Canada In Must-Win Situation In Gold Cup Match Against Cuba
To say that Canada’s tournament at the Gold Cup has been shocking and underwhelming has been an understatement.
After a surprising 2-2 draw with Guadeloupe at home in Toronto at BMO Field and a 0-0 draw against Guatemala\, Canada needs a win against Cuba to advance past the group stage.
Luckily, Cuba is an opponent that they have had lots of success against, usually winning by six or seven goals.
“Obviously, the national team is tough”, Richie Laryea mentioned in his opening remarks. “You don’t get enough time together, but John and the staff do an amazing job prepping us.”
“My learning from this is just the intensity”, Herdman answered. “This group has really bought into getting the work done. Over these two matches there has been growth in key areas. We haven’t gotten the results we wanted and it has been tricky for us.”
“I have a feeling in this next match there will be a big step forward and I am feeling really confident.”
Richie Laryea also feels confident his team has what it takes to win the group in the final game.
“In terms of the game, it’s plain and simple: you have to win to go through. We are not feeling a massive amount of pressure, this is something we need to do together to grow. The guys are ready and it’s going to be a good match.”
Herdman was asked about what he is expecting from a tactical aspect from Cuba.
“Cuba has improved, they have grown. Their tactical identity has changed from the last time we played them and they have been very flexible 4-3-3, 4-4-2, you see them changing in-game and across games which causes tactical challenges.”
I bluntly asked John Herdman what he thought of the fans who believe that up to this point that the team has underwhelmed and underperformed.
“I think the fans are right to keep expecting from Canada. That’s the bar that we have set our team when we put on the maple leaf and we take it to a place where the expectation should be high. We are a football country.”
“We went into a World Cup and made the statement Canada is back on the world stage, and for the fans to keep pushing and keep asking the hard questions and keep driving the standards for our team – we want to live and reach those standards.”
A bit of unfortunate news this morning as Milan Borjan won’t be available to play on Tuesday and was sent back to Europe due to an injury he picked up.
“Milan is the type of guy that when he is in his environment he works as hard as everyone else and he takes a real leadership role. He’s an influencer and we are sad to lose him. He makes a big impact.”
Header Image Photo Credit: Canada Soccer