We caught up with Canada men’s national team coach John Herdman at BMO Field, who spoke about his team’s progress ahead of the upcoming match against the United States.
The Canadian Premier League presents for Herdman a new pool to fish for Canadian talent. On Calgary’s Cavalry FC’s goalkeeper Marco Carducci, the national team head coach remarked “we’re looking at the Canadian Premier League as a pool where there’s a ton to select from, in order to fill gaps depending on need”. He added “If you play, you’re more likely to get selected than sitting on the bench somewhere in Europe”
The big question ahead of the match against the United States tonight is how well does Canada stack up against the CONCACAF giants? “We want it as badly as them. We’re looking to crack the top 6 in the region”. Then, he throws down the gauntlet challenging his men, “This is a have where Canada’s national men’s team steps up and show their quality”
But the national team coach urges on the crowd to provide an assist: “It’s crucial for fans to come out to this game, and pack it in. By getting to the hex (top 6 teams in CONCACAF, measured by FIFA points) we can attract better opposition. Our fans can get guys over the line, and beat the United States for the first time since 1985. Unlike in the women’s game, there’s no psychological barrier when we play the US”.
Herdman pointed that Canada needed to be tested, which happened in the last Gold Cup against Mexico and Haiti. Those two matches tempered the Canadian side.
Canadian soccer fans are hopeful that Calgary native and Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori will declare for his native country. This hope was reduced when he was recently called up by Gareth Southgate for England’s matches against Bulgaria and Czech Republic. Luckily for Herdman, however, he did not feature in either match and was has left the door open for Canada.
Herdman noted that the Canadian soccer program at the youth level is doing well, with the Under-17s and Under-15s making it to CONCACAF’s top 4. “If we unite, we can be top 4 and we’ve shown that in the youth level and I feel we’re on the brink of doing that at the senior level”, he concluded.