BY MARC WEBER
She couldn't pass up a chance to again play soccer at the highest level, so she passed up a paycheque.
The decision proved too suspicious for Stateside officials, which is why 25-year-old Canadian international Carmelina Moscato was playing for the Vancouver Whitecaps in their 1-1 tie with the Pali Blues of Santa Monica, Calif., on Sunday at Swangard.
"They [U.S. customs] couldn't imagine someone would quit their job and go play soccer for free," laughed Moscato, who ran into visa troubles after leaving her assistant coaching post at the U of Louisville to join Indiana FC of the W-League, where only expenses are covered.
With the launch this year of Women's Professional Soccer in the U.S. -- average salary $32,000 US for six months -- and a new Canadian national team coach in Carolina Morace, Moscato realized she wasn't yet ready to leave her playing career for coaching.
After receiving a call up for last month's friendly against the U.S. in Toronto, Moscato had difficulties getting back into the States. She made the prudent decision to call the Whitecaps, for whom she played in 2003 and the '04 W-League championship year.
"When it didn't work out in the States my first inclination was to come back to where I started," said Moscato, who helped set up Kirsteen Buchan's opening goal with a tidy slide tackle and delivered some dangerous balls on set pieces. "I had nothing but good experiences here." The Penn State forward has been capped 23 times by Canada.
Whitecaps head coach Alan Koch used Moscato in central defence on Sunday, and she looked comfortable in that role against the defending W-League champion Blues Moscato's just excited for what the future might hold.
Said the Mississauga, Ont, native: "I just couldn't sit behind a desk any more. I needed to try it out again. I have a healthy body, so the decision to play was easy.
"I'm just being a player again, just trying to put myself in the best situation to get a look." firstname.lastname@example.org
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