Canada, after their historic trip to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, return to action Saturday evening when visiting the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao for a Concacaf Nations League A (Group C) fixture where they've heavy favorites.
How to watch and stream
- TV: OneSoccer, Optik TV
- Streaming: Paramount+, OneSoccer.ca, fuboTV
- Saturday, March 25 | 9 pm ET/6 pm PT
- Stadion Ergilio Hato | Willemstad, Curaçao
In addition to Saturday's encounter, the CanMNT will also host Honduras on March 28 (8 pm ET | OneSoccer) at BMO Field, home of Toronto FC, during this March international window.
Some crucial berths are on the line for head coach John Herdman's squad. They will advance to June’s Nations League semifinals if they top the group, and the two top teams in each League A group qualify for the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup.
Canada were kings of Concacaf during the 2022 cycle, pacing Octagonal qualifiers and reaching their first men's World Cup in 36 years. There's less stress in the buildup to North America 2026, though, as Les Rouges will auto-qualify as co-hosts.
While a World Cup on home soil is more than three years away, Canada recognize every opportunity to build on their forward momentum is precious. Qualifying for this summer's Nations League semifinals (held in June) and Gold Cup (held in July) are must-dos for where this program is heading.
The good news is Canada have already made quick work of Curaçao, beating them 4-0 nearly 10 months ago in the Nations League. Bayern Munich superstar Alphonso Davies, on his return to Vancouver Whitecaps FC's BC Place, scored a brace in that clash.
Davies is back, as is Ligue 1 Golden Boot contender Jonathan David (Lille) and other mainstays like FC Porto midfielder Stephen Eustáquio and Red Star Belgrade goalkeeper Milan Borjan. Herdman's roster includes six MLS players, plus CF Montréal exports Alistair Johnston (Celtic) and Ismaël Koné (Watford) after rapid acclimations to their new European clubs.
Expectations are high for Canada in this competition, building off some strong performances at the 2022 World Cup despite finishing bottom of Group F – a mix that included semifinalists in Morocco and Croatia.
Curaçao, after a 2-1 win at Honduras last June, have a path towards reaching the Concacaf Nations League semifinals this summer. But they must beat Canada to accomplish that and hope Canada lose (or draw) their rubber match at home vs. Honduras, so results need to fall Curaçao's way as well.
Given that outlook, and the level of opponent that awaits, the odds aren't quite in Curaçao's favor. They also might need a preliminary qualifying tournament to reach the Gold Cup for the third time, so the pressure's on head coach Remko Bicentini's to get a big result at home.
To get there, Curaçao will likely need a monster performance from Columbus Crew goalkeeper Eloy Room and from veteran mainstays like Watford midfielder Leandro Bacuna and NAC Breda defender Cuco Martina.
Curaçao, not too far removed from their quarterfinal appearance at the 2019 Gold Cup, will like their chances at an upset. They're ranked No. 86 in the world by FIFA.