May 11, 2022

Canada men’s national soccer team – line-up from the match which clinched their qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup – Canada 4-0 Jamaica on 27 March 2021 [Canada qualifies for FIFA World Cup for the first time in 36 years].

Filed under: Canada,Canada nat'l soccer team — admin @ 7:44 pm

By Bill Turianski on the 11th of May 2022;
-Canada men’s national soccer team (
-Canada Qualifies for First Men’s World Cup Since 1986 (by Andrew Gastelum on March 27 2022 at
-Canada changes football narrative with Qatar 2022 qualification (by Tristan D’Amours on March 30 2022 at
-The tactical factors behind Canada’s rise to the CONCACAF elite in the Octagonal (by Joseph Lowery on Jan 27 2022 at

The Canada men’s soccer team has qualified for the World Cup, for the first time in 36 years. It is only Canada’s second qualification for a World Cup. (Their first came in the 1986 World Cup, in Mexico, when Canada went scoreless in their 3 first round games, and left the tournament dead last.) Canada will play in 2022 FIFA World Cup Group F (vs: Belgium, Morocco, and Croatia).

You can see how far the Canada men’s soccer team has come in the last 20 years by simply looking at their home venues. Twenty years ago, for 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification, Canada were playing in places like the 2,000-capacity Winnipeg Soccer Complex, and the 5,000-capacity Varsity Stadium in Toronto. Now, the Canada’s men’s soccer team plays their home matches at places like the 30,000-capacity BMO Field in Toronto (home of Major League Soccer’s FC Toronto), and the 23,000-capacity Tim Horton’s Field in Hamilton (home of the two-time Canadian Premier League champions Forge FC). And although Canada’s men’s team did play at Edmonton’s 56,000-capacity Commonwealth Stadium in both the 2002 and the 2022 FIFA WC qualifiers, this time around they were drawing over 44,000 there – twice. At Edmonton in mid-November 2021, in the cold and snow, 48,000 saw Canada beat Costa Rica 1-0; four days later, 44,000 were there to see Canada beat Mexico 2-1.

In the 2002 WC qualifiers, Canada were losing badly to teams like Trinidad (0-4 and 0-6 losses). In the 2022 WC qualifiers, Canada were beating teams like Mexico and USA and Costa Rica. In 2018, the Canada men’s soccer team was ranked #78 in the world. In March 2022, the Canada men’s soccer team was ranked #38 (out of 210 countries).

The Canada men’s soccer team’s recent success can be attributed to two things. First of all, there is a good crop of young players, many of whom are somewhat recent immigrants – immigrants to Canada (like GK Milan Borjan, DF Sam Adekugbe, LB Alphonso Davies and FW Jonathan David), and emigrants from Canada (see DF Scott Kennedy, MF Stephen Eustáquio and FW Lucas Cavallini, in their thumbnail bios in the squad chart further below). Canada has a diverse squad that reflects the country itself. An open and welcoming country.

And secondly, there is their galvanizing coach, John Herdman. In January 2018, the County Durham, England-born Herdman came to the Canada men’s team, after successful stints as the New Zealand women’s team coach (where he led the U-20 squad to the World Championship in 2006, then led the senior squad to the FIFA Women’s World Cups in 2007 and 2011), and then the Canada women’s team coach (where he led the Canada women’s team to bronze medals in both the London 2012 and the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics). Like with the Canada women’s team, Herdman has instilled a belief in the men’s squad.

There is a hotbed of soccer in the Greater Toronto western suburb of Brampton that has produced no less than 5 players who currently play vital roles for Canada: Doneil Henry, Tajon Buchanan, Junior Hoilet, Cyle Larin, and their Captain, Atiba Hutchinson (the all-time Canada national team appearance leader, with 95 caps).

As far as pro careers go, quite a few Canada players play for prominent European clubs these days…LB/LW Alphonso Davies plays for the German giants Bayern Munich. MF Stephen Eustáquio plays for 2-time Champions League winners FC Porto. Both Winger Cyle Larin and DF Atiba Hutchinson play for Istanbul’s Beşiktaş. FW Jonathan David, who has an excellent international scoring rate of 30 caps/20 goals, plays for 2021 French champions Lille. RW/RMF Tajon Buchanan plays for Club Brugges, who were Belgian champions this year [2022]. Winger Junior Hoilet plays for Reading FC.

Young white Canadian kids still by and large dream of playing hockey (in the NHL), not soccer. But Canadian soccer is definitely on the rise. You can see it in the small but incremental progress the Canadian Premier League is making. And you can certainly see it in the remarkable progress the Canadian national teams – both the men’s and the women’s teams – have made.canada_national-soccer-team_fifa-2022-world-cup-qualifiers_squad-that-qualified-27-march-2022_canada-4_0-jamaica_john-herdman_e_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -2022 Canada jersey, photo from -Blank map of Canada, by STyx; Semhur; Riba atFile:Blank map of Canada.svg ( -Canada squad & staff celebrate, photo by Steve Russell/Toronto Star at -John Herdman, photo by Andy Jacobsohn/AFP/Getty Images via -Canada squad celebrates after scoring v Jamaica, photo by Reuters/USA Today Sports via
Players…-Milan Borjan, photo by PA Images via -Richie Laryea, photo by Getty Images via -Doneil Henry, photo by Raul Romero Jr at -Scott Kennedy, photo by Reuters via -Sam Adekugbe, photo by Seskim Photo/MB Media/Getty Images at -Junior Hoilet, photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images at -Stephen Eustáquio, photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/ Getty Images at -Tajon Buchanan, photo unattributed at[@foxsoccer]. -Jonathan Osorio, photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images via -Cyle Larin, photo unattributed at -Jonathan David, photo by Jean Catuffe/DPPI/LiveMedia/Sipa USA via -Alistair Johnston, photo by Ryan Remiorz/CP via -Atiba Hutchinson, photo by Seskim Photo/MB Media/Getty Images at -Kamal Miller, photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images via -Liam Fraser, photo by BELGA -Lucas Cavallini, photo by Imago Images via -Alphonso Davies, photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images via

Thanks to all at the following limks…
-Canada men’s national soccer team ( (March 2022 CONCACAF ranking, leagues-by-country). (for player-positions).[Canada nat'l team].

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