ALSO ON SLAM!
Tuesday, June 27, 2000
Forrest to miss two Cup qualifiers
Onstad takes over in net for games against T&T, Panama
Craig Forrest, who backstopped Canada to its stunning Gold Cup soccer championship earlier this year, will miss the first two games in the next round of World Cup qualifying.
Forrest is recovering from a hernia operation in May and has not played in goal for the national men's team since its 2-0 win over Colombia in the Gold Cup final in Los Angeles in February.
The Canadian Soccer Association said yesterday that Forrest, 32, will be unavailable for Canada's opening game in the semi-final round of regional qualifying against Trinidad and Tobago on July 16 at Edmonton and against Panama a week later at Panama City.
The earliest the West Ham keeper is slated to return is Aug. 15 at Mexico. Canada beat Mexico 2-1 in the Gold Cup.
"It's very disappointing for me as I want to be available to do what I can to help Canada but it's just too soon after the operation," said Forrest, who has been providing analysis on TSN's broadcasts of Euro 2000 games. "I hope to be back in time for the Mexico game but I'll have to be patient and let it heal properly."
Pat Onstad, a capable veteran who played in goal for Canada during its playoff series win over Cuba this month, will remain the starting keeper until the 6-foot-5 Forrest returns.
Canada has been placed in a group with Mexico, Trinidad and Panama in the next round of Football Confederation qualifying, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean. Canada will play each team at home and away this year.
The top two teams in the group advance to next year's final round where six teams will attempt to qualify for three spots at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.
QUICK KICKS: Canadian defender Mark Watson, who missed Canada's games against Cuba, resumed training this week and is expected to be ready for next month's game against Trinidad ... Canadian midfielder Jim Brennan, who underwent a hernia operation this past spring, is scheduled to resume training with his club, Nottingham Forest, this month and could be ready for the Trinidad game ... Jeff Clarke, who has been a force in the midfield for Canada, leaves for Denmark today to begin a trial with Danish club OB Odense. Clarke had been playing with Hampton Roads of the A-League ... Toronto midfielder Robbie Aristodemo is scheduled to try out with the Dallas Burn of Major League Soccer this week. Aristodemo has played for Canada's Olympic squad and World Cup team ... Canadian forward Carlo Corazzin, who led the Gold Cup tournament in scoring, is looking for employment. His former club, Northampton Town of the English Third Division, did not renew his contract for next season.