May 20, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

Complete Canadian News World

Canada’s Soccer Stars Have Qatar in Their Sights

1986 was the last time Canada’s men qualified for a soccer World Cup and, in the 34 years since, a solitary Olympic gold medal is all Canada has to show on the global soccer stage. Even that was very recent, being the women’s dramatic penalty-shootout triumph against favourites Sweden at Tokyo 2020. In comparison, since 1986, Canada has picked up 29 World Championship golds and 7 Olympic gold medals in the national winter sport of ice hockey. 

However, Canada’s fortunes on the world soccer stage may be on the rise. After the first three games of the final round of CONCACAF qualifying, the men’s national team sit second in the eight-team table, two points behind group favourites Mexico and with an identical record to the USA. 

There is still a long way to go, and both Canada and the USA still need to play Mexico twice. But if Canada can avoid defeat against El Tri in the next round of fixtures, they will be in a fantastic position to advance to the finals in Qatar, especially as the USA continue to underwhelm. The Canucks may well be worth a punt at this point and, if you fancy taking that bet, is the place to go to compare all of the top online sportsbooks in Canada. 

Team Canada fans have reason to be excited not just for the rest of the Qatar 2022 qualification campaign, but also for the next decade and beyond. That’s because several of the young players currently in and around the squad are generational talents already playing at the elite level of European club football. 

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It’s sometimes hard to remember that Alphonso Davies is still only 20 years old. The first player born in the 2000s to feature in an MLS match and the second youngest player in MLS history, Davies has already been a pro since 2015. The left-sided player has gone from strength to strength following his 2019 debut for German giants Bayern Munich, and his development has been a huge benefit for the national team, too. 

Perhaps his most telling single contribution to date was his opening goal and performance in Canada’s 2-0 victory over the USA in October 2019 – the first time in 34 years that Canada had triumphed over their neighbours. If this team can break one three-decade duck, why not another by qualifying for Qatar?

In striker Jonathan David, Les Rouges has another outstanding prospect who already has a major European league title under his belt. At just 21 years old, David contributed 13 goals to help fire Lille to an unlikely French league title in 2020/21

It’s not just Davies and David that are carrying this Canada team to within touching distance of World Cup qualification either. There is a depth to the Canadian talent pool that means coach John Herdman has one of the best squads for decades at his disposal. 

Cyle Larin has an impressive scoring record for the national team and netted an impressive 23 goals for Besiktas last season, and who can forget Larin’s club teammate Atiba Hutchinson. What a story it would be for Canada’s talisman and captain – who is on course to surpass Julian de Guzman’s all-time caps record – to bow out with a World Cup finals appearance. 

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