The last time Canada was looking for a new men’s soccer coach, Dwayne De Rosario pushed for the hiring of Brazilian Rene Simoes.

But in the end the board of the Canadian Soccer Association didn’t hire the man who led Jamaica to an unlikely appearance in the 1998 World Cup, apparently because he wanted to bring in his own support staff and that was too expensive.

So Canadian Dale Mitchell got the job in 2007. He led the team to a 0-4-2 record in the semifinals of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying and was fired on Friday. Now the debate is renewed over the passport of his replacement.

If the CSA hires a big-name coach with international experience, “I think people would take us a little more serious,” De Rosario, a national team member and midfielder with Toronto FC, said yesterday.

Such a coach would demand more and bigger friendly matches in Canada and a higher public profile for the team and the sport, said De Rosario.

“Of course, bringing in a person like that demands a lot,” De Rosario said. “And I think that puts a threat into a lot of people’s pockets … and that’s where we have a problem.”

TFC goalkeeper Greg Sutton, who has played 11 games for Canada, said no matter who is named the new coach he faces “a tough time” because of the CSA’s finances.

“It’s not getting the necessary funds that they need to be a successful program,” said Sutton.