In January 2018, the Canadian soccer community was hit with a surprise that the long time successful head coach,
John Herdman, would be leaving the Women’s program but it turned out, he wasn’t going too far. In the following days, he
was to be appointed head coach of the Canadian Men’s National Team. As most appointments do, this one came with
great skepticism. How was a coach that has spent his whole professional career in the women’s game going to transition
into men’s first team football?


Prior president is there to be broken, with confidence & belief, anything is possible.


Forgetting about the fact that he’d never worked in men’s professional football, everything else looked more than
encouraging. He’d completely transformed the Canadian Women’s National Team as well as building a strong infrastructure
through the female youth teams (REX Program). After taking over the women’s team after a disastrous World Cup run in
2011, he was able to guide the group to two consecutive Bronze Medal finishes at the 2012 London Olympic Games and
the 2016 Rio Olympic Games respectively.
John Herdman’s appointment to the Men’s program had a huge focus on the long-term development of the National
Team and the surrounding development structure around it. With the “home” World Cup 8 years away (at the time), it was
time to get started. Not many believed that qualification to Qatar 2022 was within the realm of possibility. However, for John
Herdman, Qatar was not just a goal but an expectation. From the start, he aimed to unite the soccer community in Canada
and started to build excitement around the national team.


Team Spirit comes before anything when building a successful team


In November 2021, after his 35 th game in charge, the Canadian National Team convincingly defeated CONCACAF’s
elite, Mexico, in Edmonton in front of around 50,000 Canadian fans. The idea of Canada’s qualification to the World Cup
2022 Qatar is no longer a dream or even a goal but now an expectation as they sit first place in the qualification group with
6 games to go.