A spectator at football’s biggest party since 1986, Canada is back at the World Cup. Backed by one of football’s true young stars, Alphonso Davis, the Canadian isn’t content with just playing in Qatar. They’re making a fuss and trying to pull off an upset or two.
Head Coach John Hardman is arguably the most important player in Canada’s transformation from world number 120 in 2017 to a powerhouse in the CONCACAF region.
With his persuasive, persuasive speaking style and meticulous, day-to-day approach, Hardman made the national team embrace his aggressive tactics. Canada’s British manager has instilled a culture of unity within the team that was previously lacking. He also helped raise funds for federations that needed it from time to time.
After leading the women’s national team to back-to-back bronze medals at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, Canadian soccer didn’t want to lose him. Hardman was the first to coach at both the men’s and women’s World Cups, and his track record of success in Canada means not many people have a negative word to say about him.
He’s also a colorful sideline character, plugging in his AirPods and constantly barking in a thick Newcastle accent so he can hear the other coaches.
The name of a house you’ve never heard of
If you haven’t heard of Jonathan David, you’ll see him far away.
He has a unique running style. A very upright stance as opposed to Erling Haaland’s slouched sprint. When he drifts into space, he has a license to do under Hardman, so he makes the most of it: At the time of writing, David has scored nine goals this season for Lille in Ligue 1. He is determined and is right behind players like Kylian Mbappe and Neymar. The 22-year-old has become one of Europe’s next generation of great young strikers and is set to move to his top club soon.
Nicknamed “Iceman” by Hardman, the super-cool David never budges. As well as the number of goals scored this season, he is already the champion of Ligue 1 and has also scored in the Champions League.He said athletic Plans for a goal celebration are still being worked out, but he knows how to use the spotlight. When David scored a goal in his September friendly against Qatar, he hid the Nike logo on Canada’s jersey. He is frustrated that Canada cannot get new kit to wear at the World Cup.
In the final round of 14 CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, Canada led the way in goals scored (23) and conceded (7). However, the World Cup itself is a different beast, and that’s something Hardman has been repeating many times in recent availability.
It’s clear that Canada will depend on their transition game to succeed in Qatar, and for good reason.
Bayern Munich left winger Alfonso Davies was recently voted the fastest German Bundesliga player ever, with a top speed of 22.69 mph (36.51 km/h). And he’s just one of the fast-paced widemen in the team.
Sam Adekbe, who plays for Hatayspor in Turkey, is a great player who can overlap Davis on the left flank. Belgian club Tajon of Brugge His Buchanan combines speed and fearless dribbling ability on the right flank. Winning the ball in their own half, relinquishing to move forward, and relying on David or similarly Club Brugge’s Cyril Larin to finish in limited space would be a great way for Canada to pull off an upset against Belgium, Croatia or Morocco. could be the key.
The spine on this side is full of question marks.
Steven Ustakio is currently playing the best football of his life with Porto, Portugal, but his key partner Atiba Hutchinson, 39, has played little this season for Besiktas, Turkey due to injury. Jonathan Osorio, a technically competent advanced central midfielder, is recovering from a “neurological dysfunction” after an elbow-to-head injury while playing for Toronto in MLS. The last time he played his full 90 minutes was in his August.
Further back, Canadian centre-backs have little speed and their depth is limited after Scott Kennedy was lost to a shoulder injury. may be lost.
Finally, 35-year-old Milan Boljan is the goal heartthrob of this Canadian team and has experience in European football. After spells in Bulgaria and Poland, he is currently in Serbia’s Red His Star in Belgrade. But he at least he tends to make one gaffe. Games that may cost Canada.
The composition of this team is more diverse than any other in Qatar. 14 of his 26 players are part of Canada’s visible minorities. Seven players were born abroad. In addition, he has five dual nationals, some of whom have played for youth national teams outside of Canada. In addition, there are first-generation Canadians whose parents immigrated from places such as Colombia and Jamaica.
“I think that’s the beauty of this country and the national team,” said defender Richie Laria, whose parents are from Ghana. “It’s very diverse and multicultural, and it brings us together.”
Expectations after returning home
There is a sense of hopeful optimism after qualifying. Most media outlets are giving Canada a chance to grab the win, but they understand that their group is arguably the toughest in the World Cup, so going to the round of 16 feels like a roundabout way.
Thanks to the goodwill this team has built, just competing full-time for 90 minutes in each of these three group games will earn you the respect of the media and fans. Their aggressive, attack-first style can leave them open to counter-attacks, but it’s an approach that new Canadian fans will surely advocate. Even if they bow at zero point, the pastor’s job is not in jeopardy.
However, preparations for the tournament did not go smoothly.The team went on strike in June and refused to play a friendly against Panama due to various issues, including the match fee.
They have yet to gain massive popularity in Canada, or convert thousands of fans in other countries that call Canada home, but that could happen at the World Cup.1 Years ago, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stopped by for a training session, Hardman would stop training just for “Prime Minister or Katy Perry.”
Read more: See the rest of The Athletic’s 2022 World Cup team guide.
(Main Graphics — Photo: Getty Images/Design: Sam Richardson)