John Herdman, Canada - yelling

Canada vs. New Zealand
International Friendly
Pinatar Arena
– Murcia, Spain
Saturday, March 24 – 11:00 am ET
WATCH: CanadaSoccer.com


The next phase for the Canadian national team kicks off Saturday at Pinatar Arena, where the John Herdman era begins when Les Rouges face New Zealand in an international friendly.


Herdman made the unique move from the head of a hugely successful women’s program to coach a men’s team that showed positive signs — Canada reached the Concacaf Gold Cup quarterfinals for the first time since 2009 — under former coach Octavio Zambrano, who was let go in January after less than a year on the job.


This importance of this match is clear: It is a chance for Herdman’s vision and plan to be put into action for the first time, an opportunity for this team to make a good first impression.


“We need an absolute purpose for playing, a clear purpose for playing,” said Herdman, who coached the New Zealand women’s national team from 2006-11. “That to me is the foundation behind it all. What these men are prepared to do with that jersey, they’re custodians of that shirt for a period of time, and what are they prepared to leave behind when they put that shirt down.”


Canada Outlook


How will Canada look? Who will start? What’s the preferred formation? All that is unknown at the moment. As for the squad, Herdman has brought in 10 MLS players as part of a squad of regular national team contributors like Toronto FC forward Tosaint Ricketts, LAFC defender Dejan Jakovic and midfielder Atiba Hutchinson, who plays for Beşiktaş in Turkey with former Orlando City SC forward Cyle Larin, who's also part of Herdman’s first 23-man roster.


There are also four players who are seeking their first cap, including 18-year-old Liam Millar from Liverpool’s U-18 side.

Noticeably absent is Vancouver Whitecaps FC phenom Alphonso Davies, who was named to the Gold Cup’s Best XI last summer, and Cardiff City winger Junior Hoilett. Herdman told the Canadian Press those decisions were made after discussions with their clubs and both will be part of his program going forward.


While TFC, who have four players on the roster, and the Montreal Impact, with three players, have byes this week, Vancouver is home vs. the LA Galaxy. Davies, 17, has started all three games for Whitecaps FC, and has one goal and one assist on the season.


New Zealand Outlook


The coach who led New Zealand to the brink of qualifying for this summer’s World Cup, only for the All Whites to fall to Peru in an intercontinental playoff, is now leading the Colorado Rapids. Replacing Anthony Hudson at the helm for New Zealand is Fritz Schmid, who spent the last three years as Malaysia’s technical director. He was hired late last month.


Like Canada, the focus is on the next World Cup cycle for New Zealand and Schmid has called in a relatively young and inexperienced team with nine players looking to make their debuts. Among the veterans in the 23-man roster is Minnesota United FC central defender Michael Boxall, who has made 31 appearances.

The most capped player is Michael McGlinchey with 52. The 32-year-old is one of five players from Wellington Phoenix in Australia’s A-League.


The Rapids trio of Tommy Smith, Kip Colvey and Deklan Wynne are part of an established group absent from this call-up. The Rapids are home for Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.


“We know what all of those players can offer the national team,” Schmid told the New Zealand Herald. “They are not selected for this window, but they all know that they are on my watch list and that they will be offered an opportunity to prove their value in due time.”


History


Canada have a 2-0-0 record against New Zealand, with both victories coming on the All Whites’ Canadian tour in 1980. Canada won 4-0 on Sept. 15, 1980 in Vancouver and 3-0 in Edmonton two days later.


Players to Watch


Canada — Jonathan Osorio. The 25-year-old already has two goals in 19 appearances for Canada and is off to a flying start with Toronto FC, scoring a sensational backheel goal that lifted the defending MLS Cup champions to a 2-1 win over Tigres UANL in the opening leg of the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals.


New Zealand — Michael Boxall. A regular in Adrian Heath’s starting XI at Minnesota United FC since he arrived midway through the 2017 season from SuperSport United in South Africa, Boxall has partnered with Costa Rican international Francisco Calvo on a backline that has conceded just once in its first three games after leaking a league-high 70 goals in its expansion year.


The other MLS player on the All Whites roster is young Vancouver Whitecaps FC forward Myer Bevan, who scored his first international goal in just his second appearance, a second-leg World Cup qualifying series against the Solomon Islands. 


Canada Roster

Pos.
Player
Club
Caps/Goals
GK
Milan Borjan
Red Star Belgrade
37/0
GK
Jayson Leutwiler
Blackburn Rovers
3/0
GK
Simon Thomas
FK Bodo/Glimt
8/0
D
Sam Adekugbe
Valerenga Fotball
6/0
D
Derek Cornelius
FK Javor Ivanjica
0/0
D
David Edgar 
Unattached 
41/4
D
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/players/dejan-jakovic">Dejan Jakovic</a>
LAFC
40/1
D
Manjrekar James&nbsp;
Vasas Budapest
14/2
D
Marcus Godinho
Hearts
0/0
D
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/players/ashtone-morgan">Ashtone Morgan</a>
Toronto FC
13/0
D
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/players/michael-petrasso">Michael Petrasso</a>
Montreal Impact
8/0
M
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/players/tesho-akindele">Tesho Akindele</a>
FC Dallas
13/2
M
Jay Chapman
Toronto FC
2/1
M
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/players/raheem-edwards">Raheem Edwards</a>
Montreal Impact
3/0
M
Atiba Hutchinson
Besiktas
78/6
M
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/players/mark-anthony-kaye">Mark Anthony Kaye</a>
LAFC
5/0
M
Liam Millar&nbsp;
Liverpool
0/0
M
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/players/jonathan-osorio">Jonathan Osorio</a>
Toronto FC
19/2
M
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/players/samuel-piette">Samuel Piette</a>
Montreal Impact
37/0
M
David Wotherspoon
St. Johnstone
0/0
F
Clye Larin
Besiktas
23/5
F
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/players/tosaint-ricketts">Tosaint Ricketts</a>
Toronto FC
57/15
F
Kris Twardek
Millwall
1/0

New Zealand Roster


Pos.

PlayerClubCaps/Goals
GKMax CrocombeSalford City0/0
GKNik TzanevAFC Wimbledon0/0
GKMichael WoudSunderland0/0
DSam BrothertonSunderland9/0
DMichael BoxallMinnesota United FC31/0
DNikko Boxall Viborg 0/0
DTom DoyleWellington Phoenix8/0
DDane Ingram Brisbane Roar5/0
DAdam Mitchell Bolton Wanderers 0/0
DStorm RouxCentral Coast Marines9/0
DThemis TzimopoulosPAS Giannina14/1
MCam HowiesonAuckland City 9/0
MNiko KirwanAC Mestre0/0
MClayton LewisScunthorpe United13/0
MMichael McGlincheyWellington Phoenix52/5
MTim PayneEastern Suburbs14/2
MMatt Ridenton Wellington Phoenix3/0
MAlex RuferWellington Phoenix4/0
MSarpreet SinghWellington Phoenix0/0
MRyan ThomasPEC Zwolle18/3
FMyer BevanVancouver Whitecaps FC2/1
FJeremy BrockieMamelodi Sundowns50/1
FAndre De JongHakoah0/0
FMarco RojasSC Heerenveen40/5