I hope for a draw.
Sunday, June 15, sees the Canadian national team (ranked 60) begin its quest for South Africa 2010 as the men's national team faces island nation, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (ranked 147). Hopes for this team are high, as the bitter taste of 2006's World Cup campaign fell enormously short of expectations.
Much talk on the forums of Canadian-soccer.com have been over the surprise roster spot given to Nigerian born, Ugo Ihemelu. Strangely enough, the Colorado Rapids player holds both Canadian and American citizenship and played 14 minutes of a 2006 friendly against Norway. The key issue is that those 14 minutes were for the United States national team. Word going around the forums is that the friendly was a so-called B-game and he is apparently still able to change nations. One would hope the CSA has done the due diligence to ensure Ihemelu is eligible for Canada.
I have hopes for a significant win to start the WC campaign. Mid-fielder Julian De Guzman may be injured, but the rest of the "Golden Generation" will be on the pitch and ready to pummel the St VAG zone with offence.
UPDATE: the Globe and Mail published an article where a couple players spoke out about the disorganization at the CSA. It is refreshing to hear that is not just us fans who are frustrated.
Tyler Hemming, Vahid Assadpour and Tosaint Ricketts got a good look during a week of trainings. Though none were offered contracts, it is promising to see that young Canadians are getting attention at this level.
Hammarby coach, Tony Gustavsson had some kind, yet constructive critique for the lads.
Translated from the site:
Among this week's guests, he (Tosaint Ricketts) stood out. He was quickest of all
participants in the team's physical training tests, conducted Tuesday (May
20th).Quoting coach Tony Gustavsson "He confirmed the physical assets I'd heard
about, he's a player with unique agility and quickness. It was almost awful,
in a positive way of course. Then, he also was a bit un-schooled in both
technique and tactics."
Ricketts countrymen, midfield Vahid Assadpour and back Tyler Hemming, did not look out of place. "Vahid is a quick thinker and quite all-round. Tyler is the wisest of those who have been here. He has very good sense of the play and technically very secure with both feet, yet lacking quickness," says Gustavsson.
At present, it does not look realistic to write any contracts with any
of the players attending the camp. At the same time, the head coach is still
seeking talent at striker, inside midfield and midback during the summer.