It's been a rough year for Canada's mens national team, and Tuesday night was no different. What can Benito Floro take away from the 3-0 loss to Australia?
In a continuation of a hellish year for the Canucks, Floro's side fell 3-0 to Australia on Tuesday evening at London's Craven Cottage. It wasn't so much the scoreline that was worrisome, but rather the ease in which the Aussies -- who themselves have been in total disarray over the past few months -- took control of the match.
So what can we learn from yet another scoreless effort from our boys in red? Here's three things that stood out during the match:
1. Canada still can't score
This isn't exactly groundbreaking information, and in fact it feels like this is the main talking point after every Canada game these days. It's hardly a surprise given that the side has scored all of one goal in ten games this year, but the situation seems to get more dire with each passing match.
Simeon Jackson and Tosaint Ricketts each had point-blank chances stolen from them by outstanding Aussie goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak, but outside of those two first half opportunities it was once again a case of extremely little going forward for Floro's crew.
The truly depressing thing is that there doesn't seem to be much help out there. Outside of Lucas Cavallini and perhaps Daniel Haber, there aren't many young Canucks that weren't in London on Tuesday who are potting goals at the club level these days.
2. The youth have much to learn
While there seems to be a handful of promising young Canadians making waves for their club sides in MLS and abroad, the step up to the international level is proving to be too big of a gap for starlets like Jonathan Osorio and Russell Teibert to handle right now.
Floro has to continue blooding talented youngsters like Osorio and Teibert during this two-year down period for the Canadian side, but Tuesday's game made it very apparent why he's still keeping some key veterans around.
"For the first [half], we planned to play the game with experienced players to look for a good result because in the second we planned to play with the young players," Floro said after the loss. "In the second half, the young players did not play well because the opponent was physically very powerful. They made a big press and we didn’t have any chances at goal. It’s necessary with the young players because we need to give them international experience.
"This is the problem for us."
The coach may have understated the effect that Canada's overall inexperience had on the match. In the first half -- after the disastrous start that saw the Aussies take the lead just seconds in -- it was actually Canada that created more of the clear-cut chances, including the two aforementioned point-blank opportunities by Ricketts and Jackson.
At the very least, the Canadians looked equal to Australia in the opening 45 minutes, and once the veteran-laden starting XI subbed off it became very easy for the Soccerroos to put their stamp on the game.
3. The Edgar experiment at midfield deserves another look
One of the few players who put in a 90-minute shift was David Edgar. Naturally a centre back but lately used as a right back for both club and country, the 26-year-old lined up in the centre of the park against the Australians, as Floro toyed with an idea that club side Burnley has also experimented with this season.
Edgar's natural workrate and athleticism helped him win loose balls all over the field, but it was his composure in possession that was most intriguing. That being said, Canada could have used his physical presence at the back, especially as the Aussies scored all three goals from headers.
While he didn't have a perfect night, Edgar certainly showed enough vision and intelligence in his new role to warrant another look in the future. The Kitchener, Ont., native was a small bright spot during another disappointing day at the office for Canada.