Home Global Game CONCACAF Floro: Osorio was a victim of the numbers game, Bekker “a very good player”

Floro: Osorio was a victim of the numbers game, Bekker “a very good player”


Canadian national-team coach Benito Floro re-affirmed his belief in Kyle Bekker, but said that the return of veteran midfielders Atiba Hutchinson and Will Johnson meant that there was no room at the inn for Jonathan Osorio.

Osorio, who was played more minutes in MLS this season than any other Canadian player, was left off the roster for Canada’s two-game World Cup qualification series against Belize. (Friday’s game at BMO Field will be streamed on canadasoccer.com at 7:30 ET.)

In a short conference call with three journalists — which is a sign of just how important the Canada-Belize series is when it comes to the national sports media — Floro said that there was simply no room for Osorio because Johnson, who was left off the Gold Cup squad so he could rack up minutes for the Portland Timbers as he came back from a broken leg, and Hutchinson, who also had been injured, came back into the squad.

But, then, of course, came the follow-up question. Then, why was Bekker, who was traded from FC Dallas to Montreal — and has yet to see a minute of MLS action for the Impact — named to the team?

Floro reaffirmed a message we’ve heard from the national-team brass before. They see something in Bekker that the MLS coaches aren’t seeing.

Floro said he recalled Bekker “because I consider that player to be a very good player.”

Out of Canadians playing in MLS and NASL, Bekker ranks 29th in minutes played.

The coach also said that Canada must treat the elimination series with Belize like it did its second-round qualifying series with Dominica. It must treat the opponent with respect.

Face it, when you’ve got the résumé of the Canadian national team — goalless in the two most recent Gold Cups — you don’t have the right to call any country a gimme.

Floro said Belize’s players are in good physical condition “and they have three or four players with skill.”

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  1. Rango

    November 4, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Bekker definitely can keep the possesion rolling with one or two touch passing and when he is on he has good dead ball skills (except for the ES Gold Cup match). Lacks high level quickness and doesn’t have a big effort engine room to make up for it. Floro must be getting kickbacks from Sigma or someone else to keep selecting him.

  2. Kent

    September 1, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    In my opinion, Osorio is only better than Bekker at tackling, defensive positioning, hustle, speed, dribbling, shaking defenders off him, goal scoring, passing, creativity/setting up goals, and overall game smarts. Bekker is better than Osorio at everything else.

  3. cwell

    September 1, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    In that case, I doubt that Floro believes in analytics. For example, Bekker was responsible for corner kicks and free kicks in the Houston GC game. As if I recall correctly, each and every one was poor. I saw him make one tracking run in our half; the rest of the time he left it to someone else. Tackles won? I’d like to see his numbers.

    • Sport Shaman

      September 1, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      Bekker didn’t actually see the field in Houston or Toronto during the Gold Cup. I believe you are referring to his play at the Stubhub Center vs El Salvador. Nonetheless, your analysis lines up pretty much with my own and I was there in person for those games.

      • cwell

        September 1, 2015 at 4:50 pm

        You’re right; it was the game in LA. I was very disappointed with his play then, as I increasingly became when he was with TFC. At first I thought it was his somewhat hang-dog look on the field; but then I noticed how easily he was dispossessed of the ball, and how he would fail to track opponents in our half of the field. Heading? – forget it. Only occasionally would he make a telling pass. He had to improve, I kept telling myself, and, after all, his coaches must rate him – their jobs depend on it. But Bekker never did improve, and his game at the Stubhub Ctr. should have been his last game with the national team. Now, what does Floro know that we don’t know? We may never know, because I can’t see him taking the field on Friday night.

        • Steven

          September 2, 2015 at 10:48 am

          Bekker is not a great player, don’t get me wrong, but what he does do is play the way the Floro likes and used to. Bekker plays a lot more european style than North American. What I mean is that he plays with reduced touches. Watch him play and count his touches on the ball. Rarely is it ever more than 2. From what I see in him, thats probably what Floro likes. It frustrates me to no end how many touches players take in MLS. Even Bradley frustrates me with his touches. If we had players he could play two touch football we’d see a huge improvement.

          • cwell

            September 2, 2015 at 4:24 pm

            Well, that’s different slant on it, for sure. I don’t know if stats are available for our first game in this year’s Gold Cup, but it would be interesting to know how many passes Bekker attempted and completed, whatever the number of touches. Of course, if few are completed, one could argue that has to do with whether team-mates made themselves available. I doubt if Bekker will play in the Belize games, but if he does, I’ll be watching for how fast he plays the ball.

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