Canada qualifies for first Copa America in its history

Mar 28, 2024 | Sports

Canada Soccer made history again as the men qualified for their first Copa America in history.

The Copa America will be held in the United States this summer and Canadian fans are excited for what is to come for this young and exciting team.

“It is nice to see Canada qualify for the Copa America because it shows that Canada is headed in the right direction,” Humber Hawks midfielder Santino De Bartolo said.

Canada beat Trinidad 2-0 on Saturday to qualify but it was not an easy task, it was a very tight game which took 61 minutes to break the 0-0 deadlock.

Second-half goals by Cyle Larin and Jacob Shaffelburg earned Canada the win and a trip to the world’s oldest continental competition still running as one of six CONCACAF guest teams.

Canada will be taking on Argentina in their first match kicking off the tournament on June 20 at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the game against Argentina. Obviously, they will have a lot more quality and experience, but Canada can make it competitive if they play the right system and stay organized,” Humber Hawks defender Ryan Lindsay said.

After the game against Trinidad, head coach Mauro Biello spoke to the press about how happy he is for all Canadian soccer fans after granting them the chance to see their team play on the big stage.

“To be able to be in the Copa America, to play against the world champions. This is what soccer fans in this country want to see.” Biello said.

Canada will play Argentina, Chile, and Peru in Group A, tough competition to say the least.

“It will be interesting to see how we compare against South American competition. I think Canada will struggle to make it out of their group,” Lindsay said.

Mauro Biello took over as interim coach after head coach John Herdman left the team in October to take charge of Toronto FC.

Herdman made history in 2022 when he led the men’s national team to its first FIFA World Cup qualification since 1986.

Before that, he was head coach of the Canadian women’s national team, where he helped them win historic back-to-back bronze medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

Herdman had such a positive influence on Canadian Soccer and the development of both the men’s and women’s and because of this, there are big shoes to fill.

“The program is now in transition and must ensure it can build on the success it has experienced as of late,” Humber Hawks head coach Michael Aquino said. “We have an excellent group with a lot of experience.”

Biello has had his own unique experiences in the MLS and brings his very own coaching style to this group of players.

Before becoming head coach for the Canadian national team, Biello coached for the Montreal Impact from 2015-2017 and was the assistant coach for the Canadian national team from 2018-2023, he brings a lot of experience with him.

“Biello brings familiarity and consistency with this program and can likely blend Herdman’s past development with his new ideas,” Aquino said.

Soccer Canada is yet to hire a new full-time head coach and it is unclear when one will be found or if they will be sticking with Biello.

Many Canadian fans are waiting to make a final judgement on the coaching situation until after the Coppa America.

“I want to give Biello a chance,” De Bartolo said. “If there is a change though, I hope we hire a prominent European coach who is willing to take this team to the next level”

Canada is currently sitting in 50th place in the FIFA rankings just a few points behind Greece.

The Canadians will be hoping for a good tournament in June which can mean making more history for the team as well as a contract renewal for coach Biello.