Floro Era Begins in Spain

Benito Floro will start his tenure as the coach of Canada with 2 friendlies against Mauritania in Spain in September
by Henrik Lonne   |   Thursday, August 22, 2013

Made in Canada - coverage of the Canadian MLS, NASL & USL Clubs, CSL, PCSL, Canadian Championship & Canada National Teams

September 8.

For fans and observers of Canadian soccer, this is a day to watch. It's the day when Benito Floro debuts as the manager of Canada’s Men’s National Team.

The opponent will be Mauritania and the venue will be a stadium in Valencia, Spain. Floro’s 2nd game will be in familiar experience, as the 2 countries will face off again 2 days later on Sept. 10.

The opponent is ranked 151 by FIFA and 165 by ELO, compared to Canada’s FIFA ranking of 91 and ELO ranking of 84. In other words, while Canada is arguably the favourite for both, these aren’t likely to be games of dazzling quality.

What is interesting, though, is that the games fall on official FIFA dates, meaning that Floro will, in theory, be able to call in any Canada-eligible player that he wants. This was obviously also the case for Colin Miller in the Gold Cup, but unlike then, this will be after the transfer window closes and the most high-profile job-seekers, Atiba Hutchinson and Simeon Jackson, have already found a new club.

As such Floro should be able to pick freely among the players he wants, and those who also want to play for Canada. Canada has already been thoroughly researching players that could be eligible to play on the youth-level and it would be truly interesting if they had been able to un-earth a player good enough for the senior team.

The squad should be assembled on the basis of potential and how Floro sees the role of the players on the team during the next couple years. The next Gold Cup is in 2015 and the 1st qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup start in the September after that.

Based on this, it isn’t really that important if a player is currently getting playing time or not, as that won’t really matter until 2015. Rather these 2 games should be about Floro identifying the player that he wants in his team over the next years and for evaluating potential rather than current ability. A game against a weaker opponent like Mauritania probably isn’t the worst idea.

Either that or Floro is looking to stir craze in the Canadian soccer community by establishing a 2-game winning-streak.

Joking aside, it will interesting to see Floro’s 1st squad and his explanation of it, as this will be an indication of which kind of Canada team, we will be seeing in the near future. 

Henrik LONNE

Copenhagen Business School
Club Domestic:
AGF Aarhus
Club Foreign:
Toronto FC
Born and raised in Denmark, the US performance in the 2002 World Cup dragged Henrik into the world of North American soccer. Subsequent trips to Canada made him a Toronto FC fan from abroad. The passion he now has for MLS outshines most European leagues.