How they qualified
The 2022 World Cup finalists had to wait until the final two rounds of qualifying to top their group and book a ticket for Las Vegas. Going into the last round they were behind group leaders Honduras, having lost earlier in the group stage away from home. A 4-1 win over the Hondurans in the final game sealed qualification after a 2-1 win over Curacao had pushed them to the top of the group.
This is the second edition of the Concacaf Nations League buit the first time Canada have appeared in the Final Four.
Alphonso Davies, Concacaf’s player of the year last season, is the shining light and talisman in this Canada team. The Bayern star infuses confidence throughout a talented team when he is on the pitch and brings an attacking dimension from the wing that no other team in the Concacaf region can match. He will also be fresh having not played for Bayern since April 22. Up front Canada are potent with Kyle Larin coming in after a mid-season loan to LaLiga side Valladolid having scored eight goals in 19 matches and Jonathon David similarly running hot with 24 goals in 37 Ligue 1 matches for Lille. If all three click at the same time there will be goals. Defensively Canada are relying on veterans who are likely to be at their final major tournament. Milan Borjan, at 35 years old, has been a stalwart for Canada in Canada in goal. Steven Vitoria, at 36 years old, still provides the glue and experience that holds together the Canadian midfield. Tajon Buchanan, who plays at Belgium’s Club Brugge, is a real talent that is threatening to light up a major tournament for his country.
The Englishman from the north-east is perhaps one of the most like managers on the Concacaf circuit. Beneath that open and friendly public face is there an edge of steel that can turn talent into winners? Herdman believes it is time for this group to take that title winning step and win Canada’s first trophy since 2000. Herdman arrived in Canada in 2011 and until 2018 coached the highly successful women’s team before taking over the men’s programme in 2018. The progress has been remarkable and exciting, but it still needs a trophy. Herdman has picked 19 of the 23 players Canada took to the 2022 World Cup will be at the Nations League Finals.
What to expect
Canada on their day can be the most exciting football team in the region going forward. They will be anxious to put the three losses at the Qatar 2022 World Cup behind them. The key thing for the Canadians is not losing games that they should win, and not throwing games away from winning positions. They open against a wily Panama team who themselves have a point to prove as they transition a number of veterans out.
|#||Position||Name||Date of birth||Club|
|1||GK||DAYNE ST. CLAIR||09.05.1997||MINNESOTA UNITED FC|
|(USA) CELTIC FC(SCO)|
|3||DF||SAMUELADEKUGBE||16.01.1995||GALATASARAY AS (TUR)|
|4||DF||KAMAL MILLER||16.05.1997||INTER MIAMI CF (USA)|
|5||DF||STEVEN VITORIA||11.01.1987||GD DE CHAVES (POR)|
|6||DF||DOMINICK ZATOR||18.09.1994||KORONA KIELCE (POL)|
|7||MF||STEPHENEUSTAQUIO||21.12.1996||FC PORTO (POR)|
|8||MF||DAVIDWOTHERSPOON||16.01.1990||ST JOHNSTONE FC (SCO)|
|9||FW||LUCAS CAVALLINI||28.12.1992||XOLOS DE TIJUANA (MEX)|
|10||FW||JUNIOR HOILETT||05.06.1990||READING FC (ENG)|
|11||FW||TAJON BUCHANAN||08.02.1999||CLUB BRUGGE KV (BEL)|
|12||MF||VICTOR LOTURI||21.05.2001||ROSS COUNTY FC (SCO)|
|13||MF||ATIBAHUTCHINSON||08.02.1983||BESIKTAS FUTBOL (TUR)|
|14||DF||DEREK CORNELIUS||25.11.1997||MALMO FF (SWE)|
|15||MF||ISMAEL KONE||16.06.2002||WATFORD FC (ENG)|
|16||GK||TOM MCGILL||25.03.2000||BRIGHTON AND HOVE|
|ALBION FC (ENG) REALVALLADOLID CF(ESP)|
|18||GK||MILAN BORJAN||23.10.1987||FK CRVENA ZVEZDA (SRB)|
|19||MF||ALPHONSO DAVIES||02.11.2000||FC BAYERN MUNICH (GER)|
|20||FW||JONATHAN DAVID||14.01.2000||LOSC LILLE (FRA)|
|21||MF||JONATHAN OSORIO||12.06.1992||TORONTO FC (CAN)|
|22||DF||RICHIE LARYEA||07.01.1995||TORONTO FC (CAN)|
|23||DF||SCOTT KENNEDY||31.03.1997||SSV JAHN REGENSBURG|