A taste of power

David Edgar of the Canadian under-20 men's team watches intently as a young member of the Swansea...

David Edgar of the Canadian under-20 men's team watches intently as a young member of the Swansea Soccer Club shows him his footwork yesterday at BMO Field. Canada takes on Argentina in a friendly here tonight at 7 p.m. (Sun Media/Michael Peake)

ROB LONGLEY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:12 AM ET

Dale Mitchell has offered up his Canadian under-20 men's soccer team any number of reasons to soak up the atmosphere for tonight's friendly against Argentina.

For starters, the prospect of playing before a sold-out crowd of mostly Canadian fans at BMO Field should be a hit for a group not used to such domestic support.

Stylistically, the opponent should be a nice stand-in for Chile, their opening opponent in the Under-20 World Cup.

But perhaps at the top of the list is the rare opportunity to face a world power.

"You never know as a national youth team player when the next chance to play Argentina will come," Mitchell said yesterday. "It may never come around. I know in my international career, I never played against Argentina so it's a great game for the boys."

As a former Canadian player who can make the rare claim that he played in the World Cup, that says something.

The defending world champs aren't expected to send a side remotely resembling its tournament roster. But anything from the South American powerhouse will offer plenty of competition.

"We have beaten Brazil (a year ago) and we beat the Czech Republic (in October), so hopefully we will go out and beat Argentina," Pickering native and midfielder Jamie Peters said. "Any time you can get a result against one of the top countries, it is an accomplishment."

The setting couldn't be more ideal for Mitchell's troops, who need a tough test or two considering that, as the host nation, it gained an automatic berth in the tourney.

Getting a game under its belt on the artificial surface at BMO Field is also important given it will kick off its tournament at the Exhibition Place pitch on Canada Day.

There may be even more at stake for Mitchell, who has emerged as a late, but serious, candidate for the senior men's head coaching position.

Mitchell would say only that he believes he is "still in the mix" for the position.

"He's a confident coach who knows what he wants from his players," Kitchener defender David Edgar said. "Dale knows how to play at the international level and tactically how to get a team ready."


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