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Canada: outsiders showing signs of life?

Canadian goalie Craig Forrest holds up a Canadian flag after Canada defeated Colombia 2-0 to win the Gold Cup 2000 soccer tournament February 27.
Photo: Lee Celano, Reuters
It was an outcome hardly anyone in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum had anticipated, yet rank outsiders Canada made short work of a highly rated Columbian side in the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2000. Goals from Jason de Vos and Carlo Corazzin plus a penalty save by Craig Forrest sealed the 2-0 defeat of the South Americans. This, despite a less than promising start to the competition by the Canadians, albeit one that would be considered fairly normal by outside observers. After qualifying with some good fortune for the quarter-finals thanks to two draws against Costa Rica and Republic Korea, a Golden Goal against odds-on favourites Mexico put the Canadians, whose performances in recent years have been average and hardly blessed by luck, into an early seventh heaven, a feeling they had not experienced since the one and only time they managed to qualify for the World Cup Finals.

Costa Rica's goalkeeper Alvarez Mesen Murillo (R) cannot stop a goal off an assist by Canada's Jason DeVos (5).
Photo: STR, Reuters

Canadian captain Jason de Vos and goal keeper Craig Forrest (L) hold up the Gold Cup trophy after they defeated Colombia 2-0 to win the Gold Cup 2000 February 27.
Photo: Gary Hershorn, Reuters

The name behind the success is coach Holger Osieck. Osieck, assistant to Franz Beckenbauer in 1990 when Germany won the World Cup, has given the Canadian team a new lease of life and found a way of coping with the difficult underlying conditions - most of the players earn their living in the MLS or in Europe. Yet the joy brought by winning this continental crown did not last long, having been badly muted by failures in the current World Cup qualifying competition. After scraping past Cuba, a series of four games without a win prematurely ended the national side's hopes of gaining a place in the final round. The FIFA Confederations Cup thus offers Craig Forrest & Co. a chance to make amends. It also represents an important milestone for a side that will "only" have one continental title to defend in 2002.

Osieck relies mainly on players under contract to English or Scottish clubs. Besides goalkeeper Craig Forrest (West Ham), Carlo Corrazin (Oldham Athletic) and Jason de Vos (Dundee United), these include Paul Peschisolido (Queen's Park Rangers) and Nick Dasovic (St. Johnstone). Defender Tony Menezes, who plays his football for Botafogo in Brazil, and midfielder Paul Stalteri of Werder Bremen are further splashes of colour on the Canadian footballing palette.

Pos   Popular Name   Shirt Name Club D.O.B.
[ 1]   GK   FORREST Craig   FORREST   West Ham Utd. (ENG) 20-Sep-67
[ 2]   MF   CLARK Jeff   CLARKE   Portland Timbers 18-Oct-77
[ 3]   DF   WATSON Mark   WATSON   Washington D.C. Utd. (USA) 08-Sep-70
[ 4]   DF   MENEZES Tony   MENEZES   Botafogo (BRA) 24-Nov-74
[ 5]   DF   DEVOS Jason   DEVOS   Dundee Utd. (SCO) 02-Jan-74
[ 6]   MF   BENT Jason   BENT   Copenhagen (DEN) 08-Mar-77
[ 7]   MF   STALTERI Paul   STALTERI   Werder Bremen (GER) 18-Oct-77
[ 8]   MF   DASOVIC Nick   DASOVIC   St. Johnstone (SCO) 05-Dec-68
[ 9]   FW   CORAZZIN Carlo   CORAZZIN   Oldham Athletic (ENG) 25-Dec-71
[10]   MF   XAUSA Davide   XAUSA   Livingston (SCO) 10-Mar-76
[11]   MF   BRENNAN Jim   BRENNAN   Nottingham Forest (ENG) 08-May-77
[12]   GK   ONSTAD Pat   ONSTAD   Rochester Rhinos (USA) 13-Jan-68
[13]   DF   FLETCHER Carl   FLETCHER   Montreal Impact 26-Dec-71
[14]   MF   IMHOF Daniel   IMHOF   St. Gall (SUI) 22-Nov-77
[15]   MF   HASTINGS Richard   HASTINGS   Inverness Caledonian Thistle ( 18-May-77
[16]   FW   KUSCH Garret   KUSCH   Hoenefoss (NOR) 26-Sep-73
[17]   FW   DEROSARIO Dwayne   DEROSARIO   San Jose Earthquakes (USA) 15-May-78
[18]   MF   NSALIWA Tam   NSALIWA   Nuremberg (GER) 28-Jan-82
[19]   FW   PESCHISOLIDO Paul   PESCHISOLIDO   Fulham (ENG) 25-May-71
[20]   DF   MC KENNA Kevin   MC KENNA   Hearts (SCO) 21-Jan-80
[21]   MF   BIRCHAM Marc   BIRCHAM   Millwall (ENG) 11-May-78
[23]   GK   FRANKS Mike   FRANKS   Hibernian (SCO) 20-Apr-77
 x-Japan 3 2 1 0 5:0 7
 x-Brazil 3 1 2 0 2:0 5
 Cameroon 3 1 0 2 2:4 3
 Canada 3 0 1 2 0:5 1
31-05-01   [4] Niigata, Japan 19:30 Japan vs. Canada 3:0 (0:0) MICALLEF Simon, AUS
02-06-01   [7] Ibaraki, Japan 17:00 Canada vs. Brazil 0:0 LU Jun, CHN
04-06-01   [12] Niigata, Japan 19:30 Cameroon vs. Canada 2:0 (0:0) MORENO Byron, ECU

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