Nevermind the 2010s, the 2020s are going to be a massive decade for the Canadian men’s national team.
It all starts this January when Les Rouges host Iceland in a New Year international friendly.
There are two World Cups set for the 2020s: 2022 and 2026. Canada is, of course, guaranteed to feature in the latter as one of three hosts alongside the U.S. and Mexico. Their chances to qualify for 2022, their first since 1986, seem at an all-time high due to a crop of top-rated talent.
What will the likes of Jonathan David, Milan Borjan, Junior Hoilett, and Alphonso Davies accomplish in the next decade? Better yet, what will the national team archive?
No one knows for certain. But here are a few forecasts.
Jonathan David takes goalscoring record by 2022
He’s already halfway there.
Jonathan David’s 11-goal total for Canada is one hell of a start for a teenager only two years into his national team career. This prediction is a simple one: David will replicate this start over the next two seasons, eventually putting him above Dwyane De Rosario as Canada’s all-time leading scorer.
The Gent product will have 2022 World Cup qualifying and the 2021 Gold Cup to add to this tally before Canada starts another Nations League campaign – lots of matches against lesser opposition.
This decade is about to belong to Jonathan David.
More big wins over big opposition
Canada ended 2019 on a sour note against the U.S., somewhat tainting the historic win over the Americans earlier in the Fall. Still, that 2-0 victory will run long in the memory as the best result over Canada’s 2010s.
What’s next? Well, repeat it. John Herdman will need to earn similar upsets if he and his group are to reach further heights. With success comes expectation. Now, which big win will be next? Honduras away would be a nice treat… well, band-aid. A win over Mexico might be a stretch, but you never know.
There will be more of these big wins if Canada is improving as expected.
Samuel Piette becomes the all-time appearances leader
Another case of a current player set to make his mark on Canada’s record books. Samuel Piette is poised to be the next Canadian all-time leader in caps (something Football Manager 20 predicted, by the way), a record currently kept by Julian de Guzman (89).
With 46 caps, the 25-year-old has slowly-but-surely asserted his spot in Canada’s best XI just as he hits his prime years, which are set to come in the 2020s.
Atiba Hutchinson plays (at least) one more time for Canada
Arguably Canada’s greatest-ever player enters this decade with his national team future in question. Hutchinson enjoyed several pseudo-goodbyes in 2019 as a 36-year-old, whether it be in Vancouver in CONCACAF Nations League or the summer’s Gold Cup where he slotted in at centreback.
Clearly Canada supporters need to wave goodbye to Hutchinson, who continues a historic run with Besktikas, but will they be able to do it after a match?
Hutchinson has done too much for the national team not to receive that final bow, whether it be a testimonial match or a final friendly on home soil.
2026 World Cup will change soccer in Canada forever
*pulls out a tissue, dabs around eyes*
We’re only six years away from Canada hosting, and playing, in a World Cup. When the 2026 World Cup comes, who knows what will follow. All we can predict is a seismic shift.
What we know from Canadian soccer – 2010s all the way back through the 1900s – could be completely different by the later parts of this decade. Massive crowds on bright summer days across the country, Canada coming up against the world’s best in a tournament they’ve waited decades to play in, Canadians watching every moment.
Those moments will be special, as will the Canadian soccer transformation after. Change might be scary to some, but this will be good, trust me.