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Canadian soccer chief Montagliani eyeing CONCACAF improvement

Canadian Soccer Association president Victor Montagliani is urging the men's national team to become a much-improved force in their region.

FIFA's 64th-ranked Canucks find themselves seventh on the CONCACAF standings after a positive 2012 but Montagliani feels they can become a much stronger force in what he suggests is a very even area.

"I really think to get to the next level is not a question of talent, it's a question of psychologically being ready to push past that barrier," Montagliani told the Vancouver Sun.

"I mean, the only country I think in CONCACAF that has tremendous amount of talent that doesn't worry about who they put on the pitch is Mexico. Outside of Mexico it's pretty much even-steven."

And Montagliani suggests a good way of doing that is to build a better standard at below professional level of Canadian soccer.

"Too often, the CSA has sanctioned semi-pro or pro soccer, but we've never governed it. And governing and sanctioning are too distinct things," he added. "So I think we need to govern the game in the best interest of Canadian soccer at all levels of professional soccer so that the work that you do at the grassroots and high-performance level has room to grow.

"Right now there's seems to be a ceiling where there's not too many opportunities for our players to go into professional areas."

Canada sits behind Mexico, USA, Haiti, Panama, Jamaica and Honduras in CONCACAF rankings.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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