Three hundred-and-sixty-five days. Balenciaga Scontate . That is how long it has been since Canadas mens national team were humiliated 8-1 in their final World Cup qualifying match in Honduras. Since that embarrassing defeat, the mens team has played 11 competitive games. The stats from those 11 games read as follows: zero wins, eight losses, three draws, one goal scored and sixteen goals conceded. It is impossible to put a positive spin on that. The grim reality is that our fortunes at the international level are not going to improve any time soon. Until we have a larger pool of players getting regular minutes at their respective professional clubs, we will never be able to compete at the international level. We just dont have the depth of talent needed to do so. A case in point: Toronto FC midfielder Kyle Bekker has played more games for Canadas mens national team in 2013 than he has for Toronto FC. In no successful soccer nation in the world does this happen. Yet because we have so few professional players from which to select our national team, we are left with no choice. If new head coach Benito Floro didnt know what he was getting himself into when he took the job, he surely does now. Experimental lineups against Mauritania (twice) and Australia yielded no goals, one draw and two losses. In those three games, he utilized virtually every eligible player at his disposal with a few exceptions (like Montreal Impact midfielder, Patrice Bernier, or Real Salt Lake skipper, Will Johnson.) There isnt a pipeline of young players being churned out by the three Canadian MLS clubs. Young players like Bekker cant even get a game at their club team, so how can Floro rely on them to deliver at the unforgiving international level? Its very simple - he cant. So what option does Floro have? Well, he isnt going to turn our mens team into free-flowing masters of tiki-taka football overnight. In fact, hes never going to have that effect on our team. We are what we are and, if Floro were wise, he will look to the past to see a way to bridge to the future. Canadas mens teams have always been extremely disciplined and well-organized. They have always had strong goalkeepers, resilient and reliable defenders, and hard-working midfielders. The current lack of goal-scoring punch is simply the status quo - we have never developed especially prolific goal scorers - and that isnt going to change. But where Floro can really impact the current group is on the defensive side of the game. The goals that were conceded against Australia were very poor by international standards. Moving forward, it is essential for Floro to spend what little time he has with his players working on their defensive understanding. You simply cannot win games when you concede sloppy goals and Canada must get back to being hard to play against. From there, Canada needs to employ a strategy that utilizes quick transitions - both from defending to attacking and vice-versa. The influence of players like Johnson and Atiba Hutchinson cannot be underestimated in this area; both are vital components of the spine of Floros team. Johnson has blossomed into an all-star in Major League Soccer, leading the Portland Timbers to the top of the Western Conference standings. He is an agitator in midfield, but is also capable of getting his fair share of goals - he has eight this season, a career best. Hutchinson is Canadas best player. Currently playing for Besiktas in Turkey, Hutchinson has grown as a player since moving to Europe in 2003. Now, with 10 years of top flight football under his belt, Hutchinson must play a major role in Floros future plans. These two players should be the central midfield fulcrum around which Floros team is built. At 26 (Johnson) and 30 (Hutchinson,) they are in the prime years of their careers and will thrive in roles of responsibility. At the back, David Edgar should be first choice at central defense and finding him a consistent partner must be a priority. While he still has a ways to go, I have always believed that Adam Straith could one day develop into that player. Doneil Henry is still very raw and making the mistakes at the club level that every 20-year-old makes, so rushing him before he is ready would be a mistake. A solid spine is essential in any well-organized team, and these four positions are crucial to Floros chances of turning things in the right direction. It is by no means the finished article and there are a number of holes that Floro will need to address if the team is to find success during his tenure. But with no wins in eleven games and only one goal over that span, Floro needs to start somewhere. Yeezy 700 Saldi . -- David Freese is starting to pick up his run production, which is something the Los Angeles Angels have been waiting half a season to see. Air Max Plus Italia . But luckily for the Canadian squad, one goal was all it needed. Winnipegs Sophie Schmidt scored the winner off a Diana Matheson corner kick to seal Canadas third-place spot in the Torneio Internacional de Futebol Feminino in Brazil on Sunday.PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Bills general manager Doug Whaleys patience is growing thin after starting defensive tackle Marcell Dareus experienced his latest off-season setback by failing a pre-training camp conditioning test. "Its cause for concern," Whaley told The Associated Press after the Bills held their first practice -- minus Dareus -- in suburban Rochester on Sunday night. "You always are disappointed when one of your guys isnt ready. But we think hes not far off. So hopefully sooner than later." Whaley then expressed confidence in Dareus, whose string of troubles include drug possession and reckless driving charges in two separate arrests in May. "His mindsets better once hes here," Whaley said, referring to the practice field. "And I think well find out with his actions. And I think hes ready to disprove all this stuff that hes a bad seed." The Bills placed Dareus on the active/non-football injury list on Saturday because the 2011 first-round draft pick did not report to camp in shape, coach Doug Marrone announced shortly before the start of practice Sunday. Marrone declined to say whether he was disappointed in Dareus latest setback. "I just think right now he just needs to focus on getting himself ready, getting on the field, and focusing on football," Marrone said. "And I think thats what hell be ready to do." Dareus was not present for practice and has not been spotted at the teams training camp facility since players began reporting on Friday. Under the observation of trainers, he must now work himself back into shape, and then pass the tests to be cleared for practice. This isnt a good start for a player who has encountered a series of on- and off-field problems over the past seven months. In early May, Dareus was arrested in his native Alabama and charged with possession of synthetic marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Fourr weeks later, he was allegedly racing teammate Jerry Hughes when he crashed his 2012 Jaguar into a tree near a busy intersection not far from Ralph Wilson Stadium. Balenciaga False. Dareus was charged with reckless endangerment and ticketed for several traffic violations, including drag racing. The NFL could potentially discipline Dareus for his off-field troubles with a fine or suspension. After the crash, Dareus consulted with Marrone and decided to take two weeks off from voluntary practices. He returned for the teams three-day mandatory minicamp in mid-June, but did not speak to reporters. Dareus troubles date to the end of last season when he was benched for parts of the final two games for breaking team rules. Marrone had previously taken responsibility for mentoring Dareus. "I just want to make sure that Im clear that everyone understands that I believe in Marcell, and I will do everything I can to make sure that we can get him on the right track," Marrone said in June. "Im going to do everything I can to help a 24-year-old man make better decisions." And yet, its unclear whether the player is listening. Even Dareus teammates have publicly expressed concerns over his poor decision-making. Veteran defensive tackle Kyle Williams, last month, said he hoped the car crash was a wake-up call for Dareus. "Hopefully, its to a point where its kind of an epiphany, and he comes alive and turns the corner and does his best," Williams said then. NOTES: LT Cordy Glenn, who is on the active/non-football illness list, watched from the sideline. DT Alan Branch, also on the illness list, did conditioning drills on the sideline. ... LT Seantrel Henderson did not return after being escorted to the locker room an hour into practice. WR Marquise Goodwin also did not return after being escorted off. The Bills had no updates on the players status. ' ' '
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Dec 06, 2019