Canadian soccer fans will be hoping that practice makes perfect in the years ahead when it comes to the national team’s CONCACAF opposition.
The Canadian Soccer Association announced on Tuesday two friendlies have been scheduled against regional opponents later this year: vs. Jamaica on Sept. 9 at Toronto's BMO Field at Panama on Nov. 18 at Estadio Rommel Fernández.
“In order to improve, our national teams must compete against the best and more often,” CSA president Victor Montagliani said in a release. “This will help our program build a stream of high-caliber players, compete at the international level and ultimately become a leading soccer nation.”
The game against Jamaica will be Canada’s first home fixture since a 1-0 loss to Costa Rica in Edmonton on May 28, 2013. Canada’s last match against Jamaica was a 1-0 loss in Kingston on Jan. 31, 2010.
Meanwhile, the team will be hoping that getting more experience playing in Central America will help prevent the sort of disaster that befell Canada in late 2012, when an 8-1 thrashing in Honduras knocked Les Rouges out of World Cup qualifying. Canada lost 2-0 in their last visit to Panama, in a World Cup qualifier on Sept. 11, 2012.
Canada haven't won a game since a 3-0 victory over Cuba on Oct. 12, 2012, and have only scored two goals in the 14 matches since then. That has seen the team slip to an all-time low of No. 113 in the FIFA rankings (12th in CONCACAF), which could prove crucial when the seeding is done for the 2018 World Cup qualifying process.
The CSA also said that additional away games will be played but did not indicate potential dates or opponents.