Canada to play friendly against El Salvador on March 5th

Tom Szczerbowski

According to a report coming out of El Salvador their national team is set to meet Canada for a friendly on March 5th. The game will take place at Estadio Cuscatlán in San Salvador.

According to a report from La Prensa Grafica, an El Salvadorian news outlet, the Canadian Men's National Team will take part in a friendly against El Salvador during the next FIFA International window.  The report indicates that the two countries would meet at Estadio Cuscatlán in San Salvador, El Salvador for a game on March 5th.

El Salvador are coming off a rough 2013 which saw a number of players in their federation receive lifetime bans for match fixing.  In total 14 players received life time bans after accusations that games against the likes of the USA, Mexico, and Costa Rica were fixed.  Along with the lifetime bans there were a number of other players who received shorter punishments but the end result is that their program is now very much in the middle of a major rebuild.

El Salvador are currently ranked 78th in the World by FIFA but they have not made it to a World Cup since 1982 when they qualified for the second time in the country's history.  They have managed to make it to the quarterfinals in each of the last two Gold Cups with a 1-2-1 record but have not been past that stage for quite some time.

In the most recent round of World Cup qualifying El Salvador did advance to the third round but finished third place in their group behind Mexico and Costa Rica meaning they did not advance to the final round of qualifying.  They did cruise through the second round of qualifying by picking up 6 wins from 6 matches but that was against the likes of the Dominican Republic, Suriname, and the Cayman Islands.

El Salvador will also have a new coach for this friendly having parted ways with Agustin Castillo.  He will be replaced by Mauricio Alfaro who was given the job on an interim basis.  This would be his first match in charge and the first game for the team since they lost 5-1 to the United States in the Gold Cup quarterfinals last July.

Canada on the other hand have been busy playing games over the course of the last year but have had very little to show for it.  After a winless 2013 they are looking to do better under Benito Floro in 2014.  They opened the year with a camp in Florida that featured a very young roster with quite a few players being called up who are expected to contribute in the next Under-23 cycle.

It will be interesting to see what kind of roster Floro calls up for this match should it be confirmed by the federations.  It would take place during an international break so he should have the option to call in a fairly strong side but given the location it would not be a surprise to see him go with a squad built mainly of North American based players.

The timing would work out well for Toronto FC players are they could report for camp and the friendly without having to miss any games.  The final of the Walt Disney Pro Soccer Classic is set for March 1st while the season opener is not until March 15th so they will have plenty of time to go play for Canada before rejoining the team to get ready for the opener in Seattle.

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