Canada Soccer is coming home for the first time in what seems like an eternity.
The national men’s soccer team announced Monday that for the first time since the start of the global pandemic, the squad would start play at home in Toronto with hopes of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
This September, Canada will play both Honduras (Sept. 2) and El Salvador (Sept. 8) at BMO Field in Toronto as part of the Concacaf Final Round of qualifiers.
Canada has not played at home since Oct. 15, 2019, when it defeated the U.S. 2-0 in CONCACAF Nations League play. It has played 15 matches on the road since, including 11 this year.
“We really want to sing that anthem at home in Canada with our fans, there’s no better sound in sport,” said John Herdman, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team Head Coach.
“We’ve shown in recent times that we are ready to have a real push for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. With the fans behind us at home, it will bring us to another level.”
Canada Soccer says all matches will be held in the country subject to Government of Canada authorization with fans permitted pending “relevant public health approvals from the City of Toronto and Province of Ontario.”
Ticket information will be shared within the coming days.
The 70th-ranked Canadian men will play 14 matches through March 2022 in the so-called Octagonal, with home-and-away dates with No. 11 Mexico, the 20th-ranked U.S., No. 45 Jamaica, No. 50 Costa Rica, No. 67 Honduras, No. 69 El Salvador and No. 78 Panama.
The top three finishers will book their ticket to Qatar in 2022 while the fourth-place team takes part in an intercontinental playoff in June 2022 to see who joins them.
Canada’s women won Olympic gold in the final by beating Sweden 3-2 on penalties at the 2020 Tokyo games. The match was tied 1-1 after extra time. Julia Grosso scored the winner on the spot.
Olympic Medals Update
At the end of August 9, Canada had a total of 24 medals, including 7 gold, 6 silver, 11 bronze, ranked 11.
Topping the standings is the United States, with a total of 113 medals, including 39 gold, 41 silver, and 33 bronze. Next is China with 88 medals, 38 gold, 32 silver, 18 bronze.
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