Canada Likely to Fall Against Australia

A likely loss against Australia in London will make Canada winless for more than a year
by Henrik Lonne   |   Thursday, October 10, 2013

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In his 1st camp, Benito Floro went big with a huge squad of over 30 players, which signalled that the point of the camp was to familiarize with the player pool. This time the theme is getting to know some of them better, as 20 of the 21-player roster were in the previous camp. Another theme is youth, as 9 of the 21 players are born in 1990 or later. In addition to this, Michael Petrasso and Dylan Carreiro from Queen Park Rangers Elite Development Squad will train with the squad.

Unless Australia picks a very youthful squad, this will very likely be a better squad        than Canada and such a likely loss. Australia has players playing in better clubs and with experience from big European teams and leagues. Canada’s equivalent in the region is not Australia, but New Zealand, whose squads play in the A League, lower divisions across Europe and New Zealand amateur leagues.

It is good for Canada to be playing a quality opponent, which Australia is, and it should be yet another great learning experience for a youthful Canadian squad. Given the current state of the Canadian team and that of the Australian one, it is likely that Canada will lose. In many ways the loss is irrelevant. Meaningful games are years away, but the fact is: Canada hasn't won a game since the 3-0 win over Cuba at BMO Field on Oct. 12, 2012. By the time of the game against Australia, it will be over a year without a win and if no more games are played in 2013, the entire year will be winless.

The problem with this is the risk of creating a culture of losing. Regardless of the explanations that the coaching staff and the players themselves will make about the quality of the opponent and the changes the team is going through, which are valid points, going a very long time without success is tough. I am an advocate of scheduling an opponent where Canada would be a clear favourite. The players would benefit from experiencing victory and success and it could be a useful experience for Floro and the Canadian squad to build on.

In many ways a better opponent would be New Zealand, Canada’s counterpart in the region. It would likely be a more even match, with a real chance that Canada could win. Yet it would also serve other benefits than squad chemistry. New Zealand has a near-monopoly on the Oceania top spot and will therefore most likely be the opponent if Canada should make it to the Hexagonal and get play-off spot. A long with their experience from big tournaments such as the World Cup and the Confederations Cup, this would make New Zealand a truly interesting opponent.

Henrik LONNE

Nationality:
Denmark
College:
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.
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