In January 2018 the Canadian soccer community received some surprising news. The long time and 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. This brought great skepticism. How was a coach that has spent his entire professional career in the women’s game going to transition into the role of a men’s team football coach?
Prior president is there to be broken.
With confidence and belief, anything is possible.
Besides the fact that he had never worked in Men’s professional football, all other factors seemed encouraging. Herdman completely transformed the Canadian Women’s National Team while building a strong infrastructure through the female youth teams (REX Program). After taking over the Women’s team following their 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.
John Herdman’s appointment as the Men’s team coach initiated the focus on the long-term development of the National
Team and its surrounding development structure. With the “home” World Cup 8 years away (at the time), it was
time to get started. Not many believed that qualification for Qatar 2022 was within the realm of possibility. However, for John
Herdman, Qatar was not just a goal but an expectation. He aimed to unite the soccer community in Canada while building excitement around the national team.
TEAM SPIRIT comes before anything when building a successful team.
In November 2021, after his 35th game as coach, the Canadian National Team convincingly defeated CONCACAF’s
elite, Mexico, in the presence of 50,000 Canadian fans in Edmonton. The thought of Canada’s qualification to the 2022 World Cup in 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.