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  • Could this man be the next coach of the men's national team?

    ccs-3097-14026401989_thumb.jpgThis man is 61-year-old Spaniard Benito Floro, whose coaching credits include Real Madrid, Villarreal and Monterrey.

    And according to a report in Marca on Thursday morning, he's going to be named as the new full-time head coach of the Canadian men's national team.

    Conveniently enough, the Canadian Soccer Association is set to make a "major announcement" at a press conference at 10 a.m. ET on Friday. Both the CSA president and general-secretary will be in attendance.

    It stands to reason that Floro will probably be there as well.


    Now, if this move is confirmed, the big question will of course be "is he the right man for the job?" There is literally no accurate way to answer this question at this point. If, in four years' time, Canada is making a serious push to qualify for the World Cup, then we can retrospectively say this was a "good hire". If, in three years' time, Canada has prematurely and ignominiously crashed out of World Cup qualifying once again, then the CSA will be retrospectively chided for a "bad hire".

    We can, of course, make wild assumptions about how Floro will do, based on his history... even better, we can frame it like Homer Simpson talking to the weird old guy in the novelty shop about frozen yogurt (or "frogurt"):

    He won the Copa del Rey in his first year managing Real Madrid.

    That's good!

    But that was over 20 years ago.

    That's bad.

    He spent three years coaching in Mexico, so he's got some small degree of CONCACAF experience.

    That's good!

    His team, Monterrey, didn't do especially well in any of those three seasons.

    That's bad.

    He's been coaching pro teams at a decent level for more or less consistently for the last 30+ seasons.

    That's good!

    Except for a five-year gap last decade... and he's never coached at the national-team level.


    That could be bad.

    Can I go now?

    Anyway, if this report is accurate, presumably Floro will be checking out the Gold Cup from the sidelines, getting an idea of the player pool he's working with, seeing the team first-hand and potentially asking himself, "what the hell have I gotten into?" According to the Marca story, Floro would be the man all the way till the next World Cup (or Canada's exit from qualifying for it), so he'd have the next three years to mold the team as he saw fit before things get really serious for the team (with all due respect to the 2015 Gold Cup, of course).

    Was Floro worth the nine-month wait? We'll see. And that's not a "we'll see" in the way parents tell kids "we'll see", as a less-painful substitute for "no". In this case it really does mean we'll see. We don't know. No judgment can be passed until we actually see what he's able to do with the Canadian squad.

    It's worth noting, though, that the last two foreign head coaches who helmed the national team for any significant amount of time were Tony Waiters and Holger Osieck. One took us to the World Cup; the other took us to a Gold Cup championship.

    And after the CSA said they would conduct a thorough, international search for a full-time gaffer, it's encouraging that they actually did follow through, so that we can finally put a name and a face to the man who will lead Les Rouges through a challenging transitional period...

    ... presuming, of course, that the move is actually confirmed.

    (Update, 12:05 pm ET: John Molinaro of Sportsnet has reported via Twitter that he has confirmed, through his sources, that Floro will be named Canada's new head coach. The chances of Marca and Molinaro both being wrong are exceptionally low.)


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