The Canada men's national team is back in Concacaf World Cup Qualifying, as head coach John Herdman's group looks to become the first Les Rouges team to qualify for the FIFA World Cup since 1986.
As it stands, Canada are third on the Octagonal table with 10 points from six matches, two points clear of fourth-place Panama for one of the automatic Qatar 2022 spots that the top-three finishers receive. To strengthen their hold, they'll need a result against Costa Rica when the sides meet at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium on Friday.
Here's everything you need to know ahead of the matchup.
- Friday, November 12 (9:05 pm ET)
- Commonwealth Stadium | Edmonton, Alberta
How to watch and stream
- Paramount+, OneSoccer
Canada enter with momentum after securing a 4-1 rout of Panama at BMO Field last time out. With that win, Canada remained undefeated in Octagonal play with two wins and four draws, joining Mexico as the only other country yet to suffer defeat this cycle. The usual suspects were involved, with Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies scoring a scintillating golazo and New England Revolution standout Tajon Buchanan and Lille forward Jonathan David also finding the scoresheet as part of the onslaught.
That leaves Les Rouges feeling pretty good, but three points here against Costa Rica are just as crucial. Canada have a largely clean bill of health, with no reported injuries or suspensions heading into the match, meaning Herdman should be able to field a full-strength XI.
Herdman will also have a new attacking option at his disposal in former Chelsea and current Genk striker Ike Ugbo, who committed his international future to Canada last week and could make his debut on Friday. Adding to Canada's confidence, they're unbeaten in their last 21 home matches across all competitions.
Los Ticos have the makings of a desperate opponent, holding the No. 5 spot on the Octagonal table with six points from their six matches. That means they'll need to go all-out for the upset to get themselves back in the mix for Qatar 2022. In terms of MLS representation, former Chicago Fire FC defender Francisco Calvo, FC Cincinnati midfielder Allan Cruz and Nashville SC midfielder Randall Leal all feature on manager Luis Fernando Suarez's 24-man roster.
FCC's Ronald Matarrita, however, has since been ruled out of the game, alongside captain and PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas and defender Cristian Gamboa.