March | Mauro Biello
Mauro Biello. Assistant coach, Team Canada.
With a solid 30 year soccer career, numerous championship wins and a slew of accomplishments, this local, admired former athlete and coach has much to be proud of.
Mauro Biello is the current assistant coach of the Canadian National soccer team since 2018 and served as the head coach of the Montreal Impact from 2015 until 2017. Team Canada will be heading to the last phase of World Cup qualifications at the end of March playing games in Costa Rica, then home to Jamaica, and away to Panama...
His soccer career began in 1990 at the age of 18 when he played for the Montreal Supra in the Canadian Soccer League. He also represented Canada at the U17 youth World Cup in Scotland in 1989. In 1993 he started his career with Montreal Impact. He is a Canadian Championship winner with the Montreal Impact (2008), a five-time A-League / USL First Division Commissioner’s Cup Winner (1995-1996-1997, 2005,2006), a three-time APSL/USL First Division Championship winner (1994,2004,2009) with the Montreal Impact, a USA Open Cup winner with the Rochester Raging Rhinos (1999) and the list goes on…
Mauro was the Montreal Impact’s all-time leading goal scorer in all competition, (he was later surpassed by Ignacio Piatti in 2019). His Impact jersey, number 20 was retired in his honour. In 2017, Marymount Academy, the former high school he attended named their field after him. No doubt, this modest gentleman has earned the recognition he receives.
JETELOVE had the pleasure of sitting down with Mauro for a candid interview and asked him about the road to the world cup.
We asked: “Where do you start when putting together a national team?”
Biello says: “John Herdman, Team Canada’s head coach has changed the culture by bringing back the importance of representing our country. The players understand that when you put on that jersey, there’s something greater than simply playing the sport, it’s about representing a nation. We have a talented group of players that have poured dedication and passion into representing their country.
JTL asked; “How has soccer evolved since you’ve been playing?”
Biello says; “There has been an important evolution in the past 16 to 18 years. Both the Canadian and American leagues have come a long way. Today, there are actual MLS soccer stadiums which was unheard of back then and there are now soccer academies. Years ago, to watch an international game, you needed satellite tv, today with the internet, we all have global access which has exposed Canadian talent internationally.”
We asked; “to what point has Team Canada changed the perception of Canadian soccer?” Biello says: “We have put ourselves in a very good position. We have the possibility to qualify for the World Cup something that has not been done since 1986. Many people across the country are following the team with the dream of reaching the World Cup in Qatar.
“What makes your team so resilient?” Biello says: “It all starts with a strong mindset and the belief that we will succeed. John and his support staff were able to create that mindset. The players have formed a brotherhood, they look out for each other and want each other to succeed.”
JTL asked how does being part of coaching staff for Team Canada differ from his experience as coach for the Montreal Impact? Biello’s reply: “I feel fortunate to have found a job after CF Montreal (formerly the Montreal Impact). The day to day is completely different. I was used to daily practices on the field with the team. This is not the case with Team Canada as our players play for their respected clubs and come from different city’s all around the world. There is a greater emphasis on planning and squad selection. When we have a game, we meet up 1 week prior to it and have usually 3 /4 training sessions all together before the game.”
We asked Mauro what his thoughts are regarding women’s soccer in Canada?
He said: ‘what the women’s team accomplished, winning the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo is extraordinary, what a great accomplishment! This shows the younger generation of players of both genders that hard work, drive, determination, and talent has great outcomes. They made us very proud.”
JTL asked: “In your entire soccer career, what is one moment that you will never forget?” He laughed and said that is a tough question to answer. He said that making it this far and potentially to the world cup would be a moment that he would never forget. He also said that winning a championship in his beloved city of Montreal in the presence of family and friends was an unbelievable feeling.
“What advice do you have for young up and coming Canadian soccer players?”
Biello says : “ there needs to be a mix of passion, discipline, along with hard work, and the need to want it so badly that it becomes your obsession to improve every day. Don’t forget the fun of course, you need to be enjoying it to develop as a player.”
When you were young, which player did you look up to the most and why?
“Tough question” he says, “I’d say Paolo Rossi and Roberto Baggio at the time”.
“Finally, where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?”
Biello answered; “Hopefully having gone to the World cup a couple of times and I’d love to continue doing what I love and eventually winding down with my wife and sons and taking it easy”.
Thank you, Mauro, for your drive, your dedication, and your passion.
#gocanadago #ontelove #fingerscrossed #teamcanada #worldcup2022