged girls. A recent study shows female participation plummets at ages 10, 13 and 17. Young women who are elite athletes need a reasonable expectation that there are careers to pursue if they are going to practice and commit.

And how do universities play into the system? Why should Canadians have to head to the U.S. for scholarships? And what about a tier of women's soccer leagues for lifetime participation and general health? And then there are all the ancilliary professions that a soccer nation needs: coaching, managing, training, physio, etc.

And while you are getting all those moving parts in place you also have to sway the prevailing mindset that men's professional sports are an investment, while women's pro sports are a tax write off. To do that right, you have to be in the boardrooms where those cheques are cut.

There's nothing easy about any of that, but Moscato is persuasive and persistent. Anastasia Bucsis, host of CBC Sports' Player's Own Voice podcast, gets the playbook on making it happen.

Like the CBC Sports' Player's Own Voice essay series, POV podcast lets athletes speak to Canadians about issues from a personal perspective. To listen to this season and previous, subscribe at  iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Tune In or wherever you get your other podcasts.


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