De Guzman sees losing his national caps record as a positive for Canada soccer

Whereas happy with his accomplishments with the nationwide crew, Julian de Guzman solely sees positives in the truth that his document for males’s Canadian caps is about to be damaged.

For one, the participant approaching the 89-cap mark is Atiba Hutchinson.

“We return a great distance… He’s like a brother to me,” stated de Guzman, who retired in January 2017 after a stellar profession in France, Germany, Greece and Spain in addition to North America.

“I believe he’s an ideal instance of what a profession ought to appear to be… So for him to be the man to interrupt this document, I imply you couldn’t ask for a greater individual to do it,” he added.

READ MORE: Atiba Hutchinson named Canada’s top male soccer player 

De Guzman, who additionally expects Cyle Larin or Jonathan David to surpass Dwayne De Rosario’s scoring mark of twenty-two objectives, believes seeing such data fall reveals Canadian soccer is headed in the precise course.

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“I’ve advised this to many gamers, from (Jonathan) Osorio to (Sam) Piette, Richie Laryea, Doneil Henry, I’ve at all times stated ‘Hey, these data, in the event that they don’t get damaged, then which means we’re not going to the World Cup,”’ stated de Guzman, who now doubles as a TV pundit and co-owner of League One Ontario’s Simcoe County Rovers FC.

“The second this stuff are damaged, these are all good indicators pointing in direction of Qatar (2022), that’s pointing in direction of ‘Now this can be a Canadian males’s nationwide crew that performs and performs in World Cups.’ These are good indicators.”

And data are supposed to be damaged. Earlier than de Guzman, there was Paul Stalteri (84 caps). And earlier than him, Randy Samuel (82).

The 38-year-old Hutchinson, who’s a beloved captain at Turkey’s Besiktas the place Larin additionally performs, is on 88 caps forward of Canada’s World Cup qualifiers in Edmonton. He’ll even be Canada’s captain for the match.

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Canada, at the moment ranked forty eighth on the earth, performs No. 45 Costa Rica on Friday and No. 9 Mexico on Nov. 16, each at Commonwealth Stadium.

READ MORE: Team Canada gets reinforcements for crucial World Cup qualifying games in Edmonton 

Hutchinson, on his fifth World Cup qualifying marketing campaign, shouldn’t be massive on data or private accolades.

“It’s not one thing I used to be retaining at the back of my thoughts and actually pushing for,” he advised a digital availability Monday from Edmonton. “Clearly now I’m very near it so there’s been slightly bit extra thought put into it.”

Hutchinson was happier to speak about de Guzman, saying how a lot he revered his fellow midfielder — and appreciated his recreation.

“I used to be extra wanting ahead to only being a part of what’s happening right here with the nationwide crew nonetheless,” he added. “Once I get the prospect to get one other recreation to be equal with Julian, it might be an ideal achievement, in fact. To play that many video games and to be the… chief for Canada would imply lots to me.”

Christine Sinclair is Canada’s all-time chief in caps with 306. She tops the world in goal-scoring with 188.

READ MORE: ‘Worst experience of my life’: Canadian soccer captain on Olympic final penalties 

A protracted line of Canadian coaches — John Herdman is his eighth senior Canada coach — have acknowledged Hutchinson’s expertise. Hutchinson has began in 87 of his 88 senior appearances.

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“Atiba is our greatest participant,” then-coach Canada Benito Floro stated in 2014. “He’s the very best participant in Besiktas.”

At 46, Herdman is simply eight years older than his skipper.

Tajon Buchanan was three when a 19-year-old Hutchinson made his Canadian senior debut in a 4-0 loss to the U.S. in January 2003. David was additionally three on the time and Alphonso Davies was two.

His teammates marvel at Hutchinson’s professionalism, work ethic and talent to remain on the high of the sport.

“I imply the man’s a Canadian legend,” Laryea advised a current digital Toronto FC availability. “He’s 38 and nonetheless taking part in at a excessive degree, taking part in Champions League. And now main this group of gamers that we’ve to attempt to qualify for a World Cup.

“So I might simply say (he’s) a giant function mannequin of mine, he’s a top-class man on and off the sphere, a real skilled. I don’t know, I might sit on this name with you all day and clarify issues about him, as a result of he’s a giant piece of what this nation has to supply.”

Defender Derek Cornelius says Hutchinson units the tone for the crew, in his personal means.

“Each time he speaks, individuals hear. And he does it in the precise means as effectively, as a result of he’s additionally a man that if in case you have an opinion or wish to say one thing, he’s going to hearken to you irrespective of if it’s your first camp otherwise you’ve been round some time.

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“And that makes an ideal chief.”

Hutchinson labored his means up the ranks and thru Europe, constructing his profession rigorously, beginning with Osters and Helsingborg in Sweden and FC Copenhagen in Denmark. He joined Dutch facet PSV Eindhoven in 2010 earlier than shifting to Besiktas in 2013.

The six-foot-one Hutchinson, named Canada’s male participant of the yr six instances, doesn’t include the flash or sizzle of a Davies. His spindly pipe-cleaner legs deceive at first discover.

However he sees the sport, has a knack for being in the precise place. He is sort of a soccer Hoover, vacuuming up balls then holding off opponents earlier than discovering a teammate.

Besiktas followers name him Octopus for his lengthy legs and lengthy attain.

Canada’s captain Atiba Hutchinson (left) will get away from Honduras’ Kervin Arriaga throughout second half World Cup qualifying motion in Toronto on Thursday, September 2, 2021.


Canadian defender Sam Adekugbe, who just lately made the transfer to Turkey’s Hatayspor, has firsthand expertise of how Hutchinson is seen in Turkey.

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“The fame Atiba has within the Canadian nationwide crew is the fame he has in Turkey. And possibly much more,” he stated. “Atiba’s title carries a whole lot of heavy weight in Turkey. He’s identified not only for his persona, however his high quality on the pitch.”

Hutchinson, who’s married with three children, took trip to go to Adekugbe at his Istanbul resort en path to Hatayspor in Antakya, some 1,100 kilometres south of the Turkish capital.

Whereas lately his time with the Canadian crew has been restricted to video games that matter, Hutchinson continues to be prepared to make the lengthy journey from Istanbul when wanted.

He considered calling an finish to his worldwide profession after the final failed World Cup qualifying cycle. However after speaking to Herdman, he determined to see the journey by means of.

“It’s been a protracted highway and a whole lot of ups and downs,” he stated. “However I do positively do really feel comfortable and proud that I’m nonetheless concerned on this program and to see the extent it’s going to proper now, with all of the success we’ve been having. It’s one thing very particular to be concerned nonetheless in. I’ll proceed to do as a lot as I can to be part of it and to push the boundaries.”

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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