Home Global Game Europe CanWNT coach Heiner-Moller: Matheson’s return “what this team needs on and off the pitch”

CanWNT coach Heiner-Moller: Matheson’s return “what this team needs on and off the pitch”

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New Canadian women’s national-team coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller said that the return of 33-year-old veteran Diana Matheson is “what this team needs on and off the pitch.”

Matheson missed all of the 2017 NWSL season after re-injuring the same troublesome knee that severely limited her participation in the 2015 Women’s World Cup. But she was placed on the Canadian roster for the upcoming Algarve Cup.

But Matheson was named as one of the 11 Canada Soccer-allocated players for the 2018 NWSL season, and is expected to play for the Utah Royals this coming campaign.

Heiner-Moller admitted that Matheson’s participation at the upcoming Algarve Cup will “not be on the same terms as everyone else,” but that she participated in a camp in January and he’s convinced that she’s returning to the level she was at before the injury.

“She is adding to the team just by her presence.”

On Friday in Hamilton, Heiner-Moller participated in his first press conference as the coach of the Canadian women’s national team. He was at Tim Hortons field, which will host a friendly between Canada and the reigning Olympic champions from Germany on June 10.

Heiner-Moller is set to leave for Portugal on Friday night, where he’ll begin prepping the women’s team for the Algarve Cup. That kicks off at the end of February, with Canada facing the silver medalists from Sweden.

He said that former national-team star, Dr. Melissa Tancredi, will join the team’s medical staff. Along with the returns of Matheson and keeper Erin McLeod from injury, Tancredi will add another veteran voice to the entourage.

Remember that, in the later stages of Canada’s 2018 World Cup-qualifying attempt under then-coach Benito Floro, Julian de Guzman was still brought into camp even though he was battling a long-term injury. And that was because Floro believed very strongly that JDG’s presence had an impact on the team, whether he played or not.

 

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