Floro's Supersized 1st Squad

Benito Floro’s 1st squad bring 33 players to Valencia, Spain for 2 matches against Mauritania
by Henrik Lonne   |   Thursday, August 29, 2013

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

Yesterday the Canadian Soccer Association announced Benito Floro’s 1st squad, which can be seen here.

Helped along by the mere size of it, the squad is a 33-player mixed bag of a few veterans, youngsters already given their debut, the debutants and the journeymen.

The veterans, such as Dwayne De Rosario, Julian de Guzman and the unattached Terry Dunfield, are probably not likely to have much more longevity in the program, but a veteran presence is needed for stability. And to those wondering, De Rosario, the oldest player in the squad, was 17 when some of his squad members were born. 

And while they in many people’s eyes come from a “failed generation” they will still be able to pass on experience to the young players. As such it is less important which veterans are chosen, as they likely won’t be around when World Cup qualifying starts for the 2018 cycle.

While younger, the choice of the journeymen, such as Issey Nakajima-Farran and Tosaint Ricketts, are not that important either. As the changes in Canadian talent development are slowly implemented, these players will be supplanted, even if they have the age to be part of the next World Cup qualifying cycle. Even some of the players in their early 20s will be gone by then.

In the beginning I expect Floro to be extremely generous with invitations to national team camps in order find players that have potential and fit his idea of what Canada should play like in the future. On that note is interesting that no NASL or USL PRO players have been called up, while players like Simon Thomas and Kyle Bekker for whom 1st team minutes are quite foreign are able to make the squad.

It is very interesting and positive that Floro has chosen to select a large squad to be able to include players such as Jackson Farmer (Vancouver Whitecaps Residency), Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé (Montreal Impact Academy) and Samuel Adekugbe (Vancouver Whitecaps), who were all born in 1995.

Given Canada’s current lack of depth, it is smart by Floro to bring players this age along for the camp to identify players that can contribute for Canada later on and help them make good career choices.

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.