An Underdog Friendly

Canada will be an underdog against Denmark, but has opportunity to improve players
by Henrik Lonne   |   Thursday, November 22, 2012

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

So Tuesday we had some pretty cool news (and no I am not talking about David Beckham leaving MLS). Canada announced a friendly against Denmark on Jan.2 6 in Tuscon, Ariz., which is almost on par in terms of interest for me.

Obviously, I have a vested interest in the game being Danish, and as I tweeted that night: “@CanadaSoccerEN had to schedule the one friendly where I can't support them. Can't wait to see it though. #canMNT #denMNT”

To clear everything up, this won’t be the Danish A-team. Just as the United States Men’s National Team normally has a January camp during the MLS offseason, the Danish federation, DBU, often plans camps in a warmer climate during the winter break to get a better look at the domestically based players.

However, during the recent years, the Danish Superliga has provided more and more national team players. In the most recent Danish friendly against Turkey, eight of 20 players came from the Superliga, so it won’t be an easy game for the Canadian side.

This fact is especially true when you look at the players available for Canada. On the roster for Canada’s last two games, 10 of 22 were based in leagues with winter breaks and would be available. However, out of these 10 players, six are 30 years or older and it is questionable whether these players should continue in the program. That means Canada is down to four players from its last two games.

Many Canadian fans understandably are still angry about the unspeakable result against Honduras. To heal the wound, many would like to get rid of many of those players involved in that game, which would leave Canada with a roster where André Hainault, Dejan Jakovic, Nik Ledgerwood and Tosaint Ricketts are the experienced players.

Players such as Nana Attakora, Russell Teibert, Doneil Henry and Ashtone Morgan would probably be allowed to go as well, but after that, we are talking reserve and youth players from around the world – if their clubs allow it – and perhaps even players out of contract, such as Evan James.

Personally, I think the CSA should fight to add as many of the players from the team that tried to qualify for the Olympics, to the aforementioned players, as the Canadian team needs to focus on the future and give their young players a chance to get more experience.

Considering this will be something resembling a Canadian C or D-squad against a strong Danish B-team, Canada will most likely lose, and while I can’t cheer for them in this game, I hope they learn a lot and do their country proud in this massive challenge.

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.