There finally seems to be light. A flame that hopefully will be inextinguishable.
The Canadian Soccer Association appears to be on the right path. A path that was once impossible to navigate, now has a clear direction. There have been many changes and they have been well documented. A cleansing? A rebirth? A full tear-down-to-the-studs renovation? Whatever the comparison, the long-term vision is in good hands. Those decisions appear to be etched in stone. But there must be decisions of the present to address.
Another failed World Cup qualification cycle has forced another coaching casualty – Benito Floro. Interim manager Michael Findlay has been in charge for the last number of months, and by all counts, appears to be keeping the seat warm.
This summer’s Gold Cup is only 4 months away and a decision must be made well before the tournament. As I have stated before, this tournament is crucial for many reasons – cap tying, cohesion, rankings etc. Many of our ills and misfortunes in not making the Hex can be attributed to performing poorly in the Gold Cup. We must start taking it seriously. These are not experimental matches. Wins matter.
We need a coach with a vision. One for the future and for the present. Lets win now and win later. There doesn’t need to be a sacrifice in favour of one over the other. A winning mentality that starts now will carry over to the next generation of players. Who will that leader be? Let’s have a look at some of the names that may fit the criteria.
Personally, would be my clear-cut number one choice, as well as for many other CMNT fans. He is vastly experienced and is very familiar with the CONCACAF landscape. The Swansea job was an outlier on what is a remarkable CV, as he was always going to be swimming upstream in that position. His recent experience with Egypt has shown that he could take a perennial underperforming group of players and raise their game, especially in hostile environments. The only potential roadblocks would be his desire to take the job and his financial demands.
A great motivator and man manager. He has a big future in the game and will be in charge of a club back in Britain one day. The Welshman has a long view of the game and a belief in “playing the game the right way”. Carl also has the ability to work within parameters, as Vancouver spends nowhere near the rich boys of MLS. He might become available in the next couple months if the Whitecaps stumble out of the gate.
Should the CSA want to go the Canadian route, he would be one of the best choices. Nick did well in charge of the U-23 side some years back, and almost qualified the boys for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, accumulating some impressive results along the way. He also has more recent work with Canada’s U-20’s, Toronto FC, and the San Jose Earthquakes. Nick would also be familiar with many players in the system, and those prior relationships would give him an edge in the beginning. As well, he has played many away matches in hostile CONCACAF environments. These are valuable experiences he can share in the role.
I added this one for fun but hear me out – it might not be as ridiculous as one may think – but this would have a devastating effect on the Women’s program. It essentially would be robbing Peter to pay Paul. I say leave well enough alone. But, if he were to ever become disenfranchised with his current role and want a new challenge, why not float the prospect to him? It would be much better than having him oversee a rival women’s program against us. His expertise in the mental side of a footballer, and the psychology behind them, would be of great importance in navigating CONCACAF away fixtures. He is a smart guy, and he would only surround himself with the best people. I mean, what is the worst thing that could happen?
Marcelo Bielsa, Mauro Biello, somebody not named Jurgen Klinsmann
Those are only a few names that I can think of right now, all of which would be qualified in their own right. For all we know, the candidate that the CSA is looking at is probably not even on our radar. Whomever that person may be, they will have a monumental task on their hands. Someone who has the pedigree, the innovation, and the strength to get the job done.
By William Jamieson