Canada will look to start strong when they kick off the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup at New York Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team are facing French Guiana as part of an opening day double header, with group opponents Costa Rica and Honduras facing each other in the other Friday night match in the biennial confederation championship.
The Canada-French Guiana 7 July match kicks off at 19.00 local, with a live broadcast on TSN and RDS (19.00 ET / 16.00 PT). Fans are encouraged to follow the Men’s National Team across all of Canada Soccer’s digital channels including Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, and Facebook.
“I want to see guys that are daring, aggressive, play with abandon, and want to put their stamp on the tournament,” said Octavio Zambrano, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team Head Coach. “I will ask these guys to let it all out and go for it.”
The CONCACAF Gold Cup is the official national team championship of the confederation. Drawing large crowds and millions of television viewers from across the region, the CONCACAF Gold Cup is a celebration of soccer, sportsmanship, and culture. Canada will play their group matches on 7 July against French Guiana in Harrison, on 11 July against Costa Rica in Houston, and on 14 July against Honduras in Frisco just outside Dallas.
Canada are undefeated in 2017 with two wins and one draw, including a recent 2:1 win over Caribbean champions Curaçao on 13 June in Montréal. In 20 international matches since the last CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2015, Canada’s overall record is nine wins, five draws, and six losses.
This will mark the first ever meeting between Canada and French Guiana. French Guiana recently finished third at the 2017 Caribbean Cup, drawing Jamaica (but falling on kicks) and beating Martinique. This marks French Guiana’s first-ever qualification for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
From 12 nations, eight will advance beyond the group phase to the quarter-finals. That means the top two nations from each group advance as well as two of three third-place teams. The 12 competing nations are: Canada, Costa Rica, French Guiana, and Honduras in Group A; Martinique, Nicaragua, Panama, and USA in Group B; and Curaçao, El Salvador, Jamaica, and USA in Group C.
Coach Zambrano has selected what he calls a “dynamic team” with speed, offensive, and defensive qualities. In preparation for the opening match, Canada trained in Alliston, Ontario and Sunrise, FL, USA. The team also scrimmaged with Nicaragua. The team flew into New York-New Jersey on 5 July.
“We have a young team and we have players with talent,” said Patrice Bernier. “We have a mindset to go forward and we have players with that ability to go forward and create opportunities.”
Canada are two-time CONCACAF champions, having won the CONCACAF Championship in 1985 and the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2000. Since the first edition of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 1991, Canada’s best finishes are first place in 2000 and semi-final finishes in 2002 and 2007.