Jump to content

In Canada, It's Wait for the Next Cycle - NYTimes


Recommended Posts

In Canada, It's Wait for the Next Cycle



Published: October 4, 2005

When Frank Yallop looks south, he sees that the United States and Mexico have qualified for another World Cup. Minnows like Costa Rica, Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago are still in contention. And Yallop, the coach of Canada's national team, is at home outside Vancouver, British Columbia, driving his children to school and watching the world go by.

"It is not easy watching it and seeing the fourth spot in our region just hanging around," Yallop said in a telephone interview late last week. "Yes, it's frustrating at times."

Three teams from the Concacaf region automatically qualify for the World Cup, which is in Germany next year. Costa Rica is third, with two matches to play over the next eight days. The fourth-place team will play a home-and-away series with Uzbekistan or Bahrain.

Yallop took over Canada's national team in December 2003, leaving Major League Soccer and the San Jose Earthquakes. In M.L.S., he won coach of the year honors after taking an Earthquakes team that had the worst record in 2000 and helping turn it into the league champion in 2001. But his country called, and Yallop, who played in England for Ipswich Town, accepted the challenge of taking Canada back to the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

It has not gone as planned.

Without a first division national league, some of the top Canadian players are forced to go overseas (Tomasz Radzinski at Fulham in England and Lars Hirschfeld at Tromso in Norway), play in M.L.S. (Will Johnson in Chicago and Dwayne De Rosario in San Jose) or play in the United Soccer Leagues First Division for one of three Canadian teams.

Canada was once a regional power, but is now No. 84 in the latest FIFA rankings, between Algeria and North Korea, two spots up from Albania.

Canada was ousted from qualifying, leaving Yallop, who has a contract through the next qualifying cycle, trying to regroup and plan for an uncertain future.

"I'm at the top of the pyramid in Canada and people look at results," he said. "But I need the players. We got a good result in Spain last month, losing, 2-1. But now I won't see the players until a few days before our next game, against Luxembourg next month. We've got a slight problem there. When I took the job, I knew about this, but I just didn't realize how much time there would be without the players."

As Canada has struggled on the field and off (a plan to build a stadium in Toronto for the 2007 under-17 world championships and for a possible M.L.S. team is far from a done deal), Yallop is always mentioned when a coaching position opens in M.L.S.

"I keep hearing a lot of rumors; it's flattering, but no one has made contact with me," Yallop said. "People from the press keep phoning me up to ask. I left M.L.S. two years ago, and these rumors start when you lose a few games. I can't stop the rumors."

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Create New...