Just under a week before the Canadian men’s national team returns to World Cup qualifying action, the OneSoccer Today crew returned to fully preview what will be a vital international window for Les Rouges.
The usual panel of Andi Petrillo, Oliver Platt, and Gareth Wheeler sat down to ponder how John Herdman might juggle his squad, with matches against Aruba (June 5) and Suriname (June 8) coming in quick succession, with a possible two-legged tie against Haiti or Nicaragua coming the week after — all of which will be broadcast on OneSoccer’s platform.
“The way that I would approach things, I have no idea if Herdman’s thinking the same way, I really play a group of players (against Aruba) I don’t plan on being in my starting 11 or in that core group of players I’m gonna need against Suriname, or against Haiti or Nicaragua,” Wheeler suggested.
They went on to discuss how much the absence of Atiba Hutchinson’s experience and leadership might impact Canada, and speculated how Herdman might line up his midfield with the likes of Stephen Eustaquio, Mark-Anthony Kaye, and Samuel Piette, as well as what omissions from the main squad might have been a surprise.
Finally, they took an in-depth look at Canada’s possible Group B decider against Suriname, and how big a test it could be given the opponent’s recent heavy recruitment and overall improvement.
“It’s gonna be a difficult match, but guys playing in Israel, guys playing for ordinary Dutch clubs, I’m not going to say it frightens me either,” said Platt. “If you want to qualify for a World Cup, you have to be beating these teams. If we want to talk about the next round and playing against the USA and Mexico, all of that’s irrelevant if you can’t beat Suriname, so you have to expect Canada to start putting these teams away on a regular basis.”
The OneSoccer crew wrapped up with a broader perspective on what this upcoming summer will mean for the Canadian national team, who will be back in action this coming Saturday, June 5 at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT), live on OneSoccer.