With massive World Cup qualifying and Gold Cup matches ahead of them this summer, the Canadian men’s national team will be playing their final warm-up contests against a pair of CONCACAF opponents.
Benito Floro’s side will face Guatemala on March 27 (4:30 pm ET kickoff) at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida before jetting to the Caribbean for a match against Puerto Rico on March 30 (6:30 pm ET kickoff), the Canadian Soccer Association announced on Thursday.
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Canada last played Guatemala in a friendly in Oxnard, Calif. on June 30, 2009, where a brace from Ali Gerba and a goal from Patrice Bernier gave Les Rouges a 3-0 win. The team’s last match against Puerto Rico was in World Cup qualifying on Oct. 11, 2011, a 0-0 draw at BMO Field in Toronto.
The last time Canada played in Puerto Rico was a month before that, a 3-0 victory on goals from Iain Hume, Simeon Jackson and Tosaint Ricketts.
The matches against Guatemala and Puerto Rico fall in a FIFA window, which should give Floro the opportunity to assemble a more experienced roster than the relatively untested squad that played a pair of friendlies (a 2-1 loss and a 1-1 draw) against Iceland in January.
The Canadian side have had recent success against their confederation rivals, posting a 3-1 win over Jamaica at BMO Field last September and snatching a scoreless draw on the road in Panama City in November.
Floro will be hoping that momentum will carry through into crucial games this summer, when Canada kick off their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign in June against either the British Virgin Islands or Dominica, before competing in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July.