2013 has been a miserable year for the Canadian Men's National Team. The only real highlight has been the hiring of Benito Floro while the rest of the year has been filled with a poor showing at the Gold Cup, a very long run without a goal, and the painful process of rebuilding a squad that once again missed out on World Cup qualifying.
Despite all the struggles Canada have played a number of high profile opponents in friendlies this year. They have played Belarus, Japan, and Australia already this year (and Mauritania twice) which compared to recent years is an impressive haul of opponents.
Now Canada are set to add a match against the Czech Republic to their 2013 calendar. The Canadian Soccer association confirmed that the two nations will meet in Olomouc, Czech Republic on November 15th for a friendly. While many UEFA Nations will be taking part in World Cup qualifying playoffs on that day Czech Republic had an opening in their schedule after just missing out on second place in their qualification group.
It will be another very tough test for Canada even if they are taking on a squad that just missed out on World Cup qualification. The Czech are currently ranked 27th in the World and could bring the likes of Petr Čech, Tomáš Rosický, Petr Jiráček, and even promising youngsters like Václav Kadlec, and Tomáš Kalas.
There is no lack of potential quality for Josef Pešice to call on when he names his squad for this friendly. That quality could well lead to a similar result to what happened the last time these two countries met. On that occasion, a decade prior to the November 15th meeting, the Czech cruised to a 5-1 win over Canada with Tomasz Radzinski finding the net for interim coach Colin Miller's side.
With MLS breaking for the international window which takes place during the Conference Finals there should be no issues for Floro when it comes to getting the players that he wants from the league. It was never going to be a major problem though considering most of the Canadians in MLS have been out of the playoff picture for most of the season with Will Johnson and Patrice Bernier the only two who could potentially be involved at that stage.
Floro has named a fairly similar squad for his last two camps so it would not be a surprise to see him once again go with a consistent squad. With the camp and friendly again taking place in Europe it is likely that the bulk of the Canadian squad will be made up of players based in Europe but hopefully Floro finds a way to call in someone who might actually be able to score a goal this time around.