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Canada not taking part in Algarve Cup


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quote:Originally posted by Alberto7

Was anyone aware of this? I just found this on the web:


Group B features Norway, Finland, Italy and China. Canada was slated to be in the tournament, but withdrew and was replaced by Italy.

Anyone know why?

I have only heard rumors that there was no money or it was too close to the olympic qualifying games. The sad part is that now we got no olympics and no Algarve. It will be tough to get invited to the Algarve again. Go figure. :(

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...but there is a new Neil Davidson article now...

From http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Soccer/Canada/2004/03/16/384544-cp.html:

Canadian women's team on hold


TORONTO (CP) - While the U.S., China and other top women's soccer teams face off at the Algarve Cup in Portugal this week, Canada is on the sidelines back home.

The decision to skip the annual tournament was made prior to Canada's stunning failure at an Olympic qualifying campaign in Costa Rica earlier this month. Coach Even Pellerud was concerned that the Portuguese tournament might put too much of a strain on some of his players' school schedule during an Olympic year.

There were also budgetary concerns over spending so much so early in the year.

"At the time that position was taken, we expected to go to Greece," Pellerud noted a tad wryly Tuesday.

But now the Canadian women's calendar is all too clear and Pellerud must await the results of budget meetings later this month to see how much his team can afford to do this year.

So what's next?

"That's a very good question," Pellerud said.

Pellerud says his budget may be affected by the Olympic qualifying failure as the Canadian Soccer Association board shifts resources. He does not know when the senior side will play next, although he expects games in the summer.

"I need to go to that (budget) meeting to find out for sure," he said.

"I expect that the program for the year will be reduced and limited," he added. "I understand that. It shouldn't be like that, but I understand it."

It doesn't even look if Canada's failure to qualify for Athens will lead to some attractive exhibition matches in advance of the Games. Pellerud says China would probably go to Greece via North America, but geography appears to be against Canada.

There will be camps later in the year, however.

"To let the players get home and do nothing is not good for their development," said Pellerud.

Pellerud has counselled his veteran players not to make hasty career decisions following the Olympic qualifying setback - Canada was upset 2-1 by Mexico in the key semifinal game that determined an Olympic berth.

The next target is the 2007 World Cup and the qualifying process that precedes it.

In the meantime, Pellerud will be heavily involved with under-19 coach Ian Bridge this year as the young Canadian women look to qualify for the world championship.

Pellerud is also completing the post-mortem to the CSA board on the Olympic qualifying tournament.

"There is no doubt that the gap between the World Cup and this competition was too big for the team," he said. "I have to find ways of closing that gap in one way or another."

The World Cup finished for Canada on Oct. 11 in a 3-1 loss to the U.S. in the third-place game. The Canadians played three games in China at the Four Nations Tournament between Jan. 30 and Feb. 3 before opening play at the Olympic qualifying tournament on Feb. 26.

Pellerud says he may have to schedule more camps or have his staff visit the players themselves to check on their condition.

"We need to make sure in a better way that the players are doing a job at home also, not only in camp. Because there is no doubt that there was a difference in the team's soccer fitness in October as opposed to later. And we can't accept that."

By soccer fitness, Pellerud does not mean that his players were out of shape, but that they were out of touch with top-flight soccer.

Italy, one place above Canada at No. 10 in the world rankings, took Canada's place at the Algarve Cup, which features seven of the top 10 teams in the world.

In tournament action Tuesday, France upset World Cup runner-up Sweden 3-0 while the defending champion U.S. downed Denmark 1-0.

In other play, Norway blanked Italy 3-0, and China thrashed Finland 4-0.

Since Pellerud took over the national team, Canada has gone to the last four Algarve Cups. The 2000 tournament marked his debut as coach.

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