TORONTO – While Toronto FC and Canada midfielder Terry Dunfield has been doing his best to keep a brave face throughout what has been a season to forget at the club level, it’s all getting very exciting for him on the national team front.
Canada have control of their own fate with two games to play in the semifinal round, a marked improvement over the last three attempts. And Dunfield is fully aware of what two positive results over the next week – on Friday against Cuba at BMO Field (7:30 pm ET, Sportsnet One) and at Honduras on Oct. 16 – would mean.
“I’d be lying if [I said] my mind hasn’t drifted away at night thinking about it,” Dunfield said before linking up with the national team north of Toronto. “Going in needing three points against Cuba and hopefully getting the job done, and then we’ll take it from there.”
After a promising career went off the rails while playing in Europe, Dunfield has been a regular inclusion in the Canadian squad ever since he earned his first cap at age 28 against Venezuela in 2010. Now 30, this is likely Dunfield’s last, best chance as a squad member in a World Cup qualifying run. He’s fully aware of just what the opportunity means.
“Personally for me and the rest of the country, it’s a massive 10 days coming up,” said Dunfield. “It’s important going into camp with good form and the same goes for everyone else in the squad.”
Dunfield is one of a number of players who could be getting their last shot at reaching a World Cup. Veterans like Dwayne De Rosario, Kevin McKenna and Ante Jazic are all likely in their last go-round, which makes the pressure even greater – especially since attacking talisman De Rosario is out with an injury.
“Everyone in the back of their mind knows there’s a huge job on hand on Friday night,” Dunfield said. “It’s now time for the talking to stop and for us to go out there and produce.”