Canada soccer all Hart

STEVEN SANDOR, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 4:23 AM ET

Canadian national team coach Stephen Hart is keeping his plans for tomorrow's Gold Cup quarterfinal match against Honduras awfully close to his vest.

He doesn't want the Hondurans to have idea of who he plans to start or what formation he's going to use.

Will Canada play a 4-4-2 in Philadelphia? Or will forward Ali Gerba, who scored winning goals in two group-stage matches, be alone up front?

"We have come up with something we like -- for the first half, anyway," said Hart, giving nothing away.

And, with more than a full week off between the group stage and the quarterfinals, Hart admitted his staff has been working overtime making sure players are match fit.

In the team's third group-stage game, Hart rested many players. Men such as defenders Paul Stalteri and Mike Klukowski and midfield engineer Julian de Guzman are close to having a full two weeks off.

Hart won't say which players are carrying injuries.

"If a call out a name and he does play, you can appreciate what the first tackle on him is going to be like."

GOOD RESULTS

Canadian soccer fans also can appreciate that whenever Hart has been named interim head coach, he gets results.

In 2007, Hart led Canada to an impressive run to the Gold Cup semifinals, where a brutal officiating mistake by Mexican referee Benito Archundia cost the Canucks a tying goal against eventual tournament champion, the United States.

When Dale Mitchell took over as coach, Canada's World Cup qualifying campaign fizzled. Now, Hart is back and Canada is undefeated at the Gold Cup, despite MLS all-star Dwayne De Rosario staying with TFC this time around.

But will Hart make a push to drop the interim tag?

"It's no secret, I applied the last time. But the upcoming scenario is different," he said.

Hart said that, after the Gold Cup, the coach of Canada must embark on a three-year plan to get ready for World Cup 2014 qualifying.

"(The job) is something I am going to take into consideration," he said.

STEVEN.SANDOR@SUNMEDIA.CA


Photos