Soccer in Tucson: Young Canadian team to face Denmark

2013-01-25T00:00:00Z Soccer in Tucson: Young Canadian team to face DenmarkDave Ord Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 25, 2013 12:00 am  • 

If you're only as good as your last match, the Canadian national soccer team must be more anxious to play Denmark on Saturday than a taxpayer waiting for a four-figure rebate.

Canada's last match was an 8-1 loss at the hands of Honduras in October's World Cup qualifying. Had they won, the Canadians would have moved on to the next round of qualifying. But the crushing loss means they must now wait four more years for a chance to go to soccer's pinnacle event.

The fallout included the resignation of coach Stephen Hart, who has been replaced by Colin Miller on an interim basis.

With little on the horizon other than this summer's Gold Cup, Miller is focusing on youth.

"One of our key objectives for this camp is to look toward the future and give some of our young players a chance," Miller said in a Canada Soccer press release.

The squad selected for the two January matches - Saturday against Denmark at Kino Stadium and Tuesday against the United States in Houston - is the team's youngest since May 2006, with an average age of just under 25.

Ten players on the roster earned their first call-up to the national team.

One of those new faces is Kyle Bekker, a 22-year-old central midfielder who played at Boston College. He was selected by Toronto FC with the third overall pick in Major League Soccer's SuperDraft last week. He could make his debut in a Canada jersey Saturday. On the opposite end of the experience spectrum is Dwayne De Rosario, a veteran of many Canada campaigns and the 2011 MLS MVP.

The 34-year-old has made 71 appearances and scored a record 20 goals for Canada. De Rosario played for Miller during Miller's first stint as an interim coach for Canada in 2003.

Both will be surrounded by a host of new faces, all hoping for a better result than the last match.

Canada facts

• Population: 34.3 million

• Capital: Ottawa

• FIFA world ranking: 64th

• Coach: Colin Miller.

• Name to know: Forward Dwayne De Rosario

• vs. Denmark: 0-2

• Best World Cup finish: In 1986, Canada's only appearance ended in the group stage.

• Twist of fate: Canada won a tie-breaking coin toss after the group stage of the 2000 Gold Cup, stunned Mexico in the quarterfinals and won the title.

Up next

• What: Canada vs. Denmark

• When: 1 p.m. Saturday

• Where: Kino Stadium

• Tickets: fctucson.com

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