Despite getting overwhelmed 4-0 by a much sharper Denmark side on Saturday, Canada's staff and players say they are better for the experience.TUCSON, Ariz. – It’s not going to be an overnight job in getting Canada’s next generation of players up to the international level, so it was an expected—albeit tough to take—Canadian display on Saturday.
But now is the time for learning and taking those lumps and there’s nobody more acknowledging of that than interim head coach Colin Miller.
“It was an incredibly valuable learning experience for everyone,” said Miller. “It was a terrific experience for our young guys. It’s easy to be negative.
"It’s easy to slaughter everything all over the place but I’m going to support the guys and get them ready for Tuesday night.”
Including the 8-1 loss in Honduras, the scorelines from Canada’s past two games have hardly been flattering, but Miller is adamant that development takes time and patience has to be in high supply.
“We have no divine right to think that we’re number one in the world in Canada. We seem to think we’re at that level but we’re not. Let’s call a spade a spade,” he said. “There is so much work to be done and here is probably the first step to build that in many ways.”
It may very well be the beginning of a tough time to be a Canadian supporter but it merits bearing in mind that there is still a long time before really meaningful World Cup qualifying games get back underway. The other thing worth bearing in mind is that this will not be the Canadian squad that will make up the roster for the Gold Cup.
“We probably have five or six years to get it right,” said Terry Dunfield, who wore the captain’s armband for the first time in his career. “So we’re at the beginning of the cycle right now. Players are getting opportunities and it’s up to them to take it.”
Both Miller and the players pointed out that there were some tough lessons learned on Saturday, but they have a chance to quickly put into practice what they’ve learned in the second game of this camp.
It’s very possible that another tough day will be on order against the United States, but there is very real enthusiasm to right the ship and get things headed in the right direction.
“The positive is the learning experiences,” said Dwayne De Rosario. “We have to be ready and hopefully we can quickly learn from our mistakes (on Tuesday) and we can play with a little bit more composure.”