Long Wait on Coach Puts Pressure on CSA

Miller will again play the role of interim coach for Canada, this time for the Gold Cup
by Henrik Lonne   |   Thursday, June 20, 2013

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The announcement came Tuesday that Colin Miller will be the manager of the Canadian Men’s National Team during this year’s Gold Cup. He will, however, remain in an interim role, as the Canadian Soccer Association has yet to announce a permanent coach.

Some degree of tension is building as some fans feel that there should be a coach by now and think that it is wrong to not have a permanent coach going into the Gold Cup. To some of them an obvious solution is Frank Yallop, who is free on the market after leaving the San Jose Earthquakes.

If the CSA ends up hiring Yallop (or ends ups giving the full-time job to Colin Miller) it would be a big disappointment. While being competent coaches, they do not represent anything new or the change from the previous way Canadian soccer has been run, which is what fans have been promised.

If a member of the old guard, such as Yallop or Miller, is hired, fans of the CMNT would be right to ask why it took so long for so little to happen. Miller says he hasn’t talked to the CSA about the permanent job and doesn’t expect that they will ask him. Hopefully it won’t reach the point where they will.

One thing that is certain, however, is that when the new coach is announced the expectations will be high given the long wait and the longer it takes, the higher the allure will be.

It is a welcoming sign that the CSA is ready to wait for the right person to coach the team. The CSA should, however, be careful not to wait longer than necessary in order to reduce the pressure and the expectations.

A new manager, no matter how qualified and talented, will not turn Canada into Germany, Brazil or even the United States overnight and the longer the wait for a coach, the more painful it will be for many fans should Canada disappoint the first matches.

Because the new coach will have the material as before, but with higher expectations, the risk of disappointment is intrinsically higher. Openness about the process could reduce the pressure, but it could also risk putting the CSA in a worse position at the negotiating table, and that is a not position Canada can afford to be in. 

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.