Canada gets their man

BOB MACKIN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:04 AM ET

Ex-Vancouver Whitecaps' skipper Dale Mitchell is expected to become Canada's new senior men's head coach today.

Mitchell is boss of Canada's junior men's team hosting the June 30-July 22 FIFA Under-20 World Cup. The 94th ranked senior team is entered in next month's CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States. Mitchell's long-term challenge will be to lead Canada's bid to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The Voyageurs, Canada's soccer supporters' club, criticized the hiring process because the Canadian Soccer Association's search committee apparently preferred Brazilian Rene Simoes, Jamaica's ex-coach.

"We think it was unfair to the fans, we think it was unfair to Dale," said Voyageur Ian Kennett of Surrey. "If they were going to hire a Canadian all along, why interview foreigners?"

CSA vice-president Vic Montagliani wouldn't confirm Mitchell's hiring, but denied Simoes was the top candidate.

"Our first choice is the person we're announcing [today]," Montagliani said. "He's the only person offered a formal tender for the job."

- Meanwhile, USL First Division-leading Whitecaps visit San Francisco-based California Victory tomorrow and return Sunday to host the Rochester Raging Rhinos at Swangard Stadium on Sunday (7 p.m. Team 1040). The Whitecaps beat Rochester in the 2006 championship.


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