Canada prepares for Poland

The Canadian men’s national team will close out their 2009 schedule when they face Poland on Wednesday evening in Bydgoszcz, Poland. The match is set to kick off at 17.00 local time (11.00 ET / 08.00 PT) from the Stadiom Miejski im. Zdzisława Krzyszkowiaka in Bydgoszcz. The international friendly will conclude Canada’s European camp which began on 9 November in FYR Macedonia.



For more information on the match, please visit the following fixture link.

The Canadian men’s national team will close out their 2009 schedule when they face Poland on Wednesday evening in Bydgoszcz, Poland. The match is set to kick off at 17.00 local time (11.00 ET / 08.00 PT) from the Stadiom Miejski im. Zdzisława Krzyszkowiaka in Bydgoszcz. The international friendly will conclude Canada’s European camp which began on 9 November in FYR Macedonia.



For more information on the match, please visit the following fixture link.



“With additional time in training and one game played, I expect to see an improvement in the playing relationships between the players,” said Canadian coach Stephen Hart. “For me, the team performance in the match will be more important than the result.”



A central storyline heading into Wednesday’s clash has been the return of Canadian forward Tomasz Radinski to Poland. Radzinski, 35, was born in the nearby city of Poznan before moving to Canada as a teenager. The veteran Radzinski made his national team debut on 4 June 1995 against Turkey, and has gone on to make 45 appearances for Canada, scoring 10 goals in the process.



“Tomasz has been a big influence for our national team, but more importantly he is an excellent role model for our younger players,” said Hart. “Historically, Canada has not had the strikers of Tomasz’s quality. For me it’s never about the age but more about how the player performs. As long as he continues to perform I will gladly continue to call him.”



The Canada-Poland match will conclude the 2009 season for Canada. Canada has played seven matches to date, including their recent 0:3 loss to FYR Macedonia, compiling a record of four wins, one draw and two losses. At the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Canada finished first in its group with two wins and one draw before falling 0:1 to Honduras in the quarter-final stage.



Poland is coming off a failed qualifying campaign for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. Poland finished fifth in UEFA Group 3, 11 points behind group winner Slovakia. Despite this disappointment, Poland has enjoyed a rich soccer history having participated in seven FIFA World Cups, finishing third at Germany 1974 and Spain 1982. Poland along with neighbours Ukraine will stage UEFA Euro 2012™.



Following its failure to qualify for the FIFA World Cup, Poland replaced head coach Leo Beenhacker with Franciszek Smuda. In the first match under their new coach Poland lost 0:1 to Romania in Warsaw on 14 November.



The Canada-Poland match will be played in the 20,500 seat Stadiom Miejski im. Zdzisława Krzyszkowiaka in Bydgoszcz. The stadium is the home of Polish club Zawisza Bydgoszcz who play in the Polish 2nd division (3rd tier). Bydgoszcz last hosted international soccer on 8 August 2009 when Poland defeated Greece 2:0 in an international friendly.



Wednesday’s Canada – Poland match will mark the first time to two sides have met in international action in over 20 years. Canada and Poland have faced each other three times in their international history, with Poland winning all three contests. Toronto has twice been the venue for Canada – Poland matches, including the most recent contest between the two nations, a 2:1 Polish victory on 15 July, 1988. Canada’s only match on Polish soil took place in Warsaw on 31 October 1974, a match Poland won 2:0. The first meeting between the two sides, a 3:1 Polish win, occurred one year earlier on 1 August, 1973 again in Toronto.

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