ALSO ON SLAM!
Thursday, June 1, 2000
Rating Canada's performance
As the Canadian soccer squad travel to Havana for the first leg of their crucial World Cup qualifying match against Cuba, coach Holger Osieck will be contemplating the performances against Trinidad and Tobago and Honduras.
Here's my take on each player's performance against Trinidad and Tobago and Honduras and rating out of 10.
Pat Onstad -- let in a real softy but these things happen to goalkeepers. Coming off a knee injury that limited his playing time this past season he'll be between the pipes in Havana. (Four)
Paul Fenwick -- solid on the right side of the defence and didn't lose a tackle all night. Last season's run in with the vilified owner of Greenock Morton, Hugh Scott, looks to be behind him and on the basis of this performance he could attract the attention of a bigger club in the UK. (Eight)
Jason deVos -- commanding in the air and tackles like a truck. Easy to see why he captains this side and he poses an attacking threat at corners and free kicks. Would probably rank as Holger's MVP. (Eight)
Kevin McKenna -- showed great composure for a 20-year old and got the winning goal for good measure. Will probably give way to Tony Menezes for the Cuba game but he has a bright future. (Seven)
Carl Fletcher -- played in an unaccustomed position, wide on the right side of midfield, and performed well defensively but gives the team few attacking options. On Sunday it is either Fletcher or Jeff Clarke, my bet is Fletcher's defence will get him the starting role. (Five)
Paul Stalteri -- started off in a holding midfield position but looked more comfortable when he was given more freedom. Had his best spell in the last 15 minutes when he won a couple of tackles and created scoring chances with some long searching passes. (Six)
Martin Nash -- not quick, not a great tackler, doesn't score goals but?... seems to be one of those players who provides a bit extra just when it's needed. Against Colombia in the Gold Cup Final he delivered the corner for Jason deVos to open the scoring, Clarke's goal against Trinidad came from Nash's free-kick and McKenna's winner on Tuesday from Nash again. A consummate Osieck player who works hard, knows his limitations and plays within the system. (Five)
Jason Bent -- showed a refreshing willingness to get involved in the first half action before being substituted at half time. Canada needs to generate some goals from the midfield and with his quickness Bent might be able to provide that edge. (Seven)
Richard Hastings -- for a player playing out of position Hastings performed admirably. Moved to left midfield during the Gold Cup, Hastings scored the golden goal winner against Mexico and he continues to provide Osieck with solid performances. He seems blessed with endurance and his crosses from the left caused the Honduran's problems. (Six)
Paul Peschisolido -- scored his first Canadian goal since October 1996. Looked devoid of confidence and didn't have the jump or quickness that was there a few seasons back. Osieck will keep the faith with him because few other options exist. (Five)
Carlo Corazzin -- caused the Honduran defence problems in the air, worked hard and gave a typical Corazzin performance. If he had been blessed with lightning speed he would be worth millions. (Seven)
David Xausa -- came on at the start of the second half in the midfield but showed a marked improvement when he moved into attack. Could have had a goal. (Five)
Robbie Aristodemo -- played the last 20 minutes and performed adequately. A young player he will get more chances. (Four)