Tag Archives: Carmelina Moscato

Canada Brings Home Pan American Gold

Mexsport; CSA

That title has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? The Canadian Women’s National Team captured the top prize at the XVI Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico by defeating Brazil in dramatic fashion. Following a come-from-behind 1-1 draw in regulation and a scoreless overtime, Canada struck gold with penalty kicks, 4-3.

Twenty year-old Debora opened the scoring just 4 minutes into the match. The Brazilian striker headed towards three Canadian defenders and was given an excess of space to dribble up field before unleashing a top corner beauty from outside the box.

Canada was able to stay in the game thanks to a series of critical saves by Karina LeBlanc, especially late in regulation time when Brazil began peppering the Canadian net. Brazil outshot Canada 22-13, while Canada maintained 57% of possession.

As the clock ticked away, it appeared that Brazil was on its way to claiming another PanAm gold medal. However, like the 2011 Women’s World Cup quarter-finals against the USA, Brazil was undone late in the game by an equalizer off a header. This time it was at the mercy of Christine Sinclair being her usual clutch self. Canada won a corner kick in the 88th minute and Diana Matheson sent in a perfectly struck ball. Sinclair circled around goalkeeper Barbara to head it in with ease and forced the game into overtime.

But 30 minutes was not enough to break the deadlock between the teams, so the dreaded, heart wrenching penalty kicks were to settle the score.

Matheson converted the first Canadian PK with confidence, as did Francielle for Brazil. Upon the second round, Barbara was in a rage when she got a glove on Sinclair’s shot, but it wasn’t enough to keep it out of the net. Maurine and Melanie Booth were both successful in their respective shots from the mark. Canada took the lead following Brazil’s third PK when Grazielle placed her attempt up the middle for an easy stop by LeBlanc. Sophie Schmidt put Canada ahead once again and Ketlen answered back. It was 4-3 heading into the fifth set of PKs; things got momentarily tense for Canada while Brazil saw a glimmer of hope when Candace Chapman’s strike rattled the right sided post. The next kicker, Debora, had an opportunity to play hero for Brazil once again if she could tie up the results, but LeBlanc guessed the right direction to make her second PK save and secure first place.

Watch highlights of the final, Canada vs. Brazil, Brazil’s medal ceremony, Canada celebrating the win and the gold medal ceremony.

The win marks Canada’s first PanAm gold in women’s soccer, and John Herdman’s first tournament win since taking over the team in September. Canada previusly claimed fourth (1999), second (2003) and third place (2007) since the sport was included in the PanAm Games 12 years earlier. Brazil had won back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2007, and with the absence of any US team, it appeared to be theirs for the taking. Alas, it was yet another second place finish (see: the Women’s World Cup, Olympic Games and Torneio Internacional Cidade de São Paulo).

2015 will be a marquee year for the Canadian Women’s National Team with the Women’s World Cup being staged across Canada from June 26-July 17 and PanAm Toronto July 10-26. The overlap makes it highly unlikely that the senior team will be able to defend their title as the reigning PanAm Women’s Soccer champions. But with that aside, the build up in the next 4 years will be exciting times for the sport in the country. Whether it’ll be about seeking World Cup redemption or potentially instilling confidence in our youth team to represent us at the PanAms in place of the full squad, it’s all taking place in Canada. There’s no better feeling than playing (and winning) on home soil, right?

Continue reading

USWNT vs. CanWNT: Wambach & Morgan were Left Unmarked and Made Canada Pay

The United States concluded their post-2011 Women’s World Cup Celebration Series tour against Canada with a 3-0 victory. Both friendlies were played in front of incredible crowds; Megan Rapinoe joked earlier in the week that the fanfare has been like if the WWC runner-ups had actually won the title.  18,570 strong serenaded the team with chants of “U-S-A” at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Oregon, as did 16,191 at the first friendly in Kansas City, Kansas last Saturday (1-1 draw).

Similar to the previous game, the USWNT lined up in a new 4-2-3-1. As promised, Pia Sundhage featured all 21 players over the two friendlies, a full strength roster from the WWC. Notably in the starting XI, the experiment with Amy Rodriguez as a left winger continued, while Shannon Boxx and Lori Lindsey replaced Carli Lloyd and Lauren Cheney as holding midfielders. Stephanie Cox stepped in for Amy LePeilbet and Becky Sauerbrunn slide over from her usual role in central defence to the outside right.

John Herdman, who is playing without two of Canada’s regular starters Christine Sinclair and Candace Chapman, switched from a 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 and made two changes to his starting lineup from the first friendly, with Lexi Marton in place of Emily Zurrer and Karina LeBlanc in goal for Erin McLeod. Herdman’s fourth ‘keeper, 22 year-old Justine Bernier, was the only one of the 22 player roster not to see playing time. New talent was introduced as three players received their first senior caps during the two friendlies.

