International team stub
|Nickname(s)||The Canucks, Les Rouges (The Reds)|
|Association||Canadian Soccer Association|
|Confederation||NAFU (North America), CONCACAF|
|Head coach||Stephen Hart|
|Most caps||Paul Stalteri (84)|
|Top scorer||Dale Mitchell, Dwayne De Rosario (19)|
|Ground||BMO Field, Toronto, Canada|
|Highest FIFA ranking||40 (December 1996)|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||105 (July 2011)|
|Highest Elo ranking||3 (November 1885)|
|Lowest Elo ranking||92 (May 1979)|
|First international|| Unofficial:|
Canada 1–0 United States
(Newark, United States; November 28, 1885)
Australia 3–2 Canada
(Brisbane, Australia; June 7, 1924)
|Biggest win|| Unofficial:|
Canada 7–0 United States
(St. Louis, United States; November 16, 1904)
Canada 7–0 Saint Lucia
(Gros Islet, St. Lucia; October 7, 2011)
|Biggest defeat|| Mexico 8–0 Canada |
(Mexico City, Mexico; June 18, 1993)
|World Cup appearances||1 (First in 1986)|
|Best result||Round 1, 1986|
| CONCACAF Championship &|
Gold Cup appearances
|12 (First in 1977)|
|Best result||Champions; 1985, 2000|
The Canada men's national soccer team represents Canada in international soccer competitions at the senior men's level. They are overseen by the Canadian Soccer Association and compete in the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).
Their most significant achievements are winning the 1985 CONCACAF Championship to qualify for the 1986 FIFA World Cup and winning the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup to qualify for the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup. Canada also won a gold medal in the 1904 Summer Olympics.
Soccer was being played in Canada with the Dominion Football Association (1877) and Western Football Association (1880) acting as precursors to the modern-day Canadian Soccer Association. In 1885, the WFA sent a representative team to New Jersey to take on a side put forth by the American Football Association, the then-unofficial governing body of the sport in the United States. In an unofficial friendly, Canada defeated their hosts 1–0 in East Newark, New Jersey. The American team won 3–2 in a return match one year later. In 1888, a team represented the WFA in a tour of the British Isles, earning a record of nine wins, five draws, and nine losses. The squad comprised 16 Canadian-born players with the only exception being tour organizer David Forsyth, who had immigrated to Canada one year after his birth.
In 1904 Galt Football Club represented the WFA at the Olympic Games in St Louis, Missouri. As just one of three teams competing, Galt defeated two American clubs, Christian Brothers College (7–0) and St. Rose (4–0) to win the tournament. The Toronto Mail and Empire of November 18, 1904 reports that "Immediately after the game, the Galt aggregation, numbering about 50 persons, retired to the office of James W. Sullivan, chief of the Department of Physical Culture, where they received their prize. After a short talk by Mr. James E. Conlon of the Physical Culture Department, Mayor Mundy, of the City of Galt, presented each player on the winning team with a beautiful gold medal." The medals are clearly engraved with the name of the company in St. Louis that made them.
In 1905, a British team of touring amateurs nicknamed the "Pilgrims" toured Canada, with their match against Galt billed as the "championship of the world". The match was played in front of almost 4000 fans in Galt, now part of Cambridge, Ontario, and ended in a 3–3 draw. Earlier the Pilgrims had been beaten 2–1 by Berlin Rangers, in the city now known as Kitchener.
The Canadian national team toured Australia in 1924, playing a series of "test" friendlies against their hosts, including their first official match, a 3–2 friendly defeat to the Australian national football team in Brisbane on June 7, 1924. In 1925, Canada played their old rivals, the United States, in Montreal, winning 1–0 on Ed McLaine's goal. In a return match in November 1925 in Brooklyn, New York, Canada was defeated 1–5. One year later, Canada lost 2–6 to the Americans in the same city before playing four internationals in a 1927 tour of New Zealand.
