GOLTV has learned that former Italian Women’s National Team Coach Carolina Morace is the front runner to succeed Even Pellerud as Canada’s Women’s National Team Head Coach. Although it can not be confirmed when she will officially hired, it is said to be sometime early in the New Year. Morace was a great player in her own right. She made her debut for Italy in 1978 at the age of 14 and scored 105 goals in 151 games and over 550 goals in league play. She hung up the boots for good, retiring from playing in 1997, but that is probably not what she’s most famous for. In 1999 she became the first female in Italy to coach a professional men's football team, Viterbese. At the time of her hiring Viterbese had just been promoted to the Serie C. The 1997 FIFA World Player of the Year signed a two year deal at the time and stepped down when her contract was up after heavy media pressure. After leaving as Italy’s head coach in 2005 she has been a television analyst for La7.
This will not be Morace’s first trip across the pond to influence Canadian soccer players. A 2008 FIFA Soccer Ambassador, Morace was in the Toronto area in March and July this year instructing soccer clinics. At the camp she attended in March Morace was impressed by the number of girls playing the sport in Canada and their great athleticism apparently so much she wants to be involved full time.
After taking the position in 2000 Norwegian born Even Pellerud stepped down as National Team Head Coach after the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He transformed the women’s program and led Canada to a fourth place finish at the 2003 Women’s World Cup. Despite his success, in recent years, Pellerud has been criticized for his style of play. Pellerud prefers a direct style and while that has worked against many of the lesser soccer nations of the world it has not been successful against the top nations in the world. Canadian Soccer Association Vice President Victor Montagliani said a couple of weeks ago they have narrowed the position down to “a handful” of candidates, but a source very high in the women’s game has confirmed that Morace will take over for Pellerud. Be sure to tune into Extra Time this Thursday for more on this story as it develops.
Lee Godfrey brings an extensive amount of soccer broadcast experience to GolTV where he is the host of the station’s original Canadian news program Extra Time.