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Davidson: Yallop Happy with Developmental Camp


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Canadian soccer coach Frank Yallop happy with developmental camp in Vancouver

By NEIL DAVIDSON

(CP) - Lack of depth has long been a pressing issue on the Canadian men's soccer team but coach Frank Yallop is feeling better about the next level of talent after a developmental camp in Vancouver.

Yallop summoned 17 players, ranging from veteran defender Tony Menezes to 21-year-old midfielder Josh Simpson, to examine his options. Nine of the invitees play in the A-League.

The developmental side worked with Yallop and the national coaching staff and got top-level games against Scotland's Hearts - a 1-1 tie Monday - and English First Division side Millwall on Wednesday night.

The camp was further proof of Yallop's willingness to look at all talent. And he says some of those in camp may have played their way onto the first team.

"Definitely some of these guys will be in the squad for August," Yallop said, referring to the start of Canada's next round of World Cup qualifying games.

Simpson, who did well for Canada at the world under-20 championships last year, scored Canada's goal in the tie with Hearts.

"He was probably the man of the match," Yallop said. "He was positive, he got at people, he scored his goal. He was a threat all night against a very good team . . . It looks like he's maturing nicely."

Menezes also fared well before exiting in the 55th minute with an injury. While he has 27 caps for the senior side, he has been out of sight recently while playing for a club in China.

Yallop also liked Menezes' commitment in taking time out of his off-season to attend the camp.

"I think you've got to look at people who do that," Yallop said. "He was doing well up until he got injured. He's another guy who's back on the map."

Yallop also pointed to striker Olivier Occean of Olde Grenland in Norway, and defender Gabe Gervais and goalkeeper Greg Sutton of the Montreal Impact as having done well against Hearts.

Another plus is that the camp did not set back the Canadian Soccer Association anything. The costs were picked up by the B.C. Soccer Association as host of the International Pacific Soccer Series tournament.

"We need to do a lot more of these in Canada, we need to get people to host teams, in each province," said Yallop. "B.C. Soccer really have done a fantastic job almost sticking their neck out and saying 'We want to bring soccer to Vancouver.' It's a wonderful series and they're going to do well with the gate.

"It's a great experience for the players, especially the young Canadians. They playing against Millwall, who were in the FA Cup final against Man United. Hearts are in the Premier League in Scotland. For these guys that play in the A-League, to play against this sort of calibre team is just fantastic."

Notes: Vancouver defender Randee Hermus is the W-League player of the week after scoring scored twice as the Whitecaps won four games on the road last week. Hermus also made the W-League team of the week along with Vancouver goalkeeper Erin McLeod and forward Amber Allen, Ottawa midfielder Kelly Parker and Montreal forward Josee Belanger . . . Montreal Impact 'keeper Greg Sutton made the A-League team of the week, along with Montreal midfielder Sando Grande.

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I think this camp has cemeted Occean's status as the fourth striker behinf Radz/Dero/Pesch. I'd like to see him against the small Central American defenders.

I also think Simpson may be sitting on Canada's bench come WCQ time. He'd be a great late game substitute to run at tired defenders.

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quote:Originally posted by Rudi

I think this camp has cemeted Occean's status as the fourth striker behinf Radz/Dero/Pesch. I'd like to see him against the small Central American defenders.

I also think Simpson may be sitting on Canada's bench come WCQ time. He'd be a great late game substitute to run at tired defenders.

Agreed that both will see time with A-squad. Simpson probably coming off the bench, but concievable that OO is a starter. Pesch is our super-sub, and I think I would start OO.

Simpson should be sniffing for a pro contract in Scotland or Scandinavia. I wonder how many scouts are at these matches ?

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