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The Canadian Soccer Association didn’t have to go far to find an interim replacement for Benito Floro in the aftermath of another early World Cup qualifying departure.
Yahoo Canada Sports has learned that Michael Findlay, a former assistant to Floro, will be named interim head coach of the national team sometime in the coming days.
“We have two FIFA dates that we want to finalize matches for and we want to deal with that internally,” is what CSA president Victor Montagliani said last week in a conference call when he was asked about the near and long-term plans for the program. “On an interim basis, we’ll make an announcement on that somewhere down the road before the next fixtures.”
The CSA hasn’t yet announced plans for upcoming fixtures, but it looks like Findlay will get his debut as interim coach next month in a friendly Oct. 11 against Morocco in Marrakech. An announcement for the game went up on the Fédération Royale Marocaine de Football’s website on Thursday but the CSA has yet to confirm the date.
Findlay was a member of the national team staff under former head coach Frank Yallop for one camp in 2005 and went on to work in a number of youth team camps, largely in an assistant capacity, until he became a regular assistant coach under Floro starting in November 2013.
His only first team experience in the Canadian setup was when he ran a camp for a Canadian under-15 team in 2012 as well as a single national team friendly against Ghana last fall when Floro was coaching the Olympic team. He also ran a camp in May when an under-23 team did a quick Caribbean tour with games against Grenada and Guyana.
Prior to becoming a full-time assistant under Floro, Findlay was Director of Football Development for BC Soccer.
His appointment shouldn’t be considered a sign that Findlay would be considered a front-runner for the job on a full-time basis. Obviously, results will indicate what his future is with the team. Canada is quickly having to turn things around and prepare for next summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.
“From a long-term perspective, there’s no timetable. There’s no rush, obviously,” Montagliani said on the call last week. “But we also want to be exhaustive and cast a net rather than a fishing rod and see how we want to move forward after that.”
With one of Floro’s assistants taking over care for the team on a temporary basis, it will be interesting to see if that means an automatic recall for Toronto FC’s Will Johnson and Jonathan Osorio, whom Floro had left out of the squad for the two qualifiers last month. Osorio’s absence has gone on since the 2015 Gold Cup.
With such a long trip for a single friendly, however, it wouldn’t be surprising to see most MLS players not involved while their respective clubs close in on the playoffs.