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Match Fitness or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Stephen Hart


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Yesterday's friendly in Greece really showed the difference between a side with players who are mostly all currently playing minutes for their respective clubs (Greece) and a side featuring players who are mostly only seeing training minutes (Canada - our Boys In Red). While this isn't a perfect comparison scenario due to the number of players who's clubs are in pre-season, it is still valid as that was a minority of those called to the camp. When the second half started, there was a definite separation of the boys from the men, as the Greeks came out all guns a-blazin' while we seemed laggy and panicked.

To relate this a bit better to how things have shaped up over the last few years, I'll choose a current nemesis and favourite of mine and others on the board - Honduras. The Hondurans could be considered as a nation hitting above its weight due to its size, population, and economic condition. Not to get all Soccernomics on everyone here, but it's a nation that just about collapsed completely into civil war quite recently. Despite all its shortcomings, they still hold on to the 3rd spot in CONCACAF (I would argue) behind the US and Mexico. What they share with the States and Mexicans is that their players are all playing consistent first-team football for the most part (the few Premier League players a bit spotty). While their depth might not feature continuity skill-wise, they have their own league, which affords their depth players to all be playing first-team minutes.

Stephen has made it a point to raise that argument almost every interview he does. I believe he has a plan of how he can make use of what we have and how he is going to build a competitive squad around it. This wasn't meant to be a pull for Stephen Hart, but I just keep liking everything the guy is doing and he seems to be pressing on the undecideds like Jr. consistently - we can't ask for much more than that.

The Hart Foundation

Mission: 2014

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I do agree, however, the Greeks made a lot more substitutions at the beginning of the second half. The lack of match fitness was evident against Peru in Toronto also. They had a good first half, and were crap in the second half.

But against Peru pretty much everyone involved in the game was match fit (MLS player in the middle of the season and Euro players in the beginning of their). Did they suddenly catch "match fitness" for the Honduras game?

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