Kyle Bekker (pictured) scored one of Canada's goals in its 2-0 win over the host Fort Lauderdale Strikers on January 21, 2014. (Photo courtesy of the Canadian Soccer Association)
FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida – Kyle Bekker and Kianz Froese scored second-half goals to lift Canada to a 2-0 win over the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League in a closed-door friendly on Tuesday at Lockhart Stadium.
The triumph concluded the national team’s first camp of 2014, one which left head coach Benito Floro pleased.
“It has been a good camp because the majority of goals that we proposed at the beginning of camp have been achieved,” said Floro. “Players have worked hard in the training sessions and in the games with good intensity and in doing so, creating a lot of scoring chances.”
The 23-man squad assembled on January 12 in Sunrise, Florida, and dedicated a majority of its efforts towards two-a-day training sessions.
With 12 of the players eligible for compete in qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games – a team that Floro will also coach – the gathering was considered to be a good first step in that direction.
“I’m very happy with the youth players because they participated with a lot of desire,” Floro expressed. “At the same time they played very well so they demonstrated that it is necessary to work a lot with them because I think if we work hard with them they can form the base of the first team.”
Bekker, a Toronto FC midfielder, was impressed with the camp and voiced his optimism for the future.
“It was good to bring the young guys in and kind of get everyone together and strengthen the national team whether it’s from the U17s all the way up to us,” the 23-year-old told the Canadian Soccer TV. “I think it is good to get a good core of kids in here. It’s been positive.”