Count Canadian national team head coach John Herdman among those who is already plenty hyped for the upcoming international clash between Canada and the U.S. men's national team in Concacaf Nations League play.
Speaking to reporters after Canada's 1-0 CNL A victory over Cuba at Truman Bodden Sports Complex in the Cayman Islands on Tuesday, Herdman didn't mince words when asked about the looming clashes with the USMNT, which will kick off on Oct. 15 at BMO Field in Toronto, with the second fixture at a yet-to-be-announced Stateside venue on Nov. 15.
John Herdman on USA game Oct 15th: “For us its a cup final. This is the game we have been waiting for, for 10-15 years. We want their best. We want the challenge. We want Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David tested at that level. Its our house and we have to make sure they feel that.”— Kristian Jack (@KristianJack) September 11, 2019
Canada will have their work cut out for them if they're to make good on those words. The USMNT have gone unbeaten in 17 consecutive matches against their northern neighbors since 1985, and sport a 16-9-10 record in the matchup overall.
But Herdman's bullishness might not be entirely unfounded. Canada are still ranked just No. 78 in the world, but have improved the quality of talent on the roster and are likely feeling themselves after triumphing in their series against Cuba by a 7-0 scoreline over their two games. They also have a potential X-factor in Davies, who netted his team's only goal on Tuesday and is known to MLS fans as the former Homegrown phenom from the Vancouver Whitecaps that was eventually sold to Bundesliga powerhouse Bayern Munich.
Time will tell how Herman's motivational words will play out, but at this point one thing does seem certain: That Oct. 15 opener at BMO will be electric.