• Tuesday May 10, 2016

    Canada’s Selaidopoulos: “Our mission is not done”  

    Head coach Kyt Selaidopoulos (pictured) has Canada one game away from a berth in the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup. (Photo: Mexsport)
     

    SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Canada made history on Monday at the 2016 CONCACAF Futsal Championship (CFC).

    It wants to make more.

    The Canadians won a CFC game for the time in five tries, defeating Curacao 7-4 at the BN Arena.

    With that Group B result, they put themselves on the precipice of a FIFA Futsal World Cup berth. A win against last-place Cuba on Tuesday will seal the deal.

    “It means everything,” Canada head coach Kyt Selaidopoulos told CONCACAF.com. “It’s what these guys want. It’s what everybody wants. Tonight, we regroup and prepare for Cuba.”

    In less than two months, the work Selaidopoulos has done with his squad can be viewed as remarkable. The 38-year-old held his first player evaluation camp in March and crafted a roster for last week’s two-legged North American qualifying playoff against the United States.

    After a 4-4 draw in the series opener, Canada closed with 5-3 victory thanks to a three-goal performance from Robert Renaud.

    Whatever Selaidopoulos has done in a few short few weeks is clearly working. 

    “I’ve been saying it and I’ve been saying it from day one…on March 18, when we had our first camp, everybody understood, the 30 guys present in that camp understood, that this country and these guys were on a mission,” he stressed. “Our mission is not done.”

    Getting past Curacao may prove a crucial turning point in Canada’s futsal – and perhaps, football – legacy. A boost of confidence at the right time never hurts and winning creates a buzz.

    “It means a lot,” Selaidopoulos said of the three points. “This win just shows that we can compete with anybody, the top eight countries that are here. Now, we got to keep fighting. We put ourselves in a good situation and we have one more game in group stage. That’s how it’s going to roll.”

    There’s an unquestionable feel-good factor about this team. A palpable sense of excitement has been obvious from its launching.

    Why is that?

    “The whole country is behind us. That’s what it is,” explained Selaidopoulos. “The Canadian Soccer Association is putting in the effort. These guys in this dressing room have left jobs, left families behind, their kids…everything, they’ve left behind, so they can compete in this.”

    And they’re not ready to go home yet.

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