There have been good results aplenty for Canada’s Men’s U-20 Team as they arrive in Jamaica for the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championships. With wins over two traditional CONCACAF powers Mexico and USA in the last year, Canada is hoping that the strong play can continue when it matters most.
But good results in friendlies are different from FIFA World Cup qualifiers and in order to reach the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015, Canada’s going to have to put in a string of strong performances in a relatively short period of time as it could take up to six matches for the team to book their spot.
“We’re looking forward to it,” said Head Coach Rob Gale on Friday. “The boys are raring to go and it’s been a good preparation camp. It’s nice to have the squad finalized and settled and it’s business time. We’re ready.”
Up first is Haiti on Saturday (10 January, 20.00 local) at the Montego Bay Sports Complex. Haiti’s a team that impressed in the Caribbean qualifying tournament and has spent a great deal of time together in preparation.
Canada will want to set the tone with a result right off the bat but that will have to be balanced with the notion that a game against Mexico comes just two days later on Monday (12 January, 15.00 local) and they’ll have to have gas in the tank for that one, as well.
“One of the things we’ve always stressed with this group is it’s going to be our strength in depth that gets us through and we’ve been preparing looking ahead and our game-by-game selections are based on form and fitness but also knowing that players won’t be able to last that many games just physically and mentally,” said Gale. “We’re already preparing scenarios two and three games in advance of what might be best suited for the opposition and making sure we’re fresh for every game.”
Cuba, El Salvador, and Honduras are the other three teams in Group B. The 12 teams are vying for the four spots allotted to CONCACAF for this summer’s FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Fans will be able to follow live on Twitter @CanadaSoccerEN. At this time, the are no known official broadcast or web stream available in Canada, however a full match report will be posted to canadasoccer.com and video reactions will be uploaded to Canada Soccer TV.