SPORTS
09/08/2014 02:50 EDT | Updated 11/08/2014 05:59 EST

Montreal Impact veteran midfielder Bernier looks forward to 50th Canadian cap

TORONTO - The last time Patrice Bernier wore Canadian colours, he watched helplessly from the bench as Canada was humiliated 8-1 in Honduras.

It was October 2012, a defeat seared in Canadian soccer memories. The Canadian men went to the hostile confines of San Pedro Sula needing just one point to advance to the final round of World Cup qualifying.

Instead they were routed.

"It seems like long ago but let's say it's still fresh in the mind," Bernier said Monday.

Almost two years on, the 34-year-old Montreal Impact midfielder is looking to make some more pleasant national team memories. Bernier is in line for his 50th cap as Canada hosts Jamaica in an international friendly Tuesday at BMO Field.

Jamaica is ranked 85th in the world, compared to No. 122 for Canada.

The game is the first on Canadian soil for coach Benito Floro, who took over the team in August 2013.

Canada is mired in a 16-game winless streak that dates back to the Honduras debacle and searching for its first win in seven games under Floro's leadership. The team is 0-4-3 under Floro but has tied its last two games against Bulgaria and Moldova.

Unlike the past when Canadian soccer regimes seemed to be looking for a quick fix, Canadian Soccer Association president Victor Montagliani said Floro will be given time to work with the team.

"As a federation, it's important to have that vision. And now we're starting to do that," he said. "I think it will pay dividends, maybe not in four years but hopefully in eight years and 12 years and 16 years."

The Canadian men have played their last 10 games on the road since a 1-0 loss to Costa Rica in an Edmonton friendly in May 2013 — the lone game at home since the loss in Honduras.

Edmonton aside, the Canadians have been soccer nomads with games in Austria, the Czech Republic, England, Slovenia, Spain, Qatar and the U.S.

Bernier says his summons to this Canada camp has helped erase some of the memories of his last call-up. Brazil's 7-1 loss to Germany in the World Cup semifinal this summer also helped.

"I understood OK, we're not the only ones," he said.

Bernier's first cap came back in 2003 in a 5-1 loss to the Czech Republic in Teplice. At the time, the Cezchs were ranked 11th in the world and unbeaten in 18 games under coach Karel Bruckner.

He remembers exchanging shirts with Marek Jankulovski, who went on to play for AC Milan.

"(Pavel) Nedved had come off at halftime. Everybody wanted his jersey," Bernier recalled.

Judging from practice Monday, Bernier looks set to man the midfield Tuesday along with Dwayne De Rosario, Julian de Guzman, Atiba Hutchinson and Issey Nakajima-Farran with Tosaint Ricketts up front.

The backline looks to be Marcel de Jong, David Edgar, Dejan Jakovic and Karl Ouimette ahead of Milan Borjan in goal.

The Jamaican roster took a hit with news that Vancouver Whitecaps striker Darren Mattocks has a knock and will not travel to Toronto.

The Reggae Boyz roster includes Philadelphia Union goalie Andre Blake, defenders Wes Morgan of Leicester City, Nyron Nosworthy of Bristol City, Alvas Powell of the Portland Timbers, midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson of FC Dallas and forwards Simon Dawkins of Derby County, Deshorn Brown of the Colorado Rapids and Jamar Loza of Norwich City.

A Canadian Soccer Association official said a crowd of between 10,000 and 12,000 is expected.

NOTES — The Canadian Socer Association and Umbro Canada have agreed to a multi-year partnership renewal with Umbro continuing to provide official kit for the Canadian national teams.

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