"I hope to fulfil all the dreams (of) the country - it is very difficult, but we are going to work for that" - Benito Floro in his first press conference.
On July 5th, 2013 the Canadian Soccer Association concluded their search for a new head coach of the men's national team. Benito Floro, and his son Antonio (assistant coach) were signed to a contract that would see them through to the end of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. With three years under his belt its time to evaluate Floro Sr. and reflect on how he has performed with the CanMNT.
Canadian Culture Change?
The then President of the Canadian Soccer Association, Victor Montagliani, was quoted as saying Floro can "change the culture" of Canadian soccer in Floro's introductory press conference. While a broad term such as culture change can be hard to judge based on results, what Floro most certainly has played a hand in has been recruitment.
Under Floro's tenure, both Junior Hoilett and Scott Arfield have joined Canada's campaign for Russia making instant and visible improvements to the squad. Conversations on both players joining have long been in the mind of fans but Floro was certainly a bargaining chip for the CSA to provide an internationally experienced coach that could help the players on an individual basis; only helping their own careers in return. By bringing in a higher quality coach can certainly be connected to bringing in higher quality players.
Key Results will Define his Tenure
Since Floro started his term after the 2013 Gold Cup he's held a record of 8-8-13 with a 4-1-7 record in competitive matches, but just like Canada coaches before him, he will be judged on the big games. As of now Floro has done enough for fans to feel neutral about him. He orchestrated a big win over Honduras and a tie against El Salvador but he's angered fans by playing players out of position leading them to question his lineups and judgement.
Stephen Hart's Canadian career was ended due to the big loss in Honduras, but it very well could have been ended with any kind of loss to Los Catrachos. The CSA and its fans, as they should, have World Cup on the mind. If Canada can't get the job done in San Pedro Sula and Vancouver then the CSA will have to decide if Floro is worth the money to stay. If Floro does bring Canada to the promised land and his contract is extended it will be the longest contract of his career, prior to this role he hadn't held down a job of more than three years at his 16 previous clubs.
Should we sign an extension for Floro? Give your thoughts in the comments below.
Floro by the Numbers
Games in Charge of Canada: 29
Overall Record: 8-8-13
Competitive Match Record: 4-1-7
Biggest Win: 4-0 vs Dominica (WCQ)
Biggest Loss: 0-3 vs Mexico (WCQ)