Froese finds the back of the net as Canada kicks off 2014 with 2-0 win over Ft. Lauderdale (with highlights)

Four 'Caps players appear for Canadian men's national team

There’s no better way to end a national team camp than with a victory and for Canada’s senior men’s national team that’s how their first camp of 2014 ended, as they beat the NASL’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2-0 in an exhibition match on Tuesday night.

All four Vancouver Whitecaps FC players at the camp appeared in the match, including Residency midfielder Kianz Froese, who scored Canada’s second goal on the night (view highlights in the video above). 

“Before the game I talked to [head coach Benito Floro], and he said you might get a chance and just make sure you finish it,” Froese told Canada Soccer TV after the match. “That’s what I thought about. So I just looked at a corner and tried to take it … it felt great.”

Meanwhile, Whitecaps FC Residency centre back Jackson Farmer started the match and played 65 minutes, helping Canada keep a clean sheet against the NASL outfit.

Homegrown defender Sam Adekugbe, who played 45 minutes at left back and left mid, and U-23 midfielder Ben Fisk also appeared as second-half substitutes.

Tuesday night’s match was the first time Adekugbe, Fisk, and Froese have played in a match with Canada’s senior national team, though it does not count as an official international appearance.

“I’m very happy with the youth players because they participated with a lot of desire,” said Floro. “At the same time, they played very well so they demonstrated that it is necessary to work a lot with them because I think if we work hard with them they can form the base of the first team.”

Though it may not have been an international game against another country, it was a good way to round off the week with a very young Canadian squad that learned a great deal after arriving in Florida earlier this month.

“It has been a good camp because the majority of goals that we proposed at the beginning of camp have been achieved,” said Floro. “Players have worked hard in the training sessions and in the games with good intensity and in doing so, creating a lot of scoring chances.”

The team had assembled on January 12 in Sunrise, Florida, USA and spent most days working on two training sessions a day prior to an intrasquad match on Saturday and Tuesday’s game against the Strikers.

With 12 players on the squad eligible for the 2016 Olympics – including all four from Whitecaps FC – it was an encouraging end to what was a good first step.