Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team will look forward to tougher tests and more meaningful matches when 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League A kicks off this Fall. From 12 nations in Concacaf’s top league, Canada will face USA and Cuba in a series of home-and-away matches starting this September.
This will mark the first edition of Concacaf Nations League, with the 12 nations in League A split into four groups of three. The four group winners advance to the competition’s championship stage. Group B features Mexico, Panama and Bermuda; Group C features Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago and Martinique; and Group D features Costa Rica, Haiti and Curaçao.
“It’s an important time for Canada to get two matches against USA, which on top of being derby matches they provide us with the chance to test ourselves, to learn, and to develop against the reigning Concacaf champions,” said John Herdman, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team Head Coach. “We also get to face Cuba and we know that they will give us a tough test, home and away, but particularly the away leg will test the resolve and resilience of this team.”
Canada qualified for Concacaf Nations League A after finishing second in the qualification stage with four wins, 12 points, 18 goals scored, and just one goal conceded. In those four victories, Canada scored nine goals in home victories in Toronto and Vancouver, the most ever in back-to-back home matches for the Men’s National Team.
Through Concacaf Nations League, Canada will host USA in a competitive match in Canada for the first time since 1997. The two sides have since faced each other four times in the Concacaf Gold Cup including the 2007 semi-finals. In 2012 and 2013, the two sides played to 0:0 draws in each nation’s respective centennial match.
Canada most recently hosted Cuba in 2012 as part of a home-and-away set during the group stage of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. Canada won the first match away 1:0 and the second match 3:0 at home.
“There is no life in between anymore, that line was burned brightly into the culture in our first camp in March 2018,” said Herdman. “We know what we are here to do and as a group we will either choose to take this team to another level or we won’t, it’s that clear. This is a talented group who have a real shot at qualifying for Qatar 2022.”
Canada are two-time CONCACAF champions, having won the CONCACAF Championship in 1985 and the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2000. In winning the 1985 CONCACAF Championship, Canada qualified for the 1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico™; in winning the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Canada qualified for the FIFA Confederations Cup Korea/Japan 2001.
Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Youth Teams, meanwhile, have won two CONCACAF titles: both the 1986 and 1996 CONCACAF Men’s Youth Championships. Canada have qualified for eight editions of the FIFA U-20 World Cup and six editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.