2009 year in review: Canadian women began new era under coach Morace

Canada’s women’s national team began a new era in 2009 under newly-hired head coach Carolina Morace. The new coach made an immediate impact, helping Canada finish second at the Cyprus Women’s Cup in February. The team displayed an exciting new brand of football as it began a new cycle towards the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011 and the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament London 2012.



Overall, Canada posted a record of two wins, one draw and four losses in 2009. Three of its four losses came against the world’s number-one ranked USA; its one other defeat was a 1:3 loss to England in the Cyprus Women’s Cup final. Canada scored six goals and allowed 11 goals against.

Canada’s women’s national team began a new era in 2009 under newly-hired head coach Carolina Morace. The new coach made an immediate impact, helping Canada finish second at the Cyprus Women’s Cup in February. The team displayed an exciting new brand of football as it began a new cycle towards the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011 and the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament London 2012.



Overall, Canada posted a record of two wins, one draw and four losses in 2009. Three of its four losses came against the world’s number-one ranked USA; its one other defeat was a 1:3 loss to England in the Cyprus Women’s Cup final. Canada scored six goals and allowed 11 goals against.



Canada was just one of three CONCACAF nations that was active during the 2009 season. The other two, USA (7-1-0) and Mexico (5-0-3), each played eight games in 2009. Of note, USA and Canada’s top players took part in the inaugural club season of Women’s Professional Soccer in USA.



In 2010, the top-two teams from the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup will qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011; the third-place team will have to play Europe’s fifth-place team for a spot at Germany 2011. The 2010 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup schedule has yet to be announced, however it is expected to take place in the Fall.



In all, there were 84 FIFA members whose women’s teams played matches in 2009. Those 84 teams took part in 304 international matches and scored 1,142 goals – an average of 3.76 goals per game. USA, Germany and Brazil finished the year as the top-ranked teams in the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Rankings. Canada finished the year ranked 12th in the world and second amongst CONCACAF nations.



As for top performances, captain Christine Sinclair was again the female selection for the Canadian Players of the Year award. She led the team with four goals, marking the ninth time in 10 seasons that she led the team in scoring. She now has a national record 99 career goals. She also shares the national record for career appearances with Andrea Neil, having made her 132nd appearance on 22 July in Charleston, SC.



At the club level, Sinclair was a year-end WPS All-Star following her first season with FC Gold Pride. She was one of seven Canadians that took part in the inaugural WPS season. Of note, Kelly Parker helped Sky Blue FC win the WPS championship.



Goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc, meanwhile, finished second behind Sinclair in the Canadian Players of the Year vote. LeBlanc was also a WPS All-Star, although she played for the league runner up Los Angeles Sol. With the national team, LeBlanc posted her national record 21st career clean sheet in a 2:0 victory over Russia on 10 March.



Under Morace, Canada’s national team invited 42 players to its numerous camps over the 2009 season. Five players made their national debut in 2009: Christina Julien, Alyssa Lagonia, Gina Pacheco, Chelsea Stewart and Shannon Woeller.



Canada, whose title sponsor is Winners and whose presenting sponsor is Teck, is a one-time CONCACAF champion, having won the confederation title back in 1998. Canada has participated in each of the last four FIFA Women’s World Cups – 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007. Canada has also participated in one Women’s Olympic Football Tournament – a quarter-final finish in 2008.

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