How they qualified
Winning all four of their Nations League qualifying games, finishing second behind Haiti only goals scored and scoring 18 goals in the process, with the biggest win 8-0 in the US Virgin Islands.
Canada’s history in the Gold Cup is a real mix, with their surprise 2000 triumph the major highlight, but they have also failed to progress past the group stage on eight occasions, failing to win a game in 2015 as co-hosts. They also withdrew from the 1998 Gold Cup, according to the Canadian Association in order to give Jamaica a chance to get vital tournament experience before their appearance at the France 98 World Cup, but rumours persisted of financial constraints and difficulty with securing foreign-based players for a tournament being held in January.
Their last Gold Cup experience in 2017 was a more positive one, qualifying from their group undefeated and narrowly losing to Jamaica in the Quarter-finals after threatening a comeback, so they will enter 2019 with expectations of matching, if not beating, that 2017 campaign.
The creation of the Canadian Premier League will help with the development of local talent going forward, but Canada will be hopeful that Cardiff’s Junior Hoilett (pictured) and Glasgow Rangers’ Scott Arfield are at their best and can lead this youthful side forward, with 11 of the squad that beat French Guiana in qualifying being under 25.
They will be led in the Gold Cup by Englishman John Herdman, who has built a name for himself in Canada after more than six years as the coach of the Canada women’s national team, who won the Bronze medals at successive Olympic games. Herdman did not play at professional level, but has a reputation for world-class technical coaching abilities and has already silenced a number of the doubters who questioned whether he could transition from coaching the women’s team to the men’s team.
What can we expect
One of only three teams to have won the Gold Cup, having shocked the world in 2000, Canada come into this tournament with one eye on qualifying from the group and another on their continuing progress forward towards the 2026 World Cup, where they will be a co-host with their North American brethren Mexico and the USA.
Their group is a tough one, featuring Mexico and dark horses Martinique and Cuba, but they have the honour of opening the tournament against Martinique at the Rose Bowl and will fancy their chances of starting the tournament with a win.
With all the positivity around the federation and Canadian football at the moment, they will be targeting a deep run in the tournament with group qualification a minimum. The knock rounds will depend on the draw but a semi-final appearance is not out the question and at that point anything could happen.
15 June – Canada v Martinque
Venue: Rose Bowl, Pasadena
19 June– Canada v Mexico
Venue: Broncos Mile High Stadium, Denver
23 June – Canada v Cuba
Venue: Bank of America Stadium, Los Angeles
Milan Borjan 23-10-1987 Estrella Roja
Maxime Crepeau 11-05-1994 Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Jayson Leutwiler 25-04-1989 Blackburn Rovers
Zachary Brault-Guillard 30-12-1998 Montreal Impact
Derek Cornelius 25-11-1997 Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Marcus Godinho 28-06-1997 Hearts
Doneil Henry 20-04-1993 Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Mark-Anthony Kaye 02-12-1994 Los Angeles FC
Kamal Miller 16-05-1997 Orlando City SC
Ashtone Morgan 09-02-1991 Toronto FC
Scott Arfield 01-11-1988 Rangers
Alphonso Davies 02-11-2000 Bayern Múnich
Atiba Hutchinson 08-02-1983 Besiktas
William Johnson 21-01-1987 Orlando City SC
Liam Millar 27-09-1999 Kilmarnock
Noble Okello 20-07-2000 Toronto FC
Jonathan Osorio 12-06-1992 Toronto FC
Samuel Piette 12-11-1994 Montreal Impact
Russell Teibert 22-12-1992 Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Lucas Cavallini 28-12-1992 Puebla
Jonathan David 14-01-2000 Gent
Jumior Hoilett 05-06-1990 Cardiff City
Cyle Larin 17-04-1995 Besiktas