Canada's Julian de Guzman aims to "set the bar high for the young guys" as he breaks all-time caps record

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – Knowing full well how many difficulties Canada have had in Central America, captain Julian de Guzman is satisfied with Tuesday's scoreless draw vs. El Salvador and can allow a small celebration for a record-setting performance.

With his 85th appearance, De Guzman moved ahead of Paul Stalteri and into first place for all-time appearances for Canada, and he was one of the standout performers on Tuesday night as Les Rouges picked up a road point.

“I definitely would have loved the three points, but the one point is still good and I can still celebrate in a nice way,” de Guzman said.

“I definitely want to continue playing for my country for at least another year, and push the caps to 90 or 100. But the goal is to set the bar high for the young guys to break. And if they do, it shows that Canada is taking steps forward by achieving something and getting steps forward onto the big stage.”

As his career enters its autumn years, de Guzman has accepted the mantle of leadership well. Younger players often turn to him for career advice, something he readily gives.

Never one to turn down a call for the national team, de Guzman has continued to play as Canada underwent a sometimes painful rebuilding process after the disastrous 2014 qualifying cycle, and now are starting to see success.

He sees younger players learning from these sorts of environments and feels Canada are on their way to being a very tough team to beat on the road. But with trips to Mexico and Honduras still to come, things are only going to get more difficult.

“It’s something we have to continue to improve on, because it’s going to be tougher in places like Mexico and Honduras,” said de Guzman. “For a lot of these guys, this is new for them. They’ve never experienced like this before and it’s definitely an eye-opener.”