Home CONCACAF Miller: GC Loss to Martinique “is a combination of a lot of different things going on for years in Canada”

Miller: GC Loss to Martinique “is a combination of a lot of different things going on for years in Canada”


Good luck, Mr. Floro.

The incoming Canadian head coach Benito Floro, along with his son/assistant coach, was in attendance at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl on Sunday and one can only wonder what’s going through his mind after seeing his team outplayed and, thanks to a last-second wonder strike, beaten by tiny Martinique 1-0 in the Gold Cup curtain-raiser.

There’s some irony that with a young team on the field, Canada was undone on a goal from the oldest player on the field. Based on the celebration, Fabrice Reuperne will score no bigger goal in his career. At the same time, he pointed out the mountain that lies ahead in Canada’s rebuilding efforts.

“What happened today was not because of what happened over the last week to 10 days. This is a combination of a lot of different things going on for years in Canada,” interim head coach Colin Miller said in his post-game press conference. “This is a massive rebuilding process at the moment. It will be some time before we get to fix it.”

Goalkeeper Milan Borjan was the only player who came out to speak to the media and when said there wasn’t much being said in the locker room after the game as Canada hit another low-point in the program’s recent history.

The Martinique bench stormed the field after the goal and again a second time at the full-time whistle sounded just seconds after the goal. Canada, by contrast, looked less unified.

Canada’s Julian de Guzman, left, is tackled by Martinique’s Yoann Arquin. PHOTO: MEXSPORT/CANADA SOCCER
Canada’s Julian de Guzman, left, is tackled by Martinique’s Yoann Arquin. PHOTO: MEXSPORT/CANADA SOCCER

At one point in the second half, Julian de Guzman looked irate as he yelled at Nik Ledgerwood and Tosaint Ricketts and at the end of the game Borjan and Marcel de Jong exchanged words that didn’t look to be too kind.

Martinique looked like a unit. Canada didn’t.

“There’s nothing. There’s no talk,” said Borjan of the atmosphere in the locker room after the game. “We’ve got to pick our heads up and go into the next two games and try to win and do our best.”

“We had an OK game defensively. I think we played really good but offensively again we didn’t score a goal and you need, in this tournament, to score some goals.”

It was a promising start playing against a Martinique team that had a definite size advantage. Marcus Haber and Doneil Henry had chances off corner kicks in the first 15 minutes but after one was saved and the other went wide, Canada was suddenly overrun with wave after wave of Martinique attack.

Borjan was his own worst enemy in the first half, choosing to punch a pair of crosses that he really should have caught and got off the hook thanks to Martinique’s poor finishing.

But he saved the game early in the second half with a pair of fine saves and there was nothing he could do with winning goal.

“I thought in the second half Milan played better,” said Miller. “He was more assured in the second half and made some good saves.”

Canada wasn’t done any favours when Johnson had to be taken off not long after the half. He came into the game battling some unknown stomach problem and was given fluids intravenously after the game.

If Canada has any hope of salvaging some kind of pride and good momentum from this tournament, it’ll need him to recover in time to see action at some point in the tournament.

“We’re clearly devastated by giving away the late goal but Thursday night in Seattle we will have a lot more Canadian fans in the crowd and I’m hoping that I get a little bit more chance now to work with the team,” said Miller. “I’m not expecting miracles by any stretch but I think that for spells we did well this afternoon in possession without being too penetrating if you like. But we have to be better against Mexico.”

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  1. Huron

    July 9, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    This was the third time that Canada has played Martinique at the Gold Cup. In 1993 the two teams tied 1-1, in 2002 the two teams tied 2-2. Included in the 1993 team coached by Bobby Lenarduzzi were Frank Yallop, Paul Peschisolido, Pat Onstad, Alec Bunbury and Colin Miller. In the 2002 team coached by Holger Osieck were Jason DeVos, Paul Stalteri, Jim Brennan and Kevin McKenna.
    In 2008 we played Martinique on the island in a friendly and won 1-0. The team was coached by Dale Mitchell and the only goal was scored by Dwayne DeRosario.
    As in the past most of the players who represented Martinique this time around play in the French leagues, there were also players from the English and Spanish league and one player plays in MLS for Portland Timbers along with Will Johnson

  2. Jay

    July 9, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    What we need in Canada are three regional leagues, one each in Atlantic/Quebec, Ontario, and Western Canada where our best young players get to train, play and finish their education in a structured environment with decent coaching. Three regional leagues, 8-10 teams each, with a U23 and U20 division in each, an agreement with the CIS to allow graduates to play and get an education like the agreement they have with the CHA. Have a U17 draft to build hype and create a pathway, play April-October and give the players 30-32 high level games per season. Our current 20 year olds are missing about 200 competitive games by the time are 20 years old, when compared to our competition. Bring the winners of each league to a play-off to top it off. We have the facilities – just look at the CIS fields that sit empty all summer.

  3. Pele

    July 8, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    The ‘creme de la creme’ of Canadian youth never play for the national teams for the same reasons that alex clark has articulated. yes there are a few exceptions but generally the CSA has to be shamed into selecting players who eventually show their quality in the mls or in europe. How come Fraser Aird, now at Glasgow Rangers, was not selected for the U17 national team in 2011? On the other hand Jonathan Osorio (TFC), now being courted by the senior national team, was never selected to the provincial program or any of the age group national teams. There are some very talented players in Canada. DeRosario, DeGuzman (when he was at Deportivo), Owen Hargreaves, Atiba Hutchinson Fraser Aird are all proof of that fact. The problem is that many of the current crop of talent are being overlooked and marginalized. The provincial system has failed. Simply selecting potential national team candidates from the three MLS academies and/ or clubs in Canada is not enough.

  4. footy

    July 8, 2013 at 5:22 am

    Pfff, I’m a Borjan-fan but boy did he suck! I’ve seen games of Sivasspor, but yesterday he just seemed so nervous.

    I think mr. Clark that you are spot on. The MNT has got to start all over, the experienced guys just aren’t good enough, the youngsters have talent but are too unexperienced. The U17 have potential, I hope Floro seriously cuts pretty much all of the above 25 guys and starts developing. It’s the only chance he’s got. One cannot expact wonders fielding players from the Swedish second-division.

  5. Alex Clark (@AlexClark1944)

    July 8, 2013 at 3:16 am

    That game was a shocker. Hopefully causes reflection and action. A lot of the problems with the men’s national team relate to skills development at the youth levels. Too much replication of adult soccer games with massive goals, huge pitches and a predominant focus on physicality at levels up to U16. Limited skills/ balance / technique development with the priority being on which team of kids wins the interminable games. Change is not easy as this system is run by adults for adults and is mixed with territory, politics and inertia at the local level. Players with potential are lucky to come through this intact- and of course really need to get training outside of Canada alas. I remember the U20 World Cup here in 2007, and the creme de la creme of Canadian youth were far far behind the African, European and S American teams in terms of technique. It need not be this way.

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