Canada Readies for Drabby Finish to 2013

In the quest for improvement Benito Floro’s side will its last two games of the year bringing the total to 13
by Henrik Lonne   |   Thursday, November 14, 2013

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

The Canadian Men’s National Team squad called in is inexperienced, just as it has been in previous training camps.

One piece of good news, however, is the inclusion of Karl Ouimette. The defender has shown well in the past season for the Montreal Impact and hopefully his year the tutoring of Alessandro Nesta will benefit both Montreal and Canada in the near and distant future.

Another interesting call-in is Caleb Clarke. The striker is on loan to FC Augsburg’s reserve side and while the German fourth division doesn’t sound like much, or probably is, it likely beats the MLS Reserve League and if he performs well, there is the chance he could play for the first team in the Bundesliga.

He has indeed done relatively well playing 13 games this fall and scoring four goals, the last one coming last Friday. As fans of Canadian soccer, we must take the small wins we can get.

But it is disheartening to see so many representatives of Unattached FC. Issey Nakajima-Farran, Stefan Cebera, Dwayne De Rosario and Terry Dunfield all are not currently under contract. In the case of DeRo, it is not a big issue as his season just ended. But in Dunfield, Cebera’s and Nakajima-Farran’s case, they have been without a club since the summer.

While it is not unheard of for a national team coach to bring in players without contracts to help them showcase their talents, Denmark coach Morten Olsen did this for right back Lars Jacobsen in 2011, this is usually within the first one or two months of the contract expiry, several months after. That this is necessary is a sad testament to the shallow depth of the Canadian player pool and have the status they hold in the international player market.

Both Canada’s opponents will bring inexperienced squads. For the Czechs 12 of 18 players have 20 caps or less and for Slovenia that number is 15 of 22 players. Especially the Czechs are not the team they used to be. This is not the Czechs of the past with the likes of Karel Poborský, Pavel Nedved and Jan Koller. Other than Petr Cech and Tomáš Rosický, the Czechs have no player in the biggest European teams.

Both teams should still be a good challenge for an equally inexperienced Canada squad, as Benito Floro continues to rebuild. Both the changes that are being and have been made in Canadian infrastructure and in the team under Floro will take time to have their effect. In the end there is nothing to do but wait, no matter how hard it is.

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.