Canada's loss to Martinique a rude welcome for Floro | Soccer | CBC Sports

CanadaCanada's loss to Martinique a rude welcome for Floro

Posted: Sunday, July 7, 2013 | 08:42 PM

Back to accessibility links
Martinique players celebrate with midfielder Fabrice Reuperne after he scored in extra time to defeat Canada 1-0 in a CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer match on Sunday. It was one of the most embarassing defeats in Canadian soccer history. (Alex Gallardo/Associated Press) Martinique players celebrate with midfielder Fabrice Reuperne after he scored in extra time to defeat Canada 1-0 in a CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer match on Sunday. It was one of the most embarassing defeats in Canadian soccer history. (Alex Gallardo/Associated Press)

Beginning of Story Content

When your best chance in a game against a non-FIFA side comes from a near own goal by that non-FIFA side, there shouldn't be many positives you can draw on.

And there wasn't from Canada in the opening game of the Gold Cup, so I won't bother sugar coating it.

When your best chance in a game against a non-FIFA side comes from a near own goal by that non-FIFA side, there shouldn't be many positives you can draw on.

And there wasn't from Canada in the opening game of the Gold Cup, so I won't bother sugar coating it.

Canada was grossly out-shot by Martinique, a country the size of a small Canadian suburb.

Canada was grossly outplayed by a team made up of France's cast-offs, or products of the unknown Martinique Football League.

And it was Canada that conceded a gross goal in the final minute of extra time that assured there would be nothing left for any apologists to hang their hat on, as the Canuck side lost 1-0 to this tiny nation.

With the loss, there is a very real possibility that Canada has eliminated itself from Gold Cup knockout round contention. It was always going to be a difficult run of things, facing off against the regional powerhouses Panama and Mexico, the other two opponents in their group.

But they needed a win against Martinique to assure that they would have a chance of moving on through the third position of their group. Even a draw and they would still have had a glimmer of hope

Now, Canada is faced with the daunting task of taking points off of Panama or Mexico in their next two games, one of which likely needs to be a win, for them to have a hope of qualifying.

It's a rude welcome to Canada to be certain for Benito Floro.

The new head coach of Canada, who was in attendance as an observer at the game in Pasadena, California, may very well be wondering what he's gotten himself into. If he isn't, he should be asking himself what they're going to need to do to pull Canada out of this hole its dug itself.

Not at just this Gold Cup, but as a program in general.

A loss like today's is not just a matter of a team that doesn't perform well in the heat (it was over a 100 degrees on the day), or a team that classically plays down to its opponent (they've drawn Martinique twice, only beating them once on penalties), or even a team whose core doesn't get regular first team minutes (only five in Canada's starting lineup).

No, this is a loss that is a half-generation in the making. This is a loss made possible by a Canadian Soccer Association that has classically made development mistake after development mistake for nearly 10 years and then made half-hearted excuses to cover for their shortcomings.

Aside from what was largely an uninspired performance by the squad on this day, the real blame unfortunately lies in the past, on a system that hasn't done enough to support and ensure the development of its players. There are no clear pathways for young Canadians. There are a myriad of possibilities but nothing that should be confused as a structure.

Despite recent improvements to its governance layout and a technical program being created by CSA technical director Tony Fonseca that is making ardent critics into fans, these are things that aren't going to come to fruition in the immediate future 

What Floro must do following the Gold Cup, as well as finding ways to get the most of the current young, transitional squad, is ensure that they implement a program that will having a lasting effect on the future.

That means there is no reason for him to be sitting around from friendly to friendly and then doing brief preparation for that one off, one time opponent.

He has to get out into the community, get out to the U-14 players and other youth programs and start ensuring that whatever technical program Fonseca and the CSA create, that it is reaching the next generation of players.

And in turn, he can't simply build for the future either. There are talented players buried on this squad right now in Russell Teibert, Jonathan Osario and Keven Aleman that need attention. If the CSA is calling this a re-build, those three are it.

They are the ones that this program must build around now. 

So, it wouldn't be the worst idea to ensure that they all see regular minutes throughout the rest of the Gold Cup. He may not be the man on the bench for this tournament but he is still the man in charge.

And what do they have to lose at this point?

The bare reality is Canada isn't as bad as the result showed today. But there is no reason to offer up any excuses after a loss as shameful as this. Excuses are what have led Canada to this point.

It's time for all involved to start taking accountability.

End of Story Content

Back to accessibility links

Story Social Media

End of Story Social Media

Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.