Despite stagnant offense, Julian de Guzman insists Canada taking steps forward

OLIVA, Spain – The line used most often out of the first Canadian nationa, team camp under Benito Floro went something like this: The results aren’t the priority, the performances are.

But what of the team’s offensive performance during a 1-0 loss to Mauritania, when every other aspect of the team’s game was dominant against their underdog opponents?

“Hopefully that’s something that we can work on going into the next couple camps,” said Canadian midfielder Julian de Guzman, who served as captain during the loss Tuesday. “But the purpose of this camp was to get to know how the philosophy of Benito’s football, and for the most part I think a lot of the guys were able to pick up on that.”

Floro is trying to bring a new style of play where he’s relying on his defenders more to instigate the attack.

It’s what the players have been working all week in camp prior to the two games against Mauritania. And though the scoring punch still isn’t there, de Guzman still feels there’s reason to be optimistic.

 “You can see it’s very effective. We created a lot of chances and I think it’s too early and we have a ways to go,” de Guzman said. “I think we can only get better once the core of the team is finally picked out and there’s a lot more to look forward to.”

The team’s lack of scoring is the single-most prescient problem to the Canadian team, however, and it’s where Floro will ultimately prove to be a success or a failure as coach. On Tuesday night, his system allowed the team to create a number of chances and in what will be a long rebuilding process, but de Guzman insisted that at least that’s something to grow on.

“The result was one thing but the quality of football and the approach today was totally on a different page,” he said. “You can only be happy about that and look forward to upcoming camps.”

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