Canada to play next World Cup Qualifiers in Florida and Illnois

Canada Soccer announced on Monday afternoon where the Canadian men’s national team will play their next two World Cup Qualifying matches. Set to face Aruba and Suriname in the June international window, Canada will play the two countries in Bradenton, Florida and Bridgeview, Illinois, respectively.

The game against Aruba, to be played at IMG Academy, is technically an “away” game, but will be played at the facility where Canada comfortably beat Cayman Islands 11-0 at the end of March. The Suriname game is a “home” game, but will be played at SeatGeek Stadium, home of Chicago Red Stars of the NWSL, and formerly of the Chicago Fire of MLS.

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These games are being played at neutral sites due to travel restrictions brought about by COVID-19, as was the case in the last international window in March. Canada played their home game in that window at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, and the away game at IMG Academy.

“We had hoped to play these matches at home with Canadian fans providing the support and momentum to play a tough nation like Suriname in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers,” said John Herdman, Canada’s head coach, in a press release. “The reality of the global pandemic and the priority to keep our communities in Canada safe means the match will be played at a neutral site in Chicago with no home advantage, but we will embrace that challenge.

“Whatever comes at us, we will take it on and do whatever we need to do to advance to the next round.”

Canada currently sit at the top of Group B in Concacaf World Cup Qualifying, with two wins from two matches and a +15 goal differential. Suriname are in second, having also won their two matches with a +9 goal differential. Aruba are back in fourth, and are already eliminated from reaching the next round, with two losses, including a 6-0 defeat to Suriname on March 27th.

The matches will be available to watch in Canada on OneSoccer.