HAMILTON, Bermuda – It’s been a historical complaint that Canadian teams have issues scoring goals and grabbing results when the situation arises.
But Sunday’s 4-2 victory over Bermuda provided a small measure of optimism as the four goals came from four different scorers. Three of those goals were first-ever international goals with Jonathan Osorio, Jay Chapman and Anthony Jackson-Hamel all opening their respective accounts.
“I don’t think I’ve ever scored for my country – maybe once or twice for the U-17s but anytime I can score it’s a good moment for me,” said Toronto FC’s Chapman, whose goal proved to be the winner. “I’m very satisfied with the result and I’m excited to go back to Toronto to start preseason.”
The January camps are a chance to get the North American group together and for younger players to catch the eye before they break off for their respective preseasons but the North American-based roster was even further depleted with Orlando City SC forward Cyle Larin unavailable due to injury.
The lack of European-based players and stars like Larin gave the opportunity for the younger players to come in and impact the game. Osorio, also of TFC, had a goal and an assist and Chapman and the Montreal Impact’s Jackson-Hamel had a few chances before scoring.
Interim head coach Michael Findlay said Sunday’s game served as a good preparation for bigger games down the line against more established CONCACAF foes.
“The idea that we’ve put five players into international football is the most beneficial part of the project,” said Michael Findlay after the game, summarizing the January camp. “My feeling is it will translate this activity into development and players in as quickly as possible. We still have issues in the final third that we need to work on. We need to have critical abilities at those critical moments.”
It wasn’t the easiest game on the eyes but it certainly was eventful. For a young Canadian team to handle adversity and the unexpected – when defender Adam Straith was forced to see out the game in goal – all while chipping in some goals in an international game will help as the team starts yet another build towards this Gold Cup and into the next cycle of World Cup qualifying.
“One thing that Canada is trying to do is grind out results,” said Chapman. “But if you’re able to win a game that maybe you shouldn’t, that’s the sign of a good team.”