Veteran Spanish manager Benito Floro is expected to be introduced Friday as head coach of the Canadian men’s soccer team.
Floro’s appointment was reported by Marca, a Spanish national daily sports newspaper.
The Canadian Soccer Association confirmed it will introduce its new coach Friday morning in Toronto, but declined comment on the report or Floro.
Canada has been without a full-time coach since Stephen Hart stepped down in October last year, after the national team’s humiliating exit from 2014 World Cup qualifying.
Floro, 61, has a lengthy résumé that includes being in charge of Spanish giant Real Madrid from 1992 to 1994. Nineteen managers have patrolled the sidelines at Santiago Bernabeu since.
Most recently he coached WAC (Wydad Athletic Club) Morocco.
Other teams on his résumé include Spain’s Villareal, Sporting Gijon and Mallorca, among others. He has also managed Monterrey in Mexico and Vissel Kobe in Japan.
Floro earned headlines for leading Albacete Balompie from the third division to Spain’s elite league in three seasons during the early 1990s. That precipitated his hiring at Real Madrid.
He led the team to second place in La Liga and the Copa Del Rey before being fired the following season.
He returned to Albacete and then Madrid in 2005, when he replaced Arrigo Sacchi as the club’s sporting director.
Floro has also worked as a TV commentator.
The next coach will be Canada’s eighth full-time manager since Tony Waiters took the national team to the 1986 World Cup – Canada’s only trip to the men’s world championship.
He will take over a team ranked 88th by the sport’s world governing body, FIFA, sandwiched between Trinidad and Tobago (which recently appointed Hart as its new manager) and the Central African Republic.
With the 2014 World Cup out of the question, Canada must look ahead to the 2018 World Cup in Russia and beyond.
The Canadian men are currently at the Gold Cup, the regional championship for the CONCACAF region, under interim coach Colin Miller.
Reporters taking part in a Miller conference call Thursday were asked to restrict their questions to the Gold Cup. Miller has taken a young squad to the Gold Cup, with the CSA electing not to call up older players such as 35-year-old Dwayne De Rosario and 33-year-old Patrice Bernier.
The Canadian Soccer Association had set a Hispanic coach as a target, according to one source. After the 8-1 loss in Honduras that sealed Canada’s World Cup qualifying fate, association president Victor Montagliani said something had to be done to better prepare Canada for playing in the hostile confines of Central America.Report Typo/Error