Thursday, February 29, 2024

Three preliminary matches coming

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Alan Binder
Alan Binder
"Alcohol scholar. Twitter lover. Zombieaholic. Hipster-friendly coffee fanatic."

The Canadian national team, which has qualified for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar, continues its preparations for the big tournament this fall.

While the majority of countries will play four matches during this window, Canada will play three matches.

Sunday evening in Vancouver, Canada you will face Panama (7 pm). Thursday, still in Vancouver, will be a meeting against Curaçao (10:30 p.m.), and finally, on Monday, June 13, Canada will face Honduras abroad (10 p.m.).

The match against Panama (61 globally) was confirmed only this week. This duel replaces the one that would have taken place against Iran (21st in the world). For political reasons, Canada had to cancel this match.

Panama is not a big opponent. Moreover, Canada would have really liked to take on an opponent from another geographical area, but under the circumstances, it was better than nothing. Remember, Canada lost to Panama in their last qualifying match. Sunday’s match is just a friendly match.

The other two matches are part of the Nations League tournament, which will determine the standings for the next Gold Cup.

To be noticed in the field

These three duels will mark the return of Alfonso Davies’ national team. The great Canadian star did not play a single international match in 2022, and he was forced to miss due to myocarditis.

It is not clear at this time where it will develop. Will he stay on the left under John Herdman? Or do we dare to insert it a little more in the hub? This question must be answered this week so that the young man can begin to get used to it now.

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Midfielder Jonathan Osorio is out of camp with injury, so Canada won’t have 10th place in this three-game series. Could Herdman be tempted to give this job to Davis?

Stephen Ostaccio, whose future was not uncertain at FC Porto, could help with the position, even if it turns out to be more than eight out of ten.

In Osorio’s absence, Canada could have called up another midfielder, such as Mathieu Choinière. But Herdman decided to content himself with his elements. Also remember that young Ismail Kone, who was first called up by Canada during the last window, is currently injured and has remained in Montreal to continue his rehabilitation.

Others from CF Montreal

Samuel Peet, Kemal Miller and Alistair Johnston have all been called up again. Some are concerned about Peet and his World Cup presence, who has been relegated to a second round since Wilfried Nancy’s arrival as coach. But Kipker seems to have won the trust of the Canadian coaches, who have never shown they have lost faith in him. His leadership and ability to help a team kill a game seem to make him a springboard for them.

Zachary Broult Gillard, James Bantames and Joel Waterman have not been called up this time around, and at this point they are not expected to be part of the Canada equation next fall in Qatar.

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