7 September 2014 15:32
Canada have called on three legendary veterans as they bid to win for the first time in 17 matches against Jamaica in Toronto on Tuesday.
For his first home game since assuming the reins last year, Benito Floro has selected Dwayne De Rosario, Julian de Guzman and Atiba Hutchinson – all former Canadian Player of the Year recipients who have 215 caps between them – for the friendly, which both sides will use as preparation for next year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.
“We’ve seen several Jamaican games and we consider them to be a physically good team,” said Floro. “This means that technically and tactically it is a very good test for us.
“It’s good for us because we need to test ourselves and show that we are progressing and moving up.”
Canada, who have scored just three times in their last 15 games, are in their lowest position since the introduction of the FIFA Ranking in 1993 – 122nd, behind the likes of Ethiopia, Haiti and Central African Republic.
Toronto FC’s 36-year-old midfielder De Rosario – his country’s all-time leading marksmen – will be on familiar turf at the BMO Field.
Meanwhile De Guzman, whose brother Jonathan represented the Netherlands at the recent FIFA World Cup, was born in Canada’s most populous city and Besiktas midfielder Hutchinson comes from nearby Brampton.
Defender David Edgar and midfielder Marcel de Jong, who play for English second-flight side Birmingham City and Augsburg in the German Bundesliga respectively, are also at the disposal of former Real Madrid coach Floro.
“De Rosario is a special player, because he is a very good player with a lot of experience,” Floro said. “His spirit is very good; tactically he is very intelligent and physically he is not bad.”
Jamaica are also out to arrest a concerning spell of form. Winfried Schafer’s side finished bottom in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for Brazil 2014, failing to win any of their 10 matches, and were humbled 8-0 by France last time out.
Schafer will be without Reading defender Michael Cummings and 18-year-old forward Michael Seaton.
He does nevertheless have a couple of in-form players at his disposal. Defender Wes Morgan has made a good start to life in the English Premier League with Leicester City, midfielder Romario Campbell has been dazzling for Waterhouse in his homeland and forward Deshorn Brown is Colorado Rapids’ top scorer this season.
Jamaica have won four and lost seven of their 17 encounters with Canada.