Finally, after more than nine months without a permanent manager, the Canadian national team has a new boss. And he's a big departure from recent apppointments.
On Friday, the Canadian Soccer Association officially named Spaniard Benito Floro as the Canucks' new head coach.
Floro, 61, represents the most concrete indication yet of Canada's aspirations to improve and finally qualify for a World Cup for the first time since 1986. He is the first Canada manager not from a CONCACAF nation since German Holger Osieck, who was in charge from 1999 to 2003 and who led the side to the 2000 Gold Cup title.
Floro has managed nearly 20 clubs since becoming a coach in 1978. During his career, he has been in charge of such Spanish clubs as Villarreal (1988-89, 2002-04); Real Madrid (1992-1994), with whom he won the Copa del Rey; Sporting Gijón (1996-97); and Mallorca. He has also coached Monterrey (Mexico), Barcelona SC (Ecuador), and most recently WAC (Morocco).
Canada have been without a fulltime head coach since last October, when Stephen Hart resigned. FC Edmonton manager Colin MIller will be in charge during the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup. Canada's Gold Cup campaign kicks off on Sunday against Martinique at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. (5:30 pm ET, Fox Soccer in US, Sportsnet in Canada).
GOLD CUP: Preview of Canada and Group A