Canada is still winless since 2012 after picking up another draw on Tuesday, this time 1-1 against Moldova in Austria (Tosaint Ricketts scored).
The Canadian team tied Bulgaria by the same score on Friday, a goal from Atiba Hutchinson ending a 958-minute goal scoring drought.
Yet even before failing to find the win column again, and with a FIFA ranking of just 110, head coach Benito Floro has been very forthright with his expectations for the nation going into its next big competition: next summer’s Gold Cup.
Here’s what Floro said the plans would be for the team once the pair of friendlies concluded:
Adding that from that point forwards the staff, and team will be “focused on the Gold Cup and to prepare the team to qualify for the semi-final and final.”
An ambitious goal, it has to be said. But for a man of Floro’s credentials in the football world, it comes as no surprise that he backs himself to succeed.
Creditable CV or not, for a Men’s National Team that has failed to get out of its group in either of the last two tournaments, and that failed to score a goal from open play in either of those editions of the confederation championship – the guarantee of a final-four finish in 2015 will likely come across to Canadian supporters as quite the statement to be making at this point.
Canada’s last win came in a 3-0 defeat of Cuba in October 2012, so a semifinal would be quite the accomplishment. The nation last found the semis in 2007, and went out in the quarterfinals (2009) before back-to-back group stage failures.
But Floro knows he needs to aim high for a nation that hasn’t seen the World Cup since 1986, when it went 0-3. And if that means raising expectations beyond what may seem reasonable, there are worse things he can do.