Home Canadian Soccer Men's National Team Zambrano’s first impression

Zambrano’s first impression

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The day before the Canadian men’s national team faced Scotland in Edinburgh, Octavio Zambrano addressed the team.

The new men’s national team coach had yet to officially assume the post, but he was in camp to observe the workings of the team with interim boss Michael Findlay.

Nik Ledgerwood, the FC Edmonton midfielder who usually plays fullback for the national side, said that the first impressions Zambrano gave the team were positive.

“He seems like a great guy,” said Ledgerwood. “Definitely, a well-knowledged coach in the game and you never know what his training sessions or his coaching mentality will be until he actually takes over. But, definitely a good first impression that all the players got from him. It will be a good, fresh face going forward.”

At one point in the second half of the 1-1 draw with Scotland in Edinburgh, Ledgerwood and two FC Edmonton teammates — Adam Straith and Ben Fisk — were all on the field at the same time. It was a big moment for the NASL club.

“Camp went extremely well, it was great to see Fisky and Adam both be involved in the game,” said Ledgerwood. “And, for Canada it was a huge game for us. I know it’s still a friendly game, but to go over there and tie them 1-1 in their own country, I think that’s huge for Canadian soccer and shows we’re on the right step. We’ve got to keep plugging away.”

THIS STORY ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN PLASTIC PITCH #12

FCE coach Colin Miller, who played most of his pro career in Scotland but has represented and coached Canada, spoke with former Scotland manager Craig Brown after the 1-1 draw. Brown relayed to Miller how impressed he was with the Canadian side, and had Ledgerwood down as his man of the match.

“I’m very proud of what we’re doing here, from the academy and all the way through with [assistant coach and academy head] Jeff Paulus and his team,” said Miller. “But, to see three full internationals playing for us, it makes me very proud, and I know our owner is very proud as well. I’m delighted we’ve got that high standard. The negative is we could potentially lose those players for the Gold Cup in the summer. You can’t have your cake and eat it as well, I guess. It will open up the door for other players, eventually.”

And, as a former interim national-team head coach, Miller had a simple message about Zambrano.

“I hear good things about him. He’s now been put in place and we have to support him.”

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