Home Global Game CONCACAF Floro quietly unveils roster ahead of crucial World Cup qualifiers

Floro quietly unveils roster ahead of crucial World Cup qualifiers

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It’s pretty well standard practise for a senior national-team coach to field questions in a media conference call as a major roster announcement is made.

That wasn’t the case Thursday, as men’s national-team coach Benito Floro wasn’t made available in the wake of his roster announcement. Canada has two make-or-break World Cup qualifiers to play, Sept. 2 in Honduras and then home to El Salvador Sept. 6 at BC Place. It is expected that Floro will have an availability when the Canadian national team convenes for camp next week in Orlando, Fla. (The 11 has submitted some questions about the roster through Canada Soccer that we’re hoping to have Floro answer).

No doubt there would have been questions about the exclusion of veteran Will Johnson, who has featured in a couple of Toronto FC matches since recovering from a broken leg — an injury suffered while scoring arguably the most dramatic goal in the history of the Voyageurs Cup.

Maybe the coach didn’t want to field any more “why do you continue to refuse to select Jonathan Osorio” questions which are pretty much standard for Floro media availabilities. Of all Canadian players in MLS, Osorio has logged the second highest number of minutes — only behind Cyle Larin, who scored for Orlando City in Wednesday’s loss to Tosaint Ricketts (who also scored) and Toronto FC.

But maybe the most likely answer to the no-press-availability question is that Floro and everyone involved in Canadian soccer knew that much of the talk was going to be about a return to Honduras, the place where Canada’s most recent World Cup qualifying run came to a brutal end, in the form of an 8-1 shellacking that rocked the program. That was two coaches ago. Floro wasn’t the coach in that game; and it’s probably fair that he doesn’t want to have to answer for a loss that really had nothing to do with him.

We knew going in that Julian de Guzman was a no-go; Ottawa Fury coach Paul Dalglish a couple of weeks ago confirmed that JDG’s knee injury would keep him out of the picture. But we also didn’t get to ask why Floro stuck with certain players — such as Karl Ouimette, who isn’t getting regular starts for Jacksonville since being loaned there by the New York Red Bulls. As well, Jamar Dixon, who recently signed with the Fury, got the call.

1- GK- Maxime Crépeau | CAN / Impact Montréal
2- FB- Nik Ledgerwood | CAN / FC Edmonton
3- CB- Manjrekar James | HUN / Vasas Budapest
4- CB- Dejan Jaković | JPN / Shimizu S-Pulse
5- CB / M- David Edgar | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
6- M- Jamar Dixon | CAN / Ottawa Fury FC
7- M- Simeon Jackson | ENG / Walsall FC
8- FB- Doneil Henry | ENG / West Ham United
9- F- Marcus Haber | Unattached
10- M- David Junior Hoilett | Unatached
11- M- Tosaint Ricketts | CAN / Toronto FC
12- CB- André Hainault | GER / 1. FC Magdeburg
13- M- Atiba Hutchinson | TUR / Beşiktaş JK
14- M- Samuel Piette | ESP / CD Izarra
15- CB- Adam Straith | NOR / Fredrikstad FK
16- M- Scott Arfield | ENG / Burnley FC
17- FB- Marcel De Jong | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
18- GK- Milan Borjan | BUL / PFK Ludogorets Razgrad
19- CB- Steven Vitória | POL / Lechia Gdansk
20- FB / CB- Karl W. Ouimette | USA / Jacksonville Armada
21- F- Cyle Larin | USA / Orlando City SC
22- GK- Kenny Stamatopoulos | SWE / AIK Fotbol
23- M- Tesho Akindele | USA / FC Dallas

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