‘To be part of that is amazing’: CanMNT’s Mauro Biello reacts to Copa América qualification, win over Trinidad and Tobago

After a 2-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago in Frisco, Texas on Saturday afternoon, the Canadian men’s national team has qualified for the 2024 Copa América.

Les Rouges will open the Copa América group stage against Lionel Messi and World Cup champions Argentina in Atlanta on June 20, before taking on Peru in Kansas City on June 25 and Chile in Orlando on June 29. Should they finish in the top two in Group A, they’d move onto the quarter-finals in either Houston or Arlington, Texas a few days later.

Following Saturday’s win, interim Canada head coach Mauro Biello spoke to the media.

On the prestige of Copa América and importance of qualifying:

“Outside of the, the World Cup, it’s a very prestigious tournament, Copa America. We’re going to really feel the passion of this type of tournament, and what it brings and what it means for those countries. To be part of that is amazing for soccer people, it’s amazing to live those types of feelings and emotions and play in those types of games. We have the chance to play against the world champions, it’s a dream.”


On the importance of Copa América for 2026 World Cup preparation:

“We have the opportunity to play some of these high-end teams and really allow the players to gain that experience. We saw some of the young guys coming in and getting important minutes. That is part of the things that we wanted to achieve, to give debuts to players that will be eventually ready in 2026.”


On the challenge Trinidad and Tobago posed:

“I’m super happy for the win and to be able to qualify. We knew it was going to be a difficult game, we knew the type of game this was going to be. [Trinidad and Tobago is] a team that’s very physical, closes spaces, doesn’t give you much sitting in a low block and trying to hit us with the counter. I think what I was most proud of was the players, their mentality, because it’s easy to get frustrated in games like this.”


On the mood in the dressing room at half-time:

“We’ve been talking about this all week, the type of game we were going to face, but the spirit in the dressing room at the half was super cool. Guys were calm, and they knew that we’re in control of the game, and it’s just to stay on task, a couple of little adjustments in terms of making harder runs into the box, to be able to move in, allow them to follow us into the box and open up all the spaces. Those are sort of the things that we talked about, but stay patient and keep playing.”


On what Copa América means to the fans:

“I’m super happy for for all our fans, I think that’s the first and foremost. What this means to all our fans is huge to be able to be in a Copa America, to play against the world champions. I think this is what all soccer fans, the sports fans in this country, want to see, and I’m super happy.”


On enjoying the moment:

“Right now you want to enjoy the moment. It was a tough loss against Jamaica, a tough few months there, but I think there was a lot of work done behind-the-scenes to prepare this team, and now I want to savour this victory.”