Ex-'Caps asst. Miller named Canada interim head coach

Colin Miller with Teitur Thordarsen

Photo Credit: 
Courtesy of Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Colin Miller was named interim head coach of the Canadian men’s national team on Monday, putting the FC Edmonton boss and former Vancouver Whitecaps assistant in charge of the Canucks in their friendlies against Denmark and the US later this month.

The position has been vacant since Stephen Hart resigned this past October in the aftermath of Canada’s failed 2014 World Cup qualification campaign.

The Scottish-born Miller previously served as interim head coach of Canada in 2003 after a playing career that saw him earn 61 caps for the Canucks, including at Canada's lone World Cup appearance in 1986.

The 48-year-old was named head coach at FC Edmonton of the NASL this past November after previously coaching with the Canadian senior women's team prior to last summer's Olympics.

He also served as an assistant coach in Vancouver during the Whitecaps’ inaugural 2011 MLS campaign, as well as head coach of the ‘Caps Residency program.

“It has always been a privilege to represent Canada, as a player, team captain and coach,” Miller said in a press release. “I look forward to taking on the role of interim head coach for a second time.”

CSA general secretary Peter Montopoli told MLSsoccer.com in November that the federation aims to have a new coach in place in time for this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Canada kick off 2013 with a friendly against Denmark in Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 26, then face the US in Houston three days later.

The roster for those games – Canada’s first since the infamous 8-1 thrashing in Honduras that eliminated them from Brazil 2014 ­– is expected to feature a number of younger players.

Seattle Sounders forward Babyele Sodade tweeted on Sunday that he had to refuse a call-up to focus on his recovery from a torn ACL suffered during 2012 Olympic qualifying last March.

Boston College midfielder Kyle Bekker, meanwhile, who has signed an MLS contract and will be taking part in this week's MLS Combine, confirmed in an interview with the Canadian Press that he will be in the Canadian squad for the January games.