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How does the future look for Canada’s Men’s Soccer Team

Not since 1986 have Canadians been able to look forward to a World Cup tournament and see their countries name. Here’s how the future looks

jonathan david lille 2022

Not since 1986 have Canadians been able to look forward to a World Cup tournament and see their countries name.

After a 34 year wait, Canada emphatically qualified for the World Cup 2022 in Qatar, winning the CONCACAF Qualifying group ahead of rivals Mexico and the United States of America.

It can’t be ignored that Canada started the qualifying phase all the way back in round one, it isn’t until round three when the likes of Mexico and the USA began their campaigns.

While Canada played well and dominated the weaker sides in the opening rounds, soccer betting never really saw them as coming out on top come the end of qualifying, but John Herdman’s side proved they have come a long way.

Their success gave them a group with Belgium, Croatia, and Morocco, incredibly tough but a real challenge to see exactly how far they have come as a footballing nation.

Sadly, for Canadians, their side lost each of the three games, though showed some real signs of quality and progression. The went close with Belgium and dominated the opening game but couldn’t find a way through and fell to a 1-0 defeat.

Alphonso Davies scored the nation’s first ever goal at a World Cup before Croatia came back to win 4-1, before a 2-1 defeat to semi-finalists Morocco.

Attention now turns to 2026 where Canada, along with the United States and Mexico will be hosting the next World Cup.

Veterans like Atiba Hutchinson and Milan Borjan will likely not be part of the side going forward, but there were a number of young players who really showed their potential on the world stage.

Herdman will likely remain in the role going forward and adopts a 3-4-3 style formation with wingbacks supported but two forwards who drift around a focal centre forward.

One of those wingbacks is usually superstar Alphonso Davies. He also plays in one of the forward roles as well and the Bayern Munich star is key future for this Canada side. His reputation has had a rapid rise and is respected as one of the best in the world. At just 22 years of age in Qatar he will likely be hitting his peak levels going into 2026.

Ismaël Koné is another young player who is experiencing a rapid rise from academy football to World Cup appearances in a little over a year. He made his breakthrough season for CF Montreal in MLS this season and forced his way into the World Cup squad, playing significant minutes often off the bench.

Koné earnt himself a multimillion dollar move to Watford in the English Championship and his growth on the world stage, with rumours of a loan to Udinese in Italy next season could propel him into being the key player in the midfield for Canada in 2026.

With three appearances at the World Cup, Koné now has eight caps in total, scoring once in a friendly with Bahrain prior to the World Cup. 2022 was his first season in the CF Montreal first team and he managed 28 appearances scoring three goals and assisting five times.

Jonathon David is having a fine time in France, playing at Ligue 1 side Lille. Another who was just 22 years old in Qatar will be playing in a top-five league in Europe and entering his prime going into the 2026 World Cup.

He will no doubt continue to develop and build a more clinical goal scoring role in Europe which will ensure he comes back stronger and better than ever for Canada. He has 22 goals in 37 appearances for Canada so far and will hope in 2026 he adds a World Cup goal to that tally. Furthermore, he is being linked with a move to the Premier League.

While there are stars in this side, not to forget the likes of Tajon Buchanan and Alistair Johnston, there were areas which highlighted why they are still a way off the stronger nations.

They play a back three though do not have the strongest of defences. Steven Vitória will not return in 2026 as he was 35 years old in Qatar. They have little experience behind him, though Joel Waterman of CF Montreal is garnering attention from sides in Europe and the step up could make him a stronger candidate come 2026.

There is hope Karifa Yao will develop quickly coming into the Vancouver Whitecaps side for the 2023 MLS season after playing in the Canadian Premier League in 2022. The 22-year-old is ready for the step up and will hope to get more experience in the CONCACAF Champions League this season as well.

Qatar 2022 may not have brought the results they would have wanted, but this Canadian side has shown that they can compete with nations that have a much longer history in the tournament.

Herdman wants to see more of his players playing in the top-level leagues around the world over the next couple of season to really give them a chance to push on and try and get their first points on the board.

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