VAN DIEST: Exciting times for Canadian national soccer teams

Following the footsteps of the Canadian girls’s nationwide workforce, who capped off two bronze-medal Olympic performances with a gold medal this summer season on the Tokyo Video games, the boys’s workforce is trying to make historical past of its personal

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John Herdman and the Canadian males’s nationwide workforce have been on to one thing particular for a while.


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On Wednesday, in entrance of a packed home of over 26,000 followers at BMO Area in Toronto, it turned evident how particular the workforce actually is.

Following the footsteps of the Canadian girls’s nationwide workforce, who capped off two bronze-medal Olympic performances with a gold medal this summer season on the Tokyo Video games, the boys’s workforce is trying to make historical past of its personal.

Canada is properly on its technique to qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and took one other large step Wednesday with a formidable 4-1 win in opposition to Panama.

The victory lifted Canada into third place within the Concacaf World Cup qualifying standings after six video games. There are eight video games to go within the closing qualifying spherical, and if Canada can preserve a top-three standings, it would earn a spot on the males’s World Cup for the primary time since its solely look in 1986.


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“It was a extremely sturdy efficiency,” mentioned Herdman after the sport. “I feel we gave the followers what they got here to see and gave them one thing to be happy with.”

It’s no coincidence Herdman, who was instrumental within the turnaround of the Canadian girls’s nationwide program, is now doing the identical with the boys. Any doubts about with the ability to transition from the ladies’s sport to the boys’s has been all put to relaxation with the performances of the nationwide workforce.

With the ladies’s workforce, Herdman took a proficient aspect and led it to back-to-back bronze medals on the Olympics, which set the muse for this 12 months’s accomplishment below Bev Priestman.

Herdman took over one other proficient aspect with the boys and has grown with the workforce, making all the appropriate selections thus far within the 2022 World Cup qualifying marketing campaign the place Canada has but to lose a sport. The Canadian males’s bandwagon is beginning to replenish with loads of room on board because the scene shifts to Edmonton for the continuation of the qualifiers subsequent month at Commonwealth Stadium, which seats over 56,000.


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Herdman hopes to pack the home when Canada hosts Costa Rica on Nov. 12, and Mexico on Nov. 16, and contemplating the demand for tickets already, though they’ve but to go on sale, he’ll in all probability get his want. The 2 video games can even be a homecoming for Edmonton product Alphonso Davies, who scored the successful aim in opposition to Panama with an excellent particular person effort.

Wednesday at BMO Area proved to be a magical night time, but it surely was not crucial win for this present version of the Canadian workforce, in line with Herdman.

“No, I feel Costa Rica on the Gold Cup was crucial,” Herdman mentioned. “We’ve had so many individuals doubt me and doubt this workforce. It was at all times about, ‘Herdman and his workforce, if it wasn’t for Davies they’d be nothing,’ and all these things.


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“That sport in opposition to Costa Rica, we completely dominated them and tactically outplayed them and we beat them 2-0 in an enormous sport with out Davies, (Cyle) Larin, Atiba (Hutchinson), (Milan) Borjan. I feel that was the massive turning level, as a result of there was an enormous group of men that consider and I feel the nation began to consider and you would sense individuals have been saying, ‘Wow, this can be a good workforce and it’s not made up of two or three gamers.’”

If the sport in opposition to Costa Rica and the resultant semifinal in opposition to Mexico on the Gold Cup didn’t persuade the critics, then the tie on the highway in opposition to the USA, one other within the famed Azteca Stadium and the convincing win over Panama within the World Cup qualifiers, ought to.

“Tonight it was a pleasure to be behind the blokes and see the motion and the behaviour of the entire squad,” mentioned goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau. “Alphonso is particular, Tajon (Buchanan) is particular and we have now some vivid diamonds on this workforce. We’ve obtained some actually high quality gamers within the squad, it’s one thing particular that we have now and we acknowledge it as gamers and as a rustic, we’re fortunate to have this high quality on this group.”


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The Canadian girls’s nationwide workforce has recalled all 22 gamers from its gold-medal squad in Tokyo for the upcoming Celebration Tour later this month.

Canada will host New Zealand on Oct. 23, at TD Place in Ottawa after which once more on Oct. 26, on the Stade Saputo in Montreal as a part of a cross-country tour the place they hope so as to add extra dates.

“What we talked about as a gaggle, is what the medal really means to this nation and what’s contained in the medal, and it’s the followers, I feel they need to encourage as an entire group,” Priestman mentioned on Thursday. “I feel the problem I’ll put to this group transferring ahead is that to actually change the face of this nation, we have now to do it extra repeatedly than 4 years. So can we do it at a World Cup? The extra repeatedly you do it, the higher.”


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The Canadian girls haven’t performed at house since its sendoff match in opposition to Mexico at BMO Area previous to the 2019 FIFA Girls’s World Cup.

Canada had two house exhibition matches scheduled for 2020 cancelled because of the pandemic and the workforce is wanting ahead to enjoying in entrance of its followers once more.

“Being at house does ignite your nation; so see these moments, you see the followers, as you noticed (Wednesday) night time,” Priestman mentioned. “This group has not been there since 2019, so I simply can’t wait and I do know the gamers can’t wait to get right into a stadium filled with crimson and love, they usually’ll get to share that second with the folks that have been behind all of them the way in which.”

Electronic mail:

On Twitter: @DerekVanDiest



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