Home Global Game CONCACAF Floro: Lack of Canadian content on Canadian MLS teams puts national team in “bad position”

Floro: Lack of Canadian content on Canadian MLS teams puts national team in “bad position”


There are 10 MLS players on Canada’s roster for the upcoming Gold Cup.

But national-team coach Benito Floro lamented how few of those 10 players are actually seeing regular MLS minutes when he spoke to media on a conference call Monday evening.

“The big problem is most of the young players are not starting in MLS,” he said.

And he wasn’t shy to point out that the Canadian MLS teams aren’t carrying their weight. The Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact contributed one player each to the Gold Cup roster — Russell Teibert and Maxim Tissot, respectively. But neither is a put-it-in-ink starter for their respective clubs. To put it in perspective, FC Dallas (Tesho Akindele and Kyle Bekker) had more Canadians selected for the national team than the Whitecaps or Impact. And Bekker is by no means a regular, and Akindele has seen his MLS minutes reduced of late.

Floro said that, in most countries, there are domestic leagues — where the teams in the top two divisions nurture rosters that are 70 to 80 per cent populated with domestic talent. We have no such league in Canada — but what we do have are Canadian teams in MLS and NASL. And Floro suggested that the Canadian MLS teams could do more.

“We have three teams who are playing in MLS,” said Floro. “But only two or three players are starting. That’s a bad position for us, no?”

And Floro said that, when he sees young Canadian talent, it stacks up against youth players from the rest of the world. But he said the big difference is the meaningful playing time that Canadians receive — as in, the Canadians don’t see enough first-team minutes. And, while, Floro was having the questions translated for him, it was clear that he was speaking about first- or second-division minutes. Not reserve teams. Not satellite clubs.

Canada kicks off its Gold Cup Wednesday in Carson, Calif. against El Salvador. Then, on Saturday, Canada will be in Houston to face FC Edmonton star and NASL MVP candidate Lance Laing, along with his Jamaican teammates. Canada wraps up the group stage July 14 with a match against Costa Rica at Toronto’s BMO Field.

For Canada, a good performance at the Gold Cup is necessary in order to qualify for the centennial edition of the Copa America. Because there are other variables at play, Canada doesn’t quite yet know how far it needs to progress to cement a spot in the tournament.

But, despite the inexperience of his team, Floro won’t rule out a shock run at the Gold Cup for Canada.

“We play against strong teams, but, in soccer, nothing is impossible,” he said.


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  1. Kent

    July 8, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Steven, this is only barely on topic for your article, but hopefully you can help out.

    There are continued rumors coming from Rollins about the new Canadian league here…

    A guy in the comments section asked a good question that I’m curious to know the answer to. Do you have any idea how much Edmonton and/or Ottawa spend on player salaries?

  2. Kenneth Newman

    July 7, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Canada has TWO problems, in developing soccer talent. money and weather…..if MORE indoor FULL FIELD stadiums were built, say 3 more per province, then MORE young kids might take an interest in the game….but money woes have hurt the men’s national team for years, and NOW, with the Women’s World Cup over, will there be any NEW pro level teams in Canada for the women?At least two NEW pro teams for women in the NWSL will have to be playing for Canada to make a run at the Women’s World Cup. Can Canada afford those teams???
    Canada would need at least 5 MORE pro level teams for men (MLS, NASL), before its men’s team could make a huge run for a world cup trophy….it will be a generation away, as of right now…..

  3. Kent

    July 7, 2015 at 7:33 am

    I agree completely with Floro, and the only solution is to have our own pro league. That doesn’t mean the MLS teams would have to move to the Canadian league, or fold. But we need our own league where we can have domestic player quotas so our players can have playing time, and not have to have their careers sacrificed because we are trying to keep up with American teams with their American players.

    I hate it when people say we don’t have the players for our own pro league. To me that’s not a valid argument. We need a pro league to make the players. Whether the league would be commercially viable is a valid question, but I hope we do end up at least trying. It’s been more than 20 years since the CSL (the good one) folded. A lot has changed since then.

  4. cwell

    July 7, 2015 at 6:37 am

    For its part, MLSE has given Canadian talent a big opportunity by establishing a USL team, TFCII. There’s no doubt in my mind that if the players prove their worth, they will find themselves in the starting eleven with the big team. Along with the Impact and Whitecap USL teams, Canadian players have never had a better chance to advance in the pro ranks.

  5. footy

    July 7, 2015 at 12:58 am

    I can see where he’s coming from, being the coach of a team that doesn’t have a lot of quality nor depth. He’s talking from his own position. But does he understand that 8 years ago there wasn’t even ONE team on a decent level?

    And surely as a club-coach, he would also field the strongest team possible. Minutes are hard to come by on the pro level which is how it is all over the world. It’s just that you have more teams with less money who are forced to play local youngsters. And when some of them have succes they get bought by the better teams.

    I can see the problem, I just don’t think you can put the blame too much on the MLS teams.

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