Canada's Benito Floro in Gold Cup action vs. Costa Rica
USA Today Sports

Gold Cup: Canada trying to focus on positives after another group-play elimination

TORONTO – Canada failed to advance to the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup for the third consecutive tournament, but the team is doing their best to look on the bright side.

"It is disappointing because we always want to win and go through," Benito Floro said following Canada's scoreless draw Tuesday against Costa Rica that left them at the bottom of Group B. "The level of Jamaica and Costa Rica is really better than our level. So in my opinion, it is true we should not be happy with the result but to be happy with the performance of the players."

Floro made five changes to his starting lineup in an effort to spice up the attack, but despite looking a bit more offensive-minded than in previous games, Canada were left without a goal in the tournament.

There was some frustration, understandably, among Floro’s men, particularly Toronto FC’s Jonathon Osorio, who did not look very pleased when he was taken off in the 69th minute in front of his hometown crowd at BMO Field.

"I was more upset because I wanted to be still in the game, in a big game like that," Osorio told after the match. "I'm all for the squad, and Benito's decisions are for a reason. He didn't tell me personally what the reason for the change was, but I know there was a certain reason for that."

Despite the negative results and being eliminated prematurely from a Gold Cup once again, Osorio said there was reason to be optimistic looking ahead to Canada’s World Cup qualifiers in September.

"It's definitely not the results we wanted, but what we can take as a positive is that we played three very difficult teams," said Osorio. "We played one away game in the first game, and the second game was against a very good Jamaica team. In the third game we showed that playing at BMO is very hard for other teams to get a result or to get three points. We know that going into World Cup qualifiers that any home leg is an advantage for us."

Floro also ensured that the media knew just how shorthanded Canada were, naming six players not available for the tournament who probably would have gotten the start on Tuesday night had they been with the team.

"I appreciate our 23 players a lot, but you must consider in this game, that in a possible lineup we had six important players out,” he said. “We are speaking about Milan [Borjan], we are speaking about Atiba [Hutchinson], we are speaking about [Doneil] Henry, we are speaking about Will [Johnson], we are speaking about Nik [Ledgerwood], and we are speaking about [Samuel] Piette."