Canada to face Greece on Wednesday in soccer friendly

The Canada will face Greece in a Men’s International Friendly match this Wednesday 9 February. On the first FIFA International Date of 2011, Canada and Greece will kick off at 17.00 at the A.E.L FC Arena in Larissa, Greece.

The international match will be broadcast live on Rogers Sportsnet One at 10.00 ET / 07.00 PT. It will also be streamed live on Sportsnet.ca. Fans can also follow the match live on twitter.com/CanadaSoccerEN.

Canadian supporters can tune-in early at 09.30 ET / 06.30 PT as Sportsnet will feature a special 30-minute season preview show prior to the start of the match. Following the live broadcast, the match will be replayed on Sportsnet Ontario (20.00 ET), Sportsnet West (23.30 MT) and Sportsnet Pacific (23.30 PT).

Canada’s national team has had two days of training in Greece in advance of the Wednesday match. Coach Stephen Hart recognizes the importance of the match, especially in advance of this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

"Greece has proven to be a strong team at home and they are preparing for the Europen Qualifiers," said coach Hart. "We expect their full squad. They play an interesting style and it will be good for us to face them."

Indeed, Greece was the 10th ranked country in the most recent FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings. It was also one of 32 participating nations at last year’s 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. Twelve Greek players from last year’s FIFA World Cup team are in the 9 February lineup.

On the Canadian side, coach Hart has predominantly selected players based on professional clubs in Europe. As such, the international match could provide valuable experience to some of the younger players.

Canada is preparing for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, which runs this 5 to 25 June in 13 cities across USA. The 9 February contest is the first available date on the FIFA international schedule for 2011. Canada’s next match is scheduled for 29 March, with the opponent and European location yet to be announced.

The 9 February contest will also be the first match that Canada wears its new Umbro kit. The distinct Umbro kit which features a chevron aesthetic on the front was recently unveiled to Canadian supporter groups in Toronto. Canadian fans will have the opportunity to purchase the new Canadian kits starting on 1 June 2011. Canada is expected to wear the red kit for the 9 February match.

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