Home Canadian Soccer Men's National Team Floro’s big job: Finding JDG’s replacement for upcoming World Cup qualifiers

Floro’s big job: Finding JDG’s replacement for upcoming World Cup qualifiers

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So, if you’re Benito Floro, do you draft in a centre back to play the holding midfield position for Canada’s two crucial upcoming World Cup qualifiers?

OK, that was (kind of) a joke. But the subject matter is serious. The news coming out of the Ottawa Fury camp isn’t pretty; midfielder Julian de Guzman is expected to be out four to six weeks with a knee tendon issue. He was hurt in training last week.

Ottawa coach Paul Dalglish confirmed the seriousness of the de Guzman injury after Saturday’s loss to Jacksonville.

Even the most optimistic prognosis — four weeks — would mean that de Guzman wouldn’t be ready to play till mid September, too late to be part of the Canadian national side’s games in Honduras and home to El Salvador. Those games are set fort the first week of September.

JDG has 89 caps for Canada, and started in all of this country’s most recent four World Cup qualifiers. He was excellent in November’s 1-0 win over Honduras at BC Place.

So, what does national-team coach Floro do, when faced with losing his No. 1 choice for the holding midfield role? Does Samuel Piette come in as a starter? Or does he use Nik Ledgerwood, who has been excellent this season for FC Edmonton in the holding mid role, at his natural position — and not as a fullback as he’s so often used by Canada?

Is there another option out there?

This is clear, unless the prognosis on JDG is horribly inaccurate, he won’t be ready for Canada’s two upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

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