Author Topic: Pellerud to step down from Canadian team  (Read 890 times)

Offline David

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Pellerud to step down from Canadian team
« on: June 02, 2008, 11:15:52 PM »
The only thing missing on Even Pellerud's resume is an Olympic gold medal.

But regardless of whether the coach of the Canadian women's national soccer team can bring home gold from the Summer Games in Beijing, it will be one of his final duties with the Canadian soccer program.

"Nine years in the job, both the coach and the players need another challenge after a certain time, and I thought it was the best time to do it," said Pellerud, who officially announced Monday he's stepping down as head coach in December.

The 54-year-old native of Norway, who joined the Canadian program in 2000, has led the team to an international record of 61 wins, 49 losses and 19 draws. He helped guide the Canadians to a berth at this summer's Olympics, marking the first time in 24 years that a Canadian soccer team will compete at the Games.

"I'm pleased with a lot of things we have accomplished," said Pellerud. "We have created a program that is widely respected across the world.

"We have put soccer on the map. From both a results standpoint and from a status standpoint, we have reasons to be quite proud of that. But of course, you're not really happy until you've won a big event, and we have a chance to do that in August."

Pellerud, who led Norway to the bronze medal at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, is the only coach to lead two different countries at the FIFA Women's World Cup, having done so with Norway in 1995 and Canada in 2003 and 2007.

He also holds the coaching record for most games at the Women's World Cup, having paced the sidelines for 21 games between 1991 and 2007.

At the 2003 World Cup, the Canadians finished in fourth place, while at the 2007 Cup in China, they were ninth.

Among his other Canadian highlights are a third place at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, and second place finishes at the 2002 and 2006 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

"It has been a long and winding road," Pellerud said of his experiences as Canadian coach. "It has been a big challenge, a big job, but I think there are reasons to say that we have established soccer on a much higher level and brought soccer to strong positioning in the Canadian sports world.

"All in all, there are things to be proud of and things that need to become better."

Canada opens the Beijing Games on Aug. 6 against Argentina.