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Creative Solutions to the Goal Scoring Deficit

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The Canadian Men’s National Team has a serious problem. In the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Canada failed to score a single goal. In our most recent matches with Mexico, Canada also failed to score. With a place at the CONCACAF Hexagonal on the line, head coach Benito Floro should turn to overlooked players who have goal scoring experience at the international level.

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Canada simply cannot score a goal. While Canada has played well against under powered and diminutive soccer nations like Belize and Dominica in competitive matches, our national team has performed remarkably poorly against other CONCACAF nations of a slightly higher calibre. Most of the players in Dominica and Belize are amateurs, but against a defense comprised of players from professional clubs, Canada wilts. Scoring is the Achilles heel of our national team. The attack, which is often anemic and undisciplined, could benefit from experienced guidance. Thankfully, Canada has several international options that have proven over the last year that they are capable of scoring against international opposition. Unsurprisingly, Canada is failing to utilize these players, and none were called up to the national team against Mexico.

These players have shown themselves to understand international competition, and have found success overseas, in competitive leagues. All can score from the run of play, and do not rely exclusively on a play maker sitting behind them. That kind of experience and versatility is exactly what Canada is lacking. Each of these players should be considered for the National Team's FIFA World Cup qualifying matches in the fall.

Issey Nakajima-Farran

Issey is a talented player. Many Montréalais will remember his time with the Impact in 2014 fondly. Sadly, he was a part of the Impact during the worst season in club history, and was released before the 2015 season. That did not stop him from making 13 appearances with the club, and being a continual threat in the attack. In 2015, Issey found work in the Malaysian Super League, with Terengganu. In the last season, the club placed fourth in the Malaysian Super League, with Issey finding the back of the net 11 times in 14 appearances. He also won the PFA Player of the Month award twice.

Lucas Cavallini

Lucas has been on the radar of Benito Floro for a while, but in recent years has played only a single match for Canada, coming on for Marcus Haber in a friendly against Ghana. Despite his absence from the national team, Cavallini has found success with Centro Atlético Fénix in the Uruguayan top flight, the Primera División. He has scored 7 goals in 21 appearances, and at only 23 years of age is poised to become a major asset to the South American club.

Olivier Occéan

Olivier Occéan should be familiar to Montréal fans. His name has been linked to the Impact before, most notably in 2014 during the era of Frank Klopas. While Occéan has never made it back to this side of the Atlantic to play, the Brossard native has been racking up goals in the Norwegian top flight, the Tippeligaen. Playing for Odds Ballklubb in the Norwegian city of Skein, Occéan has scored 13 goals in 27 appearances. Odd placed 4th in the league in 2015, with Occéan having a major role in that performance.

Each of these players offers something dynamic to the Canadian attack. They have experience in league environments not dissimilar to CONCACAF opposition, which is experience that current Canadian attackers who have spent their careers in MLS are noticeably lacking. They also all have experience finding the back of the net without a major play maker behind them, and can all rely on their own technical skill and creativity to make a play individually.

Given Canada's embarrassing lack of goals in the last 18-months, these players are all more than capable of immediately contributing. If Canada, and Benito Floro, are indeed serious about qualifying for the CONCACAF hexagonal, then the inclusion of these players should be heavily considered.

Canada has scored only 3 goals in our last 11 matches. It is beyond time we tried something new. After all, what do we have to lose? You cannot score fewer goals than zero.