'A great chance' for Canadian soccer

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:32 AM ET

Toronto FC captain Jim Brennan has decided not to join the Canadian national team for tomorrow's friendly against Brazil in Seattle.

But that doesn't mean Brennan isn't high on Canada's chances of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.

"I think we have a great chance to qualify for this World Cup. We've got good players, a lot of guys are playing in (the MLS), a lot of guys over in Europe, and I think we have a great opportunity," said Brennan, who will join the national side after tomorrow's TFC game in preparation for a friendly against Panama on June 4 in Fort Lauderdale. His TFC teammate, goalkeeper Greg Sutton, is in Seattle with the national side.

"We've got two nice stadiums now with this one (BMO Field) and the one in Montreal (Stade Saputo), not like where we played before in a park in Kingston (for two 2006 World Cup qualifying games), so it's good and it's exciting times for Canada," he said.

The Canadian team, which has qualified only once for a World Cup -- 1986 in Mexico -- begins the 2010 qualifying round on June 15 against the St. Vincent and the Grenadines followed by a second game against the Caribbean side on June 20 at Stade Saputo in Montreal. Even though St. Vincent is ranked 145th in the world, and Canada 62nd, Brennan said it will be a dangerous opponent.

"When teams like that play against the bigger countries -- with the guys playing in the big leagues -- it's a big game for them, it's a cup game," he said. "(And) it's hard for us to get ourselves motivated for them. (But) this is one hurdle that we have to get over. We have to beat them, there's no ifs, ands, or buts about it. So the guys will be focused."


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