Canada’s men’s national team wraps up first camp of the season

OTTAWA (ONTARIO) – Canada’s men’s national team wrapped up a successful training camp in Sunrise, FL this week. Canada’s interim head coach Stephen Hart had 18 players in his 11-day camp, the team’s first of the 2007 season.



“The attitude of all the players towards the camp was exceptional,” says Hart. “We played two close door games which were important for us to measure what we were working on consistently throughout the camp. Several players gave a good account of themselves and this is important in establishing the potential depth of the senior program.”

OTTAWA (ONTARIO) – Canada’s men’s national team wrapped up a successful training camp in Sunrise, FL this week. Canada’s interim head coach Stephen Hart had 18 players in his 11-day camp, the team’s first of the 2007 season.



“The attitude of all the players towards the camp was exceptional,” says Hart. “We played two close door games which were important for us to measure what we were working on consistently throughout the camp. Several players gave a good account of themselves and this is important in establishing the potential depth of the senior program.”



The camp opened Jan. 15 and closed Jan. 25. Most of the players in this camp came from North American teams that were on their winter camp, including nine players from Major League Soccer and three players from the United Soccer Leagues.



“It was good to come down here for the camp,” says midfielder Jim Brennan. “It’s a great group of guys on our national team.”



The team held daily meetings and practices throughout the camp. There was even a scrimmage early on with their national youth team counterparts (U-20) that were training in the same location. For the MLS players heading back to their clubs, this camp represented a “pre-season before our pre-season” as many MLS camps open in the first week of February.



“We all worked hard throughout the camp,” says defender Adam Braz. “We were focused and concentrated on the tasks at hand. It’s always good to have a North American camp because it gives some younger guys the chance to get their foot in the door and show the coach what they can do.”



Of the 18 players in this camp, half of them have fewer than six national-team caps. Brennan (43) and Dwayne De Rosario (36) were the most experienced players in camp while six other players have yet to earn their first full international cap.



In FIFA’s 2006 year-end world rankings, Canada was the eighth-ranked country in the CONCACAF conference. Canada will look to improve its standings this summer when it takes part in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States from June 6-24. The tournament will feature its biggest prize pool ever since CONCACAF has announced prizes have more than doubled for all winners and qualifiers in the 12-team tournament. From the tournament’s 16-year history (eight finals), Canada were Gold Cup champions in 2000.

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