'Caps for Canada: Carmelina Moscato

How Moscato got her groove back

Later this month, BC Place will be host to the 2012 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament. For many players on the team, this won’t be the first time playing in front of fans in Vancouver, as the squad includes 14 former members of Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Over the next two weeks, whitecapsfc.com will be profiling each of these players as we get set to support our fantastic Canadian women!

To say that Carmelina Moscato is an asset to any team she plays for is an understatement. Her on-field skills and abilities are matched only by her enthusiasm and humour, making her a rare type of player that is as valuable off the pitch as she is on it.

“I definitely have lots of energy on and off the field,” said Moscato to the Canadian Soccer Association in May. “I try to have a positive outlook on things at the end of the day.”

It’s not only Moscato’s dance moves and tour guide skills that make her story unique though. At only 23-years-old, she decided to hang up her cleats and move on from her playing days to take on another dream, coaching. She took an assistant coaching gig at the University of Louisville and had a great time, enjoying some success.

However, after stepping away from playing for two full years, the Mississauga, Ontario, native suddenly “got her fire back” and began training behind the scenes, almost as a challenge to herself to see if she could get back to the level she was once at.  Eventually, she felt back in shape and wondered if she could ever play for the national team again. She inquired about a tryout and the rest, as they say, is history.

“I realized how much I loved the game and actually gained a completely new appreciation for it,” explained Moscato to All White Kit in June. “I looked at training, eating, sleeping, supplements, basically everything in a completely new light. This could very well be the reason I have been able to compete at the international level again.”

Moscato’s list of accomplishments includes 54 appearances with the Canadian women’s national team. Furthermore, her university playing days were also very impressive, with four Big Ten titles and two appearances in the NCAA Final Four with Penn State University. She's also played professionally for clubs in Italy and Sweden.

Moscato's passion for the sport partly grew while she played for Whitecaps FC, as she won a W-League title in 2004 and then ignited her comeback with a return to the club in 2009. She still speaks highly of her time with the ‘Caps, enough to convince former Penn State teammate and close friend Tiffany Weimer to come play in Vancouver last year.

“I told her to enjoy the experience and that she is lucky to be playing for one of the best professional soccer organizations in the country,” said Moscato to All White Kit.

Now, as she’s back playing the game she loves at the highest level, Moscato hopes to help lead Canada to the 2012 London Olympics.

And if they end up with a reason to celebrate? Well, you know who will be leading the dance.

For more details on how to purchase tickets, please visit the CanadaSoccer.com CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying tournament information page.