Soccer

Birarda appointed Canadian women's U-20 coach

Bob Birarda was named head coach of the Canadian women's under-20 soccer team on Friday.

Bob Birarda was named head coach of the Canadian women's under-20 soccer team on Friday.

Prior to this appointment, Birarda served as an assistant coach with the Canadian women's senior team under head coach Even Pellerud.

He was also an assistant coach with the women's youth team under coach Ian Bridge and was head coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps women's team when it won the W-League title in 2006.

Birarda now takes charge of the Canadian under-20 team as it prepares to compete in the upcoming CONCACAF U-20 championship. Canada needs a top-three finish in that tournament to qualify for the 2008 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Chile.

Canada has played in every U-20 World Cup since the inaugural tournament in 2002 in Edmonton.

"It is exciting to think about getting the players together and evaluating where we are after such a long time away from each other," Birarda said in a statement.

"This group of players has some great qualities. We are looking forward to building a team that can first qualify for Chile 2008 and then challenge for a world championship."

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