soccer canada

Canada’s Olympic soccer coach Benito Floro has gathered his men in Alliston, Ontario for a one-week camp just north of Toronto. The Canadian Men’s U-23 Team is preparing for next week’s 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifiers, with the goal a place at next year’s Rio 2016 Men’s Olympic Football Tournament.

From eight remaining CONCACAF nations, two or three will qualify for Rio 2016.‎ Both semi-final winners on 10 October will qualify for Rio 2016 while the third-place winner on 13 October will advance to an intercontinental playoff against Colombia.

“We’re working on very important tactical matters here before we go to the United States,” said Floro. “We believe that if our players do well with how we want them to play with their pressing and in the attack, we stand a good chance of qualifying for the Olympics.”

At camp in Alliston, Canada’s Olympic coach Floro has all 20 squad members plus three reserves. Before the start of camp, Mark-Anthony Kaye was ruled out because of an injury, which opened the door for fullback Giuliano Frano to join the team.

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Many of the players have been involved in a camp with either the senior team under Floro or at the Pan American Games, where coach Antonio Floro (son of head coach Benito) was in charge. That’s proving to be useful as the players have done well in building on the tactical concepts that they’ll be working with during the qualifiers.

“We are happy with how things have gone,” said Benito Floro afterThursday morning’s training session. “The new players have integrated well into the group and they’ve been playing with a lot of intensity. When a player is young, his mind is open to receive new information so we feel they prepared in tactical matters.”

All in good spirits, the team will train daily through Saturday before a regeneration session on Sunday and a travel day on Monday. Canada opens the CONCACAF tournament on 1 October in Kansas against USA.