Thursday, August 22, 2013

Floro to run NT camp in Spain; two friendlies vs Mauritania

If you come to this space often, you'll have noticed there hasn't been much for content in the last 4 months. This despite a fairly busy summer of Canadian soccer happenings including:
  • a most unsuccessful Gold Cup campaign
  • the hiring of Benito Floro as Canada's full-time national team manager
  • Montreal and Vancouver making a run at the MLS playoffs, and Toronto again being dramatically poor
  • speculation about naturalization for Whitecaps stand-outs Camilo and Gershon Koffie
So if you must know, I have a job where my holidays fall, without fail, in the summer months (take a guess). I spend much of this time in Canada's wilderness, reading these things on the back porch, or hate-watching the Blue Jays. Blogging is something I do instead of doing actual work when actual work is going full bore.

Anyway, work is starting up in earnest again shortly, conveniently timed to coincide with Floro's first big decisions as national team manager: who to call for a national team camp in Spain which will conclude with a pair of friendlies against Mauritania (population 3.4m, FIFA rank 151).

The camp is slated for September 1st to 11th and is rumoured to include ("more than") 30 players, which seems a lot. On the other hand the two friendlies are scheduled on the 8th and 10th, so it is likely that, with the short rest, Floro might trot out two separate squads for the two matches.

Despite the fact that September 1st is a mere 10 days away (and don't I know it), no names have trickled out, although an intrepid Voyageur found the following ambiguous quote from Lewes FC manager Garry Wilson:
Of Jon Dollery, Bloor, said: “He’s going with Canada Under 21s so he’s just around for the time being. We’ll talk to him in the middle of September when he gets back.”
You can be forgiven for never having heard of Dollery, Lewes FC, or manager Garry Wilson, or especially a Canada U21 side, since such a team has, to my knowledge, never been assembled.  On the other hand, if Dollery has been selected for a Canada camp (he plays with Lewes in the English 7th tier), Floro could well be calling up nearly every Euro-based player with a Canada passport. 

Speaking of passports, the Vancouver Province's Marc Weber reports that Floro, along with CSA boss Victor Montagliani, hopes to take another crack at bringing erstwhile Canadians David Hoilett and Steven Vitoria back into the fold, in addition to making longer-term plays for Koffie and Camilo.

As per usual, if any squad selections emerge from other sources before the full roster is announced, I will keep track of these below. For now, the word on Dollery is too uncertain to include.


MRussell TeibertVancouver Whitecaps2040source
DAndres FresengaRacing Club de Montevideo2000source

Monday, August 19, 2013

The most Canadian team in MLS is ...

... DC United.

In what is the surest possible sign that you can't win playing Canadians**, DC United, the league's worst team, have piled up more minutes played by Canadian players than the Eastern Conference's second-worst side, and the most-Canadian Canadian team, Toronto FC.

Here's a quick snapshot (league matches only):

Player Mins
Kyle Porter 1385
Dejan Jakovic 1215
Dwayne De Rosario 1119
Total 3719

Player Mins
Jonathan Osorio 1123
Ashtone Morgan 995
Doneil Henry 931
Terry Dunfield 311
Kyle Bekker 146
Total 3506
Surprisingly, Kyle Porter has the most minutes of any Canadian in MLS apart from Patrice Bernier (1824) and Will Johnson (1800).

As mentioned above, Toronto has allotted a greater portion of its minutes to Canadian players (16.1%)  than both Montreal (10.3%) and Vancouver (6.1%). Of which, more here.

Keep on enjoying your summer.

** Am I being facetious? Probably.