Soccer

Canadian men's soccer team looks to end scoreless drought

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The Canadian Press
11/18/2013 2:27:44 PM
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Frustration is creeping in on the Canadian men's soccer team as they face a nine-game scoring drought, but captain Dwayne De Rosario says it's his job to keep confidence up on the squad.

"The opportunities are going to come," he said Monday on a conference call from Slovenia, where the team was preparing for a friendly. "If we weren't creating chances then it would be a different conversation."

The formula remains the same, he said.

"Keep doing what we're doing, keep playing like the coaches want us to play and stay positive."

He also said it's a great time for a young player to join the national team and he likes the direction it is headed under new coach Benito Floro.

"Obviously there's a little language barrier but Benito's definitely catching up on the English language and the players are starting to become more receptive to his ideas and the way he would like us to play," said De Rosario.

After a 2-0 loss to the Czech Republic last Friday, Floro has said he expects to start some of those young players against Slovenia. The loss to the Czechs also made it 13 games since Canada has managed a win.

Like Canada, Slovenia failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. But Slovenia is ranked 30th in the world and Canada sits at 111, so winning or even scoring is still a longshot in Tuesday's friendly.

But De Rosario says the way they are playing suggests things can turn around for Canada.

"In the Czech game we had some decent chances and hopefully tomorrow we can bury one or two of them," he said. "Scoring goals and getting on a hot streak offensively, it's a rhythm thing, and once you get one you continue . . . This is a long process and hopefully we can continue to build better as a team and continue to develop and continue to create chances."

Floro took over last summer and a period of adjustment can be expected, said the team's captain.

"With a new coach coming in there's going to be some hiccups along the way," he said. "There's going to be a time when we're going to have to get accustomed to how things are run."

Despite the coaching change, De Rosario suggested the team isn't straying too far from what it did before Floro arrived.

"It's not too far off the way we were playing in the past, with a lot of movement and ball possession and trying to create opportunities, so that's a positive thing," said De Rosario.

De Rosario, a 15-year national team veteran, is between club engagements after his option was declined by Major League Soccer's D.C. United late last month.

He was the MLS player of the year in 2011 and is the all-time leading scorer on the Canadian men's team with 20 goals in 75 appearances.

Team Canada (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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