NATIONAL TEAM NOTES: Canada maintain calm as 2022 FIFA World Cup approaches

Canada has three exhibition video games left to work out the kinks earlier than opening the match on the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar on Nov. 23

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BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — Time is flying by for the Canadian males’s nationwide soccer staff and it gained’t be lengthy earlier than they’re lined up towards Belgium for its first sport on the FIFA World Cup in 36 years.

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Canada has three exhibition video games left to work out the kinks earlier than opening the match on the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar on Nov. 23.

Canada will play Qatar in Vienna, Austria, on Friday (1 p.m. ET, OneSoccer) after which face Uruguay right here on Tuesday.

As soon as the 26-man World Cup roster is chosen, Canada will play an exhibition sport towards Japan in Dubai, UAE, on Nov. 17, earlier than opening the 32-team match in Qatar.

“We made a collective determination in June, from our evaluation, and we knew what we wanted to maintain doing heading into Qatar,” stated Canada head coach John Herdman on Thursday. “We all know there are 100 issues you are able to do to arrange, and you may drive your self loopy with that. However the actuality is, there are 5 issues we’re going to deal with and we’re going to carry that focus to each single (nationwide staff) camp and we’ll construct on it.

“We study the gaps we have now from totally different opponents. You don’t know the place you’re at till you play Uruguay, so there are issues we are going to work on previous to that and there are issues that we’ll work on after.”

Uruguay will present a troublesome take a look at for Canada heading into Qatar and should give them some indication what to anticipate towards Belgium.

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Uruguay is a star-studded staff led by striker Luis Suarez and completed third in South American qualifying behind Brazil and Argentina. They gained the inaugural FIFA World Cup in 1930 after which the primary match again after the Second World Warfare in 1950, surprising Brazil within the remaining.

“I imagine within the guys on our staff and I imagine we have now the flexibility to match their stage and play even higher,” Canada striker Cyle Larin stated. “I imagine we simply need to deal with what we have now; we have now top of the range, and as a bunch, we’re actually close-knit and I feel that actually interprets on the sphere.”


The climate was nice for a change in Bratislava on Thursday, after a few chilly coaching periods to start out the week-long camp.

But, not matter how blustery it does get, the climate gained’t evaluate to what Canada confronted in Edmonton final November throughout a World Cup qualifying sport towards Mexico.

Probably the most enduring recollections of the sport was defender Sam Adekugbe’s dive right into a snowbank alongside the sideline after Larin scored to place Canada up 2-0 within the contest. Canada went on to win the sport 2-1.

“I used to be positively shocked (on the response); it was only a second of happiness on our second purpose towards Mexico in entrance of my dwelling province and household,” Adekugbe, a Calgary product, stated Thursday. “It was simply positively only a second of power, I assume.”


Larin scored extra objectives than anybody else within the area throughout Concacaf World Cup qualifying (13), which helped facilitate a transfer to Membership Brugge in Belgium after enjoying in Turkey the earlier 4 seasons.

Larin scored his first purpose for Membership Brugge in July, however has since seen his minutes diminished by head coach Carl Hoefkens.

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“I feel it’s a priority for us, however after they come right here (with nationwide staff) we create a special tradition right here,” Herdman stated. “Guys come right here and step in no matter what their membership state of affairs is. They step in, really feel protected and really feel cared for and sometimes can carry out at their greatest, so I’m not too frightened.

“I’m most likely extra frightened about gamers which are utterly out of soccer environments (by the World Cup) — the MLS guys that aren’t within the playoffs. That’s a little bit of a problem, however talking to all of them individually within the final two days, the blokes are placing in that further work on the sphere.”

Larin believes his enjoying time at Membership Brugge will ultimately improve, maybe after Canada face Belgium in its opening Group F video games.

“It’s been good, I’ve performed in Belgium earlier than and so I’ve seen what it’s like there,” Larin stated. “I’m beginning to get settled in, I’m simply going to maintain working. It was good to get my first purpose and I need to construct from that.”

Larin has but to take any ribbing about enjoying Belgium from his Belgian teammates at Membership Brugge, however is wanting ahead to going through probably the greatest nationwide groups on the earth.

Belgium completed third on the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, defeating Brazil within the quarterfinals.

“We’ll see the end result after we play them,” Larin stated. “However I don’t suppose we’re terrified of something; we’ve proven that previously and we’re wanting ahead to exhibiting it once more.”


Canada’s teaching employees will get a chance to do some in-person scouting whereas in Vienna as Group F opponent Croatia can also be on the town, enjoying a UEFA Nations League sport towards Austria on Sunday. Croatia made it to the ultimate of the 2018 World Cup match, dropping to France.

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