Home Canadian Soccer Men's National Team Akindele “99.9 per cent” committed to Canada; Floro unhappy with double standard applied to his call-ups and Klinsmann’s call-ups

Akindele “99.9 per cent” committed to Canada; Floro unhappy with double standard applied to his call-ups and Klinsmann’s call-ups


Even though he needed the aid of a translator — and some of the answers were not delivered in perfect English, Benito Floro let us in the media see some of the frustrations he experiences in coaching the Canadian national team.

He’s not happy that there seems to be one set of rules in MLS (and other leagues, too) when it comes to releasing American players for national-team duty and another set of rules when it comes to releasing Canadian players.

“Canada needs more attention from the clubs, at least at the same level as the U.S. or Mexico,” Floro said Tuesday.

He admitted that many times, clubs will tell him “don’t take our players” for Canadian friendlies, but he noted that the U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann doesn’t seem to have the same problem. “It’s not the same for the United States.”

Floro was speaking to the media as the Canadian Soccer Association confirmed that Toronto’s BMO Field will host a June 16 CONCACAF World Cup qualifier between Canada and Dominica. The match will be the second leg of their CONCACAF Preliminary Competition series. Canada, CONCACAF and Dominican soccer authorities agreed to switch the order of the two legs, as Canada was originally scheduled to host the first leg.

With less than a month to go between the Gold Cup and the World Cup qualifier, Floro understands he’ll get pressure from the clubs who don’t want to lose players for two international competitions. But he pledged that he will use the best players at his disposal for the World Cup qualifier.

And that might include Tesho Akindele, the Calgary-born FC Dallas striker who Floro said is now “99.9 per cent “ committed to playing for Canada.

“Akindele, I think, is a good boy,” said Floro. “We called Akindele last year for our camp. One week before, someone presented him a big problem; to choose to represent U.S. or Canada. I think he committed a mistake because he was already invited to our camp and then changed his decision.”

Floro said he decided to take two, three or four months to confirm if Akindele was truly interested in representing Canada.

“We are close to an agreement, but we need to fix this matter.”

But Floro finished off his statements on Akindele with a bit of a warning across the bow for all players who hem and haw about national team call-ups.

“Under my control, Canada is never second place.” That is, it should never be option B for a player.

That could also serve as a warning to Junior Hoilett; the Brampton, Ont. native who has yet to make an appearance for any nation. The Queens Park Rangers. Floro said he met with Hoilett face-to-face in 2013, but there still has not been a commitment.

“It’s a difficult situation for him and for us. He’d be a very good player for us.”

But he said Hoilett has to “fight” through the decision on whether to play for Jamaica or Canada.

If Canada does beat Dominica, it might be a while before another World Cup qualifier comes to Toronto.

Floro said that his understanding is that there are issues that will prevent the Canadian national team from using BMO Field in qualifiers to come; but there was no confirmation if this had to do with construction or scheduling conflicts.

(THE CSA later clarified this: “There are no conflicts that would force us to choose a different venue than BMO Field for the September round, but we would likely look at other options for the November match.”)

With six other cities hosting Women’s World Cup matches, Toronto was basically the only option for the Dominica qualifier.

But Floro said that, after discussions with Canadian Soccer Association President Victor Montagliani, he knows that he has to look at “two or three” other pitches on which to stage games.

So, what will be the criteria?

“If artificial surface is of the latest generation, no problem.”

Floro said that for friendlies, he must always consider “social matters;” and that is to get the national team to play in many different provinces. But when it comes to a game that counts, he wants the best venue possible.

Load More Related Articles
Load More By Steven Sandor
Load More In Men's National Team


  1. Steedman

    April 14, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    So I’m prepared to get s–t on for this one, but Teal Bunbury hasn’t played a game with the US national side in a very long time. Should Canada stop by to see if there’s any interest on his behalf?

    • BrianSD

      April 15, 2015 at 12:10 pm

      Bunbury filed a one-time switch to play for the US. He can never play for Canada again.

  2. Kahkakew Yawassanay

    April 14, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    It is interesting he would allege such an issue when MNT players are definitely not any MLS’ clubs top players….more like they are subs and reservists struggling to make the starting 11 if they even are employed in the MLS…this explains why other players like Hoillett or Bunbury would not commit to the MNT is because they have far better options for international duty…in the rare case that any MNT members play occasionally as a starter, they are far from the pick of the litter and their selection is not detrimental to any clubs success..which explains their current low FIFA ranking

    • Flips

      April 14, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      You know, like De Jong, Teibert, Adekube, and Osorio. They never are starters and are just fringe on their teams. Even maybes like Akindele and Vitoria. Useless on their teams too.

  3. James Knowles

    April 14, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    I really hope that .1% left for Tesho to commit is filled soon. Any word on Vitoria, Finlay or others? I realize he doesn’t want Canada to be option B and most likely won’t call anyone up who seems uncertain to him. That being the case, any word as to their current level of commitment?

  4. footy

    April 14, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Not that the MNT has an abundance of players in the pool with EPL-experience, but Hoiletts career does appear to be heading down. He might have had his playing peak already.

    Good news on Akindele, IF he turns up this summer.

  5. cwell

    April 14, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    If Bradley, for example, gets to play for the USA, then Osorio does for Canada. I’m glad that Floro is standing up. Time for TFC and the Caps to do the same.

    • Kent

      April 14, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      I was thinking of Osorio too while reading that part. Altidore and Bradley got to play for the USA and Osorio couldn’t go play for Canada. So 2 DPs get to play for USA in a year when they don’t have any World Cup Qualifiers and don’t have to qualify for the Copa America, but Canada can’t have 1 player who is just barely a starter (third choice MF behind Bradley and Cheyrou).

      • footy

        April 15, 2015 at 1:01 am

        You do realise Osorio has played all games so far?

        • cwell

          April 15, 2015 at 12:04 pm

          Don’t think so. See the roster for the PR game, http://www.canadasoccer.com/?gid=1238&t=csa_match

          • Flips

            April 15, 2015 at 12:08 pm

            I think that he meant that Osorio has played in every TFC game, and is not “just barely a starter”. I think they have been playing him out wide when they have Bradley and Cheyrou in the middle.

          • cwell

            April 15, 2015 at 2:17 pm

            You’re probably right. But, then, what’s his point? Question is would TFC have released Osorio if Floro had called him up? The mid-field was already short-handed with Bradley being away with the USMT.

            At any rate, our problem is that we don’t have a pool of top-notch players. But Floro knew that would be a challenge, when he took the job, and that’s where first-class team work and morale could make the difference.

        • Kent

          April 17, 2015 at 1:25 pm

          Yes I realize that. That’s why I clarified what I meant by saying “just barely a starter”. He may start every game, but Bradley and Altidore’s names go on that team sheet before him every time they are available.

          • Flips

            April 17, 2015 at 1:50 pm

            By that logic is Perquis or Giovinco “barely a starter”? Altidore and Bradley are on the team sheet ahead of them too? If Osorio isn’t in pen on the sheet, he is very solidly in there.

Check Also

Canada Soccer plays most of the hits, saves Herdman for the encore

Having Herdman come out to give the final words at a press conference is like knowing that…