John Herdman: Canada Soccer is 'not serious' about World Cup

Canada coach John Herdman demanded more resources to get his team ready for the 2026 World Cup, saying the current approach from the country's federation is "not serious."

Speaking after his team lost 2-0 to the United States in the final of the Concacaf Nations League, Herdman lamented only having four days to prepare for the tournament finals.

"It's the preparation period. It does cost a lot of money to get things put together for these windows," the Englishman said. "I think it's not a secret the organization has been suffering financially even through the World Cup qualification. You had coaches raising money to make sure we've got charter flights, security on those charter flights.

"I mean, that's it. You know, we've got the best generation of players we've had. And there's more coming, you can see it. (Ismael) Kone just dropped out the sky. Tajon Buchanan just dropped out the sky, Alistair Johnson, like it's coming," he said.

Herdman had led Canada to their first World Cup finals since 1986 and, although it went out at the group stage, he is convinced the team can progress much further when it co-hosts the 2026 tournament with the United States and Mexico.

"We've got to figure this out financially. We've got to get serious about winning a World Cup. When you play at home, you get a chance to win it. You get a chance to get to a quarterfinal, a semifinal, and then get on that roll to win it. And we're not serious," he said. "We brought a World Cup to our country and we're not serious about winning it."

Herdman said that, despite their defeat to the Americans, his team were "close" to the level needed to start winning against elite nations.

"So we've got to get real. We've got to get real and quick, because these players, they deserve it. They deserve a shot. The country deserves it. All the people that work to bring it deserve a shot. Let's get after it. We're close," he said.

The former Canada women's team boss, Herdman said he needed to get his squad together for an extended spell in the September international window.

"I think the big step when I get back to work is to say 'we've got to have that September window,' we know we need to work. Whether we've got the resources to do it, I'm not sure," he said.

The next test for Canada is in the CONCACAF Gold Cup later this month in which Herdman is expected to give opportunities to some back-up and youth players.


© Agence France-Presse

2 comments about "John Herdman: Canada Soccer is 'not serious' about World Cup".
  1. humble 1, June 21, 2023 at 12:31 p.m.

    Wondered what happened.  This kinda explains it.  Not easy growing a soccer federation.  Many of them in South America - they live hand to mouth - off the fumes of participant passion.  Coming here to USA for friendlies, they can do very well the South Americans - some of them - especially in Florida and New York.  The trouble for Canada is - still - bit of a hockey country.  Just not the draw on TV or Stadiums.  Maybe they need to find some angels in Industry and the wealthy classes like USA did in the beginning.  Some work to do for sure.  Sustaining their rise is important for us to continue growing.  We need strong rivals in CONCACAF.  C'mon!  

  2. R2 Dad, June 21, 2023 at 7:54 p.m.

    Comments from a coach who might get bounced for saying those sorts of things. Canada is a big country with a relatively small population. Once of my favorite coaches--french-speaking--went to Canada because it's much easier to get a work permit/green card. They are getting quality coaches as a result, as well as immigrants from traditional football nations. Canada is improving and will continue to do so. It's just a pity they don't have more grass fields for their national teams to play on.

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