Newspaper article The Canadian Press

New Canadian Soccer Head Coach Benito Floro Rips Players at Practice

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

New Canadian Soccer Head Coach Benito Floro Rips Players at Practice

Article excerpt

New Canadian soccer coach rips players at practice


OLIVA, Spain - In their first training camp under new head coach Benito Floro, the Canadian men's soccer team has been mostly treated to a man with a calm, calculating demeanour.

Until Monday.

A day after playing to a scoreless tie against Mauritania in the first of two friendlies between the countries, Canada was put through a high-intensity scrimmage where special focus was placed on free kicks and corner kicks.

Floro stood in the middle of the action and, clearly displeased at something near the end of the session, lit into his players, at one point slamming a ball he was carrying to prove a point ahead of Tuesday's second match.

"The shouts and the screams are going to be something that we're going to have to get used to," said midfielder Julian de Guzman, who said the dressing down by the new coach reminded him of his four seasons playing with Spanish club Deportivo la Coruna.

"The most important thing is just to understand what he wants. This could change the national team in a huge way, in a positive way, and it's just a matter of getting everybody on the same page because the football that he has to offer is very special."

Floro briefly raised his voice again in a speech to the players at the end of the session.

While he didn't speak after practice, there was no ill will on the part of the players.

"That was the first time I'd seen it," said defender Adam Straith with a bit of a smile. "Every coach, in my opinion, has to do that sometimes when things aren't the way he wants them to be.

"I think the point came across and I think we'll be ready (Tuesday) to put in a good performance."

After years of struggles for the program and a 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign that went ended with a humiliating 8-1 defeat to Honduras in October, Floro is trying to overhaul the team's style of play. …

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