Canada to Face Czech Republic, Slovenia in November

Canada will play its 12th and 13th game of the year in central Europe
by Henrik Lonne   |   Thursday, October 31, 2013

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Canada might not be doing a whole lot of winning, but you can’t blame the Canadian Soccer Association for not trying. With games against the Czech Republic and Slovenia, Canada will end up with 13 games this year, a number that equals their 2008 total and was not bigger since the year 2000, where Canada played both World Cup qualifiers and a Gold Cup (which they won).

It would have been beneficial with games against Central American opponents, as this would prepare the players for the kinds of teams and atmospheres that they will face in World Cup qualification. The reality is, however, that Canada needs a good working relationship with European clubs and they likely wouldn’t appreciate the travel to Central America, so it had to be central Europe instead.

While other opponent could have been preferred, it is also necessary to remember that friendlies aren’t just something you schedule. It is a great logistical task involving availability of stadiums and the relevant staff, booking flights and on-location training grounds. On top of this, there is the awkward fact that Canada isn’t likely to be a very attractive opponent, which limits the CSA’s options for booking opponents without paying a huge fee.

In the end, it is beneficial that Canada is playing games, regardless of the opposition. The Czechs and Slovenes will be two more great tests for Canada, which CanMNT manager Benito Floro can use to build the foundation on which the team will rest for years to come.

While there were still many negatives to take from the Australia game, including blunders in the defense that led to Canada conceding stupid goals. Canada did, however, play well during the first half and the success criteria for Canada’s two games in November should be to increase the amount of time during each game, where they can play like they did against Australia for part of the first half.

Along with learning to get fluidity into its game, the Canadian team should look towards eliminating stupid defensive mistakes. There is no shame in allowing great goals from quality plays, but too often Canada has allowed goals that they should have been able to avoid.

Oh yeah, then an occasional goal would be nice, too.

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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