Canada's interim men's soccer coach Miller aims to bring stability
Former head coach Stephen Hart resigned Oct. 18
No stranger to steadying the ship, Colin Miller says he is looking forward to helping put the Canadian national soccer team back on the right path.
The former Canadian international served as interim Canadian men's coach in 2003, soothing the troubled waters in the wake of hard-nosed German Holger Osieck.
Now he is helping bridge the gap again while the Canadian Soccer Association continues its search for a replacement for Stephen Hart, who stepped down after the 8-1 loss in Honduras in October.
Miller will lead the Canadian men in friendlies against Denmark in Tucson on Jan. 26 and the U.S. in Houston on Jan. 29.
Miller, who is FC Edmonton's head coach, looks to help restore some stability to the men's program in the wake of the shocking exit from World Cup qualifying in San Pedro Sula.
Miller says he knows what his role is.
"For me to come in and try to reinvent the wheel would be the wrong approach," he told a media conference call Tuesday.
"I'm not a babysitter," he added. "I'll come in and put demands on players ... It will be hopefully two performances that will get us over that massive hump of not qualifying for the final six [in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying].
"It will give us hope that the future is going to be bright for the national team."
Miller says much of the Canadian roster, which has yet to be released, was chosen before he was named caretaker coach. But he says he looks to test out some young talent.
"It will be a lot of younger players that hopefully will come into the camp very hungry and desperate to show well for the future of the national team," Miller said.
One of the younger players to be included is former Boston College star Kyle Bekker, a member of the Canadian under-23 side who just signed an MLS contract.
"I think we're in a healthy position," Miller said of the young Canadian talent available.
"It's going to take a bit of rebuilding for sure," he added. "And the more games we can get the new core of players together, then the quicker the transition will happen."
Miller expects Denmark to field a young side of its own. But the U.S., looking to prepare for the final round of World Cup qualifying, will be a different story.
As present, Miller's tenure is just for the two January games. After that, he plans to put back on his FC Edmonton hat and take in a NASL combine in Florida.
"Whether it was for two minutes or two games, I would have taken this opportunity for sure," Miller said of his role as caretaker coach.
"We'll cross any bridge when we get to it at a later date. But I'm totally committed to the two games and just as committed to being the FC Edmonton head coach."
Miller will bring Mark Rogers and Paul Dolan as assistant coaches to the January camp. Rogers, who played for Wycombe Wanderers in England, won his first Canadian cap under Miller.
CSA technical director Tony Fonseca will also be on hand.
Miller went 0-3 as interim coach in 2003 against stiff opposition on the road, losing 3-2 to Finland, 5-1 to the Czech Republic and 3-0 to Ireland.