For the first time in 36 years, the Canadian men’s national team has done what many dubbed impossible. After a stellar qualification run that includes wins over the likes of Mexico, Costa Rica, and the United States, it seems likely that the “kings of the north” will not only qualify but finish atop the CONCACAF pyramid for the first time in their history.
Canada Secure World Cup 2022 Spot
End of Forty Year Wait For Canadian Men’s World Cup Appearance
Only within the last year did all this seem possible for La Reuge, boasting a record of 12-4-2 in 2021, outscoring any other international outfit on the planet. Since the turn of the year, nothing has changed for the red and white winning their last four of five qualifying matches. Cyle Larin and Jonathan David have been extremely prolific in front of goal leading that stat in the third round of qualifying. A mix of youth, experience, and talent have rocketed Canada up the FIFA rankings 38 spots in just under 18 months. Canada is currently sitting at 33rd in the FIFA rankings, an all-time best.
The last time Canada’s senior men’s team qualified for the World Cup was in Mexico in 1986. They failed to score in all three of their games but the performances gave hope for the future of Canadian Football. It took almost four decades, but it seems the Canadians are in the midst of a golden generation. Set to co-host the 2026 World Cup with the United States and Mexico, Canada is looking to build on what could become a regular spot in the biggest sporting event on the planet for decades to come.
Alphonso Davies Return
It’s worth noting they have achieved this without Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies. Having missed the last two qualifying windows after he was ruled out back in January with heart muscle issues.
Davies was live on his Twitch channel watching along with thousands of fans cheering on his teammates as they dominated Jaimaca 4-0 with conviction.
Alphonso was having the time of his life 😂
(Twitch: Alphonso Davies) pic.twitter.com/glhsrEDxd0
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) March 27, 2022
The full-back has recently returned to training and is aiming to be back in league play sometime in April. In an interview posted by the Bayern Munich website, Davies updated us on his condition.
He said: “The rehab is going well so far. I have no problems with my muscles and heart, but I’m not at 100 percent, yet. I’m just happy that I can train again and I’m ready for work.”
The speedy full-back has missed 16 matches for club and country since early January, saying the last four to eight weeks have been “boring and tough mentally.”
None of this stopped the charismatic Canadian from sending positive messages and cheering on his teammates just like the rest of the country. Herdman had said Canada Soccer had tried to strike a deal with Bayern to have Davies in camp with the team as a spectator but was unable to reach an agreement.
Let the Celebrations begin
Davies’ full-time reactions, celebrating the qualification of Canada for the World Cup, summed up what this journey means to him and the entire country of Canada.
Phonzy’s reaction to Canada making the World Cup is everything. 😭🇨🇦
Congratulations, @AlphonsoDavies. ❤️
— 🇺🇸 FC Bayern US 🇨🇦 (@FCBayernUS) March 27, 2022
Dropping all three points in Costa Rica meant manager John Herdman and the players had the opportunity to make history in front of their home crowd at BMO Field.
“This is how it was meant to be, I know why the football gods wouldn’t let us score, it was for tonight,” Herdman said after the final whistle blew in Toronto.
“We’re” a football country now” he added.
The Englishmen earned back-to-back Olympic bronze medals with the Canadian Women’s team after they finished last in the 2011 women’s world cup. He has now completely transformed the men’s side and has brought hope to an entire country.
Midfield dynamo Stephen Eustaquio was the exact player Canada was looking for before he decided to commit to the red maple leaf back in 2019. “Even if we didn’t qualify, I made the best decision of my life to come to play for Canada, the relationship I have with my friends at the end of the day that’s what I’m going to hold onto,” he said after the match.
Toronto FC midfielder Jonathan Osorio led the drum celebrations with 30,000 Canadian fans in attendance during a memorable moment for Canadian football.
IT'S A PARTY IN CANADA. 🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/zba0R1Mpjx
— Watch Costa Rica vs USA on Paramount+ (@CBSSportsGolazo) March 27, 2022
What’s next for Canada?
“The sky’s the limit. I think we’re going to just continue to get better and better…” said 39-year old midfielder Atiba Hutchinson, captain of the Canadian team.
“We’re going to be ready to go there at the World Cup and put ourselves really on the map,” Hutchinson added. “We’ve got a lot of confidence and we believe that we can do well.”
The draw for the 2022 World Cup tournament is set to take place on Friday, April 1st at 12 pm est.