Contrary to the majority of other national teams, Canada planned to play three friendlies on January. The opportunity for the head coach John Herdman to test several youngsters seen at the Maurice Revello Tournament 2018.
Quarter-finalists of the Gold Cup, second of their Nations League group level on points with United States, first win in 34 years against the American rivals : Canada enjoyed an encouraging 2019 year.
What next in 2020 ? In any case, this new year starts differently with a set of friendlies. While the most part of other national teams will wait until March to play again, Canada decided to play three games on January : a double encounter against Barbados and a fixture against Iceland.
“Outside of the FIFA window, it is a difficult period to assemble players due to club and off-season commitments, but this gives us the opportunity to introduce young players who we have monitored throughout 2019 and have continued to impress at the club or international level”, explained the head coach John Herdman to the Canada Soccer official website.
Several youngsters who played the Maurice Revello Tournament 2018 benefit from this policy : the goalkeeper James Pantemis (Impact de Montréal), the midfielders Noble Okello (Toronto), Shamit Shome (Impact de Montréal) and the striker Theo Bair (Vancouver Whitecaps).
Okello, Shome and Bair have already made their international debut on Wednesday during the 4-1 win over Barbados. All of them came off the bench and played at least 20 minutes for their international debut. Bair has even scored his first goal with the senior national team as he found the net after 77 minutes.
Recognized for his ability to introduce young players to the senior team, the head coach John Herdman has justified once again his reputation through this game. The opportunity for him to see which players are able to strengthen the team while the World Cup 2022 qualifiers will start on August in the CONCACAF zone.
Crédits photo : Canada Soccer