Soccer

Brennan hasn't closed the door on Canadian team

It was one of the toughest decisions Jim Brennan ever made, announcing his retirement from Canada's national team last October.

It was one of the toughest decisions Jim Brennan ever made.

A fixture for his country since making his international debut in 1999, Brennan announced his retirement from Canada's national team last October, citing growing frustration with manager Dale Mitchell and the Canadian Soccer Association as his reasons.

The Toronto FC defender, who played 49 games for Canada, didn't get into specifics when he made the announcement, only saying that he had issues with how the team was run both on the field by Mitchell and off the field by the CSA.

"I spoke to officials here at Toronto FC, my family and friends, and decided that it was best that I step down from the national team while the current manager is in place," Brennan said at the time.

Things have changed since then — most notably, Mitchell was fired as Canadian national team manager on March 27.

Mitchell's successor has not been named yet, but CSA general secretary Peter Montopoli said an interim coach could soon be appointed, with CSA technical director Stephen Hart the most likely candidate.

CBCSports.ca asked Brennan after Thursday's Toronto FC practice if he's considering ending his international retirement now that Mitchell is out of the picture.

Brennan, who turns 32 next month, said he "didn't want to talk about it" but when pressed for an answer, he revealed that he hasn't ruled out the possibility of playing for Canada again.

"Maybe. We'll see. We'll see. I haven't closed the door and I'll take it one step at a time," Brennan admitted.

Canada's next game is an international friendly in Cyprus on May 30, followed by the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the summer where Hart is expected to take charge of the team.

Brennan has publicly praised Hart in the past, saying he has "all the time in the world" for the CSA's technical director.

When he announced his retirement last season, Brennan said he would be willing to return to the national team in time for the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup — provided Mitchell had been replaced as coach.

Mitchell is gone, but whether Brennan will be wearing the Canadian jersey this summer remains to be seen.

As for his issues with the CSA, Brennan declined the opportunity to discuss whether they have been resolved or not.