Canada Looks To Win Trophy Against Rival USA In CNL Final
One day before one of the biggest rivalries in sports kicks off once again – between Canada and the US, of course – John Herdman discussed the big matchup.
“The rivalry has been getting stronger”, offered the gaffer in his opening answer. “Obviously the US has done some amazing things over the last 20 years and picked up a lot of hardware and leaders in Concacaf when it comes to developing football from their professional leagues.”
“The depth of their squads, the way they organize their youth program, and the opportunities they give their players, it’s the top level.”
Herdman notes one difference from the game on Thursday: there will not be that many fans in the building as 50,000 fans showed up, predominantly a Mexican fanbase.
“I think when I look at this game and compare it to the USA-Mexico game I know there won’t be 70,000 Mexicans or Canadians in the stadium, but I can expect it to be heated and it’s a final and both teams will be pushing each other to their limits.”
Herdman spoke about Atiba Hutchinson and what he has meant to Canada Soccer and the entire country of Canada.
“I think what it means is who he is, with his humility and whatever it takes. Whatever the team needs, when he plays in his home stadium and comes on in the 75th minute and the entire place chanting Atiba, that’s what it means.”
“He is probably one of the greatest Canadian players not many people know about. That was the reality, and people at the World Cup saw him for who he really is. I hope we can keep him as a leader, an administrator, as he is what this country needs.”
Herdman was asked about the concerted effort from the team instead of continuing to use the term brotherhood and good vibes.
“I don’t think it’s a concerted effort, but winning is a part of the narrative. It’s the next step for this team to win consistently, and trophies are important. It’s a good generation of players”.
“We know we can win things and we know the brotherhood is the foundation that gives us that little bit extra. We will need it coming up against a high-quality US team, but the winning narrative is what we believe: you play to win.”
Herdman thinks his process has been necessary for Canada to go out and win trophies to be successful.
“I think it’s necessary for you to embrace that, and we can’t hide from it. The expectation is on the US, but for Canada there is a big expectation for us. We believe that this team can deliver.”
Header Image Photo Credit: Beau Chevalier / Canada Soccer