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


Anonymous said...

How does Bekker keep getting selected, this time for the Australia? Gavin Day felt he was the weakest guy on the pitch vs Mauritania, he doesn't play at TFC where his coach calls him a "floater" and infers that he's soft.

I guess he needs his dead ball skills in order to get goals.

Cheap 1300 Numbers said...
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jonathan said...

I think Bekker has gotten a raw deal from Nelsen at TFC. Nelsen as a coach is much the way he was a player: a no-nonsense type that values defensive discipline and graft more than on-the-ball skill. Bekker is lacking in the former, though how he is to acquire these without experience is beyond me. He is a more skilled distributor and playmaker than many who earned minutes in the TFC midfield this year. He would have benefited, and I don't the team would have greatly suffered (could they have been much worse?) if Bekker had earned twice as many minutes for Toronto.

That said, given his lack of playing time for TFC he did not belong anywhere near the men's national team in 2013. I still think he can develop into a useful MLS player but at 23 his ceiling is probably already within view. The MNT, even in a down year, is not the place to be developing players. I don't expect him to be selected the next time Floro has a full complement of healthy players to choose from.

Anonymous said...

Coming into last season I think a number of us felt that he would be getting much more time on the pitch either in occasional starts or more likely sub appearences. His problem was the emergence of Osorio.

jonathan said...

It will be interesting to see what 2014 brings for those two. Can Nelsen abide a midfield containing two players are such defensive non-factors? Does De Rosario's return eat into Osorio's minutes? Does Jeremy Hall continue to con his way into an MLS starting job?

Anonymous said...

Hall will be in the squad as a back up and occasional starter. Frankly, he'd be a squad player for a club like the Dynamo under Kinnear, so I think the idea that he "cons" his way is out of place.

jonathan said...

Totally fair comment. I get frustrated watching mediocre American players getting minutes when Canadians of similar talent are being left on the bench. But mine is not the perspective of the management of an MLS team, or even most fans of TFC, Impact, Vancouver, etc. With no real rooting interest I just want to see the Canadian guys get a chance. Such an attitude probably doesn't produce wins.