Canada Soccer announced today that they will not be extending the contract of head coach Benito Floro. It was a mutual decision between both the coach and the Canadian Soccer Association. The news comes after Canada failed to reach the final round of World Cup qualifying for the 2018 tournament hosted in Russia.
As of right now, there is no timeline for a replacement, as Canada Soccer will sit down and begin the process of finding the next coach of the national team soon. They are expected to name an interim coach ahead of friendlies in the upcoming international windows.
"I would like to thank Canada Soccer for the opportunity to lead the Men's National Team Program for the past three years," said Benito Floro in a CSA press release. "The organization's support for the program has been formidable and will lead to strong results in the years to come. We have a talented group of dedicated players that have a bright future and I wish Canada Soccer all the best for success."
Floro has been coaching the Canadian men's national team since 2013, brought in to manage the aftermath of a devastating 8-1 loss to Honduras that concluded qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. In his time with Canada, Floro led the team to a record of 9 wins, 11 draws and 11 losses in all competitions. He saw Canada go winless at the 2015 Gold Cup before being eliminated in the semi-final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.
He was a polarising figure within Canadian soccer circles. Some felt that he was getting the most out of a group that did not have the talent to compete with the best on the continent. Others were turned off him by his decisions, both in terms of his defence-first tactics in almost all situations, and some of the personality moves that he made.
Particularly publicised during his time as manager was his ongoing "snub" of Toronto FC midfielder Jonathan Osorio, and the recent decision not to call up Will Johnson for this month's qualifiers. He had similar issues with other players during his time as manager.
The negativity towards Floro grew louder towards the end of Canada's World Cup qualifying campaign when the team employed odd tactics. Canada suffered three losses in those final four matches, which ended up costing them a spot in the Hexagonal round.
On a conference call today, CSA President Victor Montagliani said the results under Floro weren't what Canada Soccer was looking for, as the goal was to make the hex this cycle. However, he feels that during Floro's time as coach the program made important progress off the field.
It is not clear if other personnel decisions have been made as well. For example, Floro's son Antonio is also a coach with the Canadian Men's National Team.
Montagliani says Canada Soccer will be looking for the next coach of the Canadian men's national team to build off of that progress. They don't want someone who will come in and just tear down everything they have put together over the past couple of years.