In what will be its most difficult test in the Concacaf Nations League, Canada takes on the United States in a vital League A Group A match at BMO Field in Toronto Tuesday night.
The Canadians, who lead the group, have a 2-0-0 mark and six points. The Americans (1-0-0, 3) are in second place after winning their opening match against Cuba, 7-0, in Washington, D.C. Friday night.
“Our boys are ready to leave it all out there. It’s a game that means a lot to us,” Canada men’s head coach John Herdman said.
Canada will wrap up its four-match schedule with the return leg against the USA on Friday, Nov. 15. The Americans will play away against Cuba to complete their four-match schedule Nov. 19.
This match marks the first time that Canada will host USA in a competitive match on home soil since 1997. The two sides have since faced each other four times in the Concacaf Gold Cup including the 2007 semifinals. In 2012 and 2013, the two sides played to 0:0 draws in each nation’s respective Centennial match.
“It’s a great opportunity for the fans to unite around this team and a big moment for the team to test themselves against one of the best in Concacaf,” Herdman said. “We know the quality of the USA and the history of results in the last two decades, but with the fans behind us we can work together to change that narrative in October and November.”
The Nations League is a new multi-tier competition for every national association in the confederation, featuring promotion and relegation across Leagues A, B and C. The 12 nations in League A are divided into four groups and play four matches each, after which the group winner advances to the competition’s semifinals and the third-place nation gets relegated to League B.
The competition also serves as the qualification route for the Concacaf Gold Cup, with Canada the first nation to officially book their spot to the 2021 edition. After Cuba’s Friday night loss, Canada also ensured it will remain among the top-12 nations in the next edition of Concacaf Nations League.
“Normally, playing an old rival like the USA is enough to get the juices flowing, but there’s a lot more to play for in this match with Concacaf Nations League Group A positioning and FIFA ranking points on the line,” Herdman said. “If there’s going to be an upset in this match, the Canadian fans will play a big part as they always do at home.”