Canadian coach Mitchell won't reach out to Brennan
Toronto FC captain Jim Brennan doesn't want to play for the Canadian national team as long as Dale Mitchell remains coach.
And that suits Mitchell just fine.
A day after Brennan announced he would no longer play under Mitchell, the Canadian coach said he has no intention of reaching out to the veteran defender.
"I think here's somebody who has turned down three call-ups in the last 18 months, but when he doesn't get a call-up, then we get a big song and dance about it," Mitchell told reporters during a conference call Wednesday afternoon.
Asked point blank if he would call up the 31-year-old Brennan sometime in the future, Mitchell answered with a firm "no."
Brennan's decision to walk away from the national team came a few days after Mitchell announced his 20-man roster for Canada's upcoming World Cup qualifying games against Honduras (Oct.11 in San Pedro Sula ) and Mexico (Oct. 15 in Edmonton).
Brennan did not make the cut, and he has been used sparingly by Mitchell in Canada's current World Cup qualifying campaign, but the Toronto FC defender claimed it wasn't a lack of playing time that led to his decision to walk away from the team.
Brennan has been a fixture for Canada since making his international debut in 1999, scoring six goals in 49 games for the national team. But the Toronto FC defender cited growing frustration with both Mitchell and the Canadian Soccer Association as his reasons for temporarily walking away from the national team.
"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," confirmed Brennan, before adding that he would be willing to return to the national team in time for next year's CONCACAF Gold Cup — provided Mitchell has been replaced as coach.
Another coach may 'see it little bit differently,' Mitchell says
Mitchell said he talked to Brennan several times but the two couldn't work out their differences.
"Jimmy and I have had a few conversations over the last five or six months about his situation here and what was the best way forward. I didn't think we were getting anywhere," Mitchell said.
Mitchell is in agreement with Brennan about one thing, though: that it would take a coaching change before Brennan returns to the national team fold.
"When somebody else comes along after me, then maybe they'll see it a little bit differently, but that was the way I viewed it and felt it was the right time to not [select him], and we'll go from there," Mitchell said.
Canada and Jamaica are tied for third place in their CONCACAF semifinal qualifying group, with one point apiece after three games. Mexico leads the group with nine points, followed by Honduras (six points).
Only the top two teams in the group move on to the final qualifying round, so Canada needs to win two of its final three games to have a chance to advance.
Mitchell revealed Wednesday that star midfielder Julian de Guzman, who plays in Spain with Deportivo la Coruna, is sidelined with a thigh injury and won't be available to play against Honduras and Mexico.
Nikolas Ledgerwood will replace de Guzman on the Canadian roster.
Canada will also be missing influential playmaker Dwayne De Rosario and defender Adrian Serioux due to suspension for the Honduras game. Both are eligible to play against Mexico.