Teams: Toronto FC, Fiorentina, Barša
Yallop likes what he sees up front at English camp
by Neil Davidson Canadian Press
Wednesday, March 31, 2004
The Canadian men's soccer team is not known for goals, but new coach Frank Yallop was heartened by what he saw up front at a training camp for European-based players that wrapped up Wednesday in Manchester, England.
Yallop, who officially took over the national team on Jan. 1, had Everton's Tomasz Radzinski and Derby County's Paul Peschisolido in camp. They will be bolstered by Dwayne DeRosario of the San Jose Earthquakes, the MLS team Yallop used to coach. Yallop says he may play all three strikers at the same time.
"Put it this way, we've got some firepower and I like it," Yallop said Wednesday from Ipswich, England.
Canada has lacked teeth up front in the past.
In the 30 games since Canada opened its qualifying campaign for the last World Cup, the Canadian men have managed just 24 goals while conceding 51. Canada has been blanked 14 times during that stretch, although to be fair the Canadians held the opposition scoreless 10 times over the same period.
Injuries and absences have hurt the Canadian attack in the past.
Politics kept Peschisolido, at loggerheads with former coach Holger Osieck, out of the national team set-up while Radzinski, once he elected to return to the fold, was hampered by injury.
The Manchester camp was the second for Yallop, who brought his North American-based players to Florida in January in advance of a 1-0 exhibition win over Barbados. The only player to miss the English camp was St. Gallen midfielder Daniel Imhof, who was injured in a club game in Switzerland last weekend.
Yallop only had three training sessions - he elected for quality time not quantity - but also met with the players individually and had a team meeting.
"It would have been nice to have a game, like an international game, but for what I wanted to get out of it it was perfect," he said. "I wanted to get them a little familiar with me . . . like the Florida (camp) where I wanted to make sure that they see how I work, that I see them close-up. I felt it went really well. The attitude was great. The standard was high in training and I was pleased."
Next up for Canada is a camp and an exhibition game May 30 against Wales in Wrexham. The team will then fly to North America for a June 5 friendly against the Earthquakes in San Jose.
After that, it's off to Ottawa for another camp in advance of World Cup qualifying games June 13 and 16 against Belize in Kingston, Ont.
Yallop expects to have all his players available.