The US peppered the Canadian 18-yard box with dangerous crosses and well paced shots throughout the match, but were upstaged by great Canadian goalkeeping from Karina LeBlanc in the first half and Stephanie Labbé in the second.

Canada was kept deep on defensive duties for much of the game, but Melissa Tancredi got an early opportunity when she fended off a couple defenders before sending the ball over the net.

LeBlanc made her first of several great saves in the 17th minute. Abby Wambach started the play when she blocked Sophie Schmidt’s cross, which fell to Rapinoe. She was able to advance the ball up field before laying it off to Wambach, whose ensuing cross was met by an unmarked Rodriguez.  Her side-footed shot from point blank range was denied by a one-handed save.

About 10 minutes later, Heather O’Reilly led the charge forward when she beat Diana Matheson to send in a cross. Lauren Sesselmann was in a great position to block Christie Rampone’s initial shot. Her far post rebound was grabbed in the air by LeBlanc, who then sparked the Canadian attack with her goal kick. The bouncing ball eluded Rachel Buehler and fell favourably for Tancredi. Her header into space allowed her to turn and shoot, but the low bouncing ball went just wide to the right of Hope Solo.

Continue reading

20 Questions with Carmelina Moscato

Courtesy of Claudio Pasquazi; Canadian Soccer Association

For Carmelina Moscato, a midfielder/defender on the Canadian Women’s National Team, the opportunity to represent her country faded in 2006. Skip ahead a few years later and Moscato is now preparing for her second FIFA Women’s World Cup. She recently took the time to chat with All White Kit about her return to the National Team, the impact that Carolina Morace and staff have had on the team’s success, fond memories, her plans for the future and much more.

All White Kit: How do you feel the team’s preparations for the 2011 Women’s World Cup are coming along?
Carmelina Moscato: I don’t think our preparations could’ve been any better leading into this year’s World Cup. The amount of time and complete concentration put in has really been incredible by the players and staff alike. We have [two] days left and just like we’ve made every day count I know these last few are just as crucial.

The best part about our preparation is that there has been so much time put into intelligent progressions both tactically and physically. It’s come together perfectly and we are all excited to see how we do at the World Cup!

AWK: The WWC roster was recently revealed. What’s that feeling of anticipation like before any roster is announced?
CM: We’ve become a family here, so of course hearing the roster, alternates and cuts was never going to be easy. No matter who is officially on the roster, we have benefited from everyone’s energy and time here for our World Cup goals. You wish it was more than 21, but having said that we are completely happy and confident with the roster we have! We all believe in each other.

AWK: You competed at the 2002 U-19 Women’s World Cup in Canada and may represent your country at another WWC on home soil in 2015. Talk about the opportunity to play at home for such important tournaments.
CM: Regardless of if I play in the 2015 World Cup at home or not (it’s hard to say right now) I hope to be involved in some capacity. It’s actually pretty hard to think beyond one competition at a time.

In general, the opportunity for the best women’s soccer players to come to Canada is special, powerful and will only bring the game to another level. I think we’ve needed something like this for a long time and I know I don’t speak for just myself when I say we feel fortunate to host.
Continue reading

Disputes between the CanWNT & the CSA

On February 4, news broke of Carolina Morace‘s intentions to resign from her duties with the Canadian Women’s National Team upon the conclusion of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, which takes place from June 26 to July 17.

19 days into the whirlwind situation and there has yet to be a resolution. Over the course of this period, a lot has been published on the topic (headlines conveniently assembled by Jenna Pel) and a number of related debates have taken place on various discussion boards, podcasts, comments sections, and the like. Let’s take a look at what’s known thus far and some of the major talking points.

What’s Frustrating Morace?

In the leaked internal memo sent to media, Morace vaguely revealed that, “The Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) has a strategy to achieve their goals that differs from my strategy”. Further reports later divulged that friction between Morace and the CSA were born out of disagreements over budgetary control.

Morace isn’t seeking budget increases; rather, she wants more autonomy in using available funds when and where she deems appropriate. For instance, “when South Africa withdrew from a second friendly, Morace wasn’t able to schedule another game, or use the money elsewhere, as it was redistributed by the CSA.” CanWNT midfielder Carmelina Moscato told Anna Maria Tremonti of CBC Radio’s “The Current”:

“A lot of the details aren’t disclosed, obviously for contract reasons in terms of respecting her contract. But, as far as we know, it has to do with budget, having a little more control over the money that is available to her, being allowed to, basically, spend at her discretion, and ultimately make decisions that are for the betterment of the team without having the CSA or the organizing body resisting her requests.” [1:48]

Continue reading