Home CONCACAF Oh no: Canada starts another Gold Cup with a scoreless effort

Oh no: Canada starts another Gold Cup with a scoreless effort


Canada didn’t score at the 2013 Gold Cup. And, after a 0-0 draw with El Salvador to open Group B play, Canada is scoreless at the 2015 Gold Cup.

But at no time in that scoreless 2013 run did Canada have a chance as clear-cut, as golden, as the one that Cyle Larin spurned in the first half of the match in Carson, Calif. against El Salvador.

Larin was in alone. He’d rounded El Salvador keeper Derby Carrilo and had nothing but an open net.

And he blasted the ball high and wide. As in, nowhere close to the gaping target.

“The miss by Larin is part of the game, it happens,” Canadian national-team Coach Benito Floro said through an interpreter.

Yes, Larin’s momentum was taking him away from goal, not towards it, but a striker of his ability should be able to turn and get that ball towards goal. Alas, it was not to be — and, outside of two second-half headed attempts from Marcus Haber that both went directly to Carrilo, Canada didn’t create much else.

In fact, in terms of good chances at goal, Canada had the best opportunity (the Larin miss), but then the rest of the quality chances belonged to the El Salvadorans. Striker Irving Herrera had two great looks at the Canadian goal in the first half, but was denied both times by keeper Kenny Stamatopoulos.

But, while Stamatopoulos looked good on the Herrera chances, he was shaky late in the first half; on two consecutive El Salvadoran crosses, he decided to punch rather than try to catch the ball. On both occasions, the punches were mishit, and the ball stayed alive in attacking areas for the men in blue. Luckily for the Canadians, the ball pinged around the penalty area before going out of play.

In the second half, Tampa Bay Rowdie Richie Menjivar had the best chance for the El Salavdorans, but Stamatopoulos did well to cover up the shot from the top of the box.

Coach  Floro left veteran Julian de Guzman on the bench, deciding to start youngsters Samuel Piette and Kyle Bekker in holding positions in the midfield. But, the El Salvadorans enjoyed the majority of the play in the middle of the park, consistently pouncing on Canadian giveaways and exposing the two youngsters.

With Costa Rica drawing Jamaica 2-2 in the other Group B game, you could argue that the 0-0 draw is, well, OK. But the pressure will be on for Canada to get a result against the Reggae Boyz when they meet on Saturday in Houston.

But one thing we do know; that Canada simply doesn’t create enough chances where it can afford to miss open nets.


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  1. Rango

    July 10, 2015 at 12:15 am

    Steve, not to quibble but Bekker and Piette weren’t in the holding role, Straith was (4-1-4-1 formation). But as part of their defensive responsibilites they had to break up the build up before it got to Straith and our central defenders. Judging by how easily SLV were able to short pass it the middle of the field says that we need to improve in that area the next time we play Latin American opposition (CR in Toronto).

    From open play one of our geniune attacking threats comes from the maligned De Jong and his service from the left: he had a cross the keeper bobbled in the first half and in the second half he had an overlapping run and quality shot on goal for a corner as well as a longer diagonal ball that was just a little overhit for Larin. You wonder if he and the team would be better served if he was used in a more advanced role?

  2. left back

    July 9, 2015 at 11:09 am

    KY… i have to disagree. I thought the Canadian squad was decent. The back 4 looked organized… Piette in midfield did well. Bekker struggled and should have been replaced way earlier but Piette is getting to be a good player… the back 4 all played ok and at times knocked the ball around. There were times in the game when Canada did struggle but that is to be expected.

    We look way more organized now then we have been in the last 12 years. Floro had a game plan… hitting those high cross field balls to the physically strong front 3… not pretty but effective. We could and should have got something out of it. The left and right backs play very wide which gives good balance in possession and at times we held the ball well. Give El Salvador credit… they caused us problems but… i felt there was a goal in it for Canada.

    Under CM and Stephen Hart there was absolutely no game plan. At least you can see what Floro is trying to do. There is a bit more confidence in the squad and we are 7 games unbeaten. Larin, Akindele and Ricketts are dangerous… frustrating last night to watch but there is something there. If the midfield and high players played off each other better… it would have been really good.

    I can’t see them getting much in the next 2 games but we are on a good path. We need these games to find out what this team is about. I was fine with the performance last night. It is a game that Canada would have lost by 2 goals under other coaches…

    • Rango

      July 11, 2015 at 10:27 pm

      After watching the Jamaica match, you’d be pretty hard pressed to find the difference between Hart’s 2011 Gold Cup team and Miller’s 2013 edition compared to this performance. We ended the game with four CBs, using two in midfield. And one of our better young offensive midfield prospects (and a regular starter on a top MLS team) remained on the bench for the whole match while another in form young midfielder (on the current best team in MLS) came on in the final 20 minutes. Anti-football with athletic but technically limited players in the attacking wing positions.

  3. Kahkakew yawassanay

    July 9, 2015 at 8:50 am

    The colour commentator made this an enjoyable game to watch…Janusz M. Was a breathe of fresh air as his honesty about the MNT issues were clear and poignant…when your mr has Bekker, Piette or JDG as starters, automatically you know their will be little offence…with Ricketts on the right you know he will as he always does, will run to the corner and, as usual, the defence will play the kick and chase game with no creative mf to pass to…el Salvador pressed all night and moved players and the ball wonderfully, this should have been at least a 3-1 win for the team in blue…this CMNT looked as abysmal, lacking technical skills, a system and thought like the team who were humiliated 8-1 by Honduras…the gap in skill, team play has widened in Concacaf with CMNT falling farther behind. With inferior players to build a nt one can only expect many more results like this

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