EDMONTON, Alberta – Colin Miller pulled double-duty on Sunday, hoping that his extra workload might soon earn him the full-time job as Canadian national team head coach.
In the morning, he guided Canada through a spirited session in some much-appreciated warm and sunny conditions at Commonwealth Stadium ahead of Wednesday’s friendly vs. Costa Rica (8 pm ET, Sportsnet).
Shortly afterward, he made the trip across the parking lot to resume his full-time job as coach of FC Edmonton of the NASL.
“It’s a fantastic way [to spend a day],” he told reporters. “I wouldn’t have it any other way. In fact, I pretty much have to take my boots off and run over to Clarke Stadium here to get up for the FC Edmonton game this afternoon.”
While Miller’s Eddies ended up losing 1-0 to the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, getting the opportunity to earn coaching experience of a pro team and at the international level is something he’s not taking for granted.
The former Vancouver Whitecaps assistant and current Canada interim head coach has made no secret of his aspirations of taking over as national team coach on a full-time basis.
“Whenever I’m working with the players that I’m involved with at this level of football, I’ll never turn them down,” he said. “It’s been a great experience.”
When Miller was in charge of a very young Canadian squad in January, the majority of the players were in between seasons and lacking in match sharpness.
This time around, most of the squad is made up of players who have just finished their respective club seasons and, as a result, the team looks much more composed in training and the spirits of the group are high.
“You don’t have to worry so much about the sharpness,” said Miller. “Generally speaking, the attitude has been fabulous. The sessions have been hard, high tempo – just the way I want the guys to work anyway. It’s been good.”
The team will be without Nana Attakora against Costa Rica after the San Jose Earthquakes defender withdrew from the squad with an apparent concussion.
Forward Daniel Haber from Israeli Club Maccabi Haifa has been added to the squad as has Nik Ledgerwood, who was initially left off the squad but became available after picking up a one-game suspension for Swedish Club team Hammarby due to yellow-card accumulation.
Both players trained on Sunday.