Pellerud to retire from Canadian program in December

Even Pellerud may not keep much sports memorabilia on the walls at his home in Vancouver, but there is a spot for one item that has eluded him so far in his coaching career: an Olympic gold medal.



Pellerud has won just about everything imaginable in his women’s coaching career with Norway and Canada. The 2008 run to the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in Beijing, however, will be his last with Canada. Pellerud announced today he will retire from the Canadian program at the conclusion of this season in December.

Even Pellerud may not keep much sports memorabilia on the walls at his home in Vancouver, but there is a spot for one item that has eluded him so far in his coaching career: an Olympic gold medal.



Pellerud has won just about everything imaginable in his women’s coaching career with Norway and Canada. The 2008 run to the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in Beijing, however, will be his last with Canada. Pellerud announced today he will retire from the Canadian program at the conclusion of this season in December.



“We have high goals and have been working hard for the Olympics,” says Pellerud. “I would be disappointed if we didn’t at least get to the quarter finals.”



Pellerud has been Canada’s head coach since the 2000 Algarve Cup. In nine years, he has transformed the team, helping the women’s program earn a reputation as one of the best in the world. The team finished fourth at the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 and most recently qualified for the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament for the first time ever. He also oversaw as women’s director two Canadian entries to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, including a silver medal at the inaugural 2002 championship.



In 129 full international matches as Canada’s head coach, he has a record of 61 wins, 19 draws and 49 losses. Along with a fourth-place finish at the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003, he finished ninth at China 2007. He also finished third at the XV Pan American Games Rio 2007. Within his own confederation, he finished second at both the 2002 and 2006 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup.



Before joining Canada, he won gold and silver medals at the FIFA Women’s World Cup – silver at the inaugural China 1991 championship and gold at the second championship, Sweden 1995. He won a bronze medal at the 1996 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in Atlanta. In the European Championship, he won silver in 1991, gold in 1993 and bronze in 1995.



Pellerud holds the coaching record for most games at the FIFA Women’s World Cup – 21 between 1991 and 2007. He is not only the first and only coach to lead two different teams in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, but he is also a coach-of-the-year winner in both Norway (1995) and Canada (2003). He won Norway’s Leader of the Year award in 1995 and was the subject of the book Even Pellerud on Coaching and Leadership in Women’s Soccer published in 2005.



Pellerud’s goals for the Canadian team are clear cut for the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament – at minimum a top-eight finish by reaching the quarter finals, at best won one three medals afforded in the 12-team competition. Canada, whose title sponsor is Winners and whose presenting sponsor is Teck Cominco, opens its 2008 competition with round-robin matches against Argentina (6 August), China (9 August) Sweden (12 August). The Women’s Olympic Football Tournament runs 6-23 August.

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