Who can it be now?

Soccer Canada's Colin Linford helped announce two new corporate sponsors, new team jerseys and the...

Soccer Canada's Colin Linford helped announce two new corporate sponsors, new team jerseys and the relaunch of their logo. (Sun Media/Greg Henkenhaf)

ROB LONGLEY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:10 AM ET

It is a team without a coach and one that has drifted down into triple digits in the FIFA world rankings.

But rather than perpetuating the gloom surrounding the national men's soccer team, Canadian Soccer Association president Colin Linford is resolved to do something about it.

SETTLED

Linford said yesterday a four-man selection committee has settled on a replacement for departed coach Frank Yallop and needs to get approval from the CSA's board.

"We know who we want," Linford said at a news conference to launch an upcoming series of friendly matches for the men's under-20 team.

"If we wish to participate in the World Cup, which I have said is our number one priority for 2010, we have to try to get the best for the money we can afford."

Linford wouldn't reveal the CSA's budget for a new coach, but stressed the urgency of hiring the right man, right now.

Part of the incentive is to groom young players, many of whom will be featured in the Under-20 World Cup to be played across Canada this July.

"I think right now Canada has probably got its best group of young possible future players," Linford said.

"So it's important to give them the tools to do the job."

One of the rumoured candidates to take over the senior team is under-20 coach Dale Mitchell.

But the name getting the most attention is Brazilian Rene Simoes, who guided Jamaica to the 1998 World Cup and has a variety of experience on the international stage.

"Given that Canada is not rated very high (now ranked 103rd in the world) and that coaches today are very mercenary, they go where the money is, we were fortunate to talk to some quality coaches," Linford said.

Simoes qualifies on another Linford criteria: That the next Canadian coach is familiar with CONCACAF competition.

The sense of urgency to get a replacement for Yallop, who left for the MLS's Los Angeles Galaxy nine months ago, is getting serious. Canada will begin play in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in June, a start in building momentum toward qualifying for the 2010 Cup in South Africa.

APPEARANCE

Meanwhile, the under-20 team will make its first appearance at Toronto's new BMO Field on the Exhibition grounds on May 11 in a friendly against defending champion Argentina.

The Canadian team has has a pair of friendlies against Scotland during the next five days in two cities in B.C., Burnaby and Victoria.


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