1957 to 1986
Following the lead of British football associations, Canada withdrew from FIFA in 1928 over a dispute regarding broken time payments to amateur players. They rejoined the confederation in 1946 and took part in World Cup qualifying in the North American Football Confederation (NAFC) (a precursor to CONCACAF) for the first time in 1957, the first time they had played as a national team in 30 years. Under the guidance of head coach Don Petrie, Canada defeated the USA in Toronto 5–1 in their opening game, but lost two games in Mexico (failing to play a home game due to financial reasons) 0–2 and 0–3 before defeating the USA 3–2 in St. Louis. Mexico advanced as group winners, meaning that Canada missed out on the World Cup in 1958 in Sweden.
Canada withdrew from World Cup qualifying for 1962 and did not enter a team for 1966. They did compete in soccer however at the 1967 Pan American Games, their first time to do so in the sixth edition of the games, which they hosted in Winnipeg. Canada finished a respectable fourth place, helped somewhat by defending champion Brazil's absence.
A 0–0 draw away to Bermuda meant the Canadians, under manager Peter Dinsdale, could not advance out of the first round of qualifying for the 1970 World Cup. Dinsdale was replaced by Frank Pike. In their second participation in soccer at the Pan Am games, held in Cali, Canada did well to finish second in their opening round group (to hosts Colombia). In the final group round however, they managed only one win (over Colombia) and finished next to last.
Canada again failed at the first hurdle in qualifying for the 1974 World Cup. Under German manager Eckhard Krautzun, they finished second in a home and away qualifying group for the 1973 CONCACAF Championship (to Mexico). For the 1975 Pan Am Games, Canada, along with most of the larger Pan Am countries, sent their Olympic team, which was amateur (and senior aged), to compete. After narrowing qualifying out of the first round, the Canucks were soundly defeated by Costa Rica, Cuba, and Mexico, conceding a total of 14 goals while scoring none. At the Summer Olympics the following year, under head coach Colin Morris, Canada failed to get out of the first round, losing both of their games. This despite the brilliant play of Jimmy Douglas, who scored a wonder goal against the U.S.S.R. and another goal against North Korea, Canada's only two goals for the tournament.
At the 1977 CONCACAF Championship, with both group winners and runners-up now advancing, Canada, again under head coach Krautzun, qualified as runners-up after defeating the Americans 3–0 in a neutral site one-match play-off, played in Port-au-Prince. In the championship, played in Monterrey and Mexico City, Mexico won all five of their matches with a plus 15 goals difference to win the tournament handily. Canada finished fourth.
Matters were different however at the next CONCACAF championship, in 1981, played in Tegucigalpa. Canada entered the tournament raising eyebrows by winning their qualifying group over Mexico and the States. In tournament play, the Canadians opened strongly with a 1–0 win over El Salvador, with Mike Stojanovic the goal-scorer, and a 1–1 tie against Haiti, with Stojanovic scoring again. They next lost to the hosts Honduras 1–2 and then drew with Mexico 1–1. A win in their final game against Cuba would have put them through to Spain, but they were held to a 2–2 draw, allowing El Salvador to qualify as tournament runners-up.
1981 through 1985 saw Canada develop under the guidance of English manager Tony Waiters. So close in 1981, Waiters would see the Maple Leafs through to their first World Cup finals appearance in 1985. A 1–1 away draw to Guatemala was key in allowing them to eliminate Los Chapines in the first round group. The second round was also closely contested, in part as this Canadian squad was strong defensively but had limited ability to score goals. The Canucks managed to eke out a 1–0 away win over Honduras, thanks to a George Pakos winner, hold Costa Rica scoreless in San José, and then in their final game, one they needed to draw to qualify, beat Los Catrachos a second time, 2–1 in St. John's, Newfoundland, with Pakos and Igor Vrablic the goal scorers. The victory not only secured their first World Cup finals berth, but also the crown of CONCACAF champions for the first time, although Mexico did not compete, having already qualified automatically for the World Cup as hosts.
At the 1986 FIFA World Cup, Canada impressed defensively in their first game, allowing few chances and conceding a late Jean-Pierre Papin goal to lose to France 0–1. They lost their next two matches to both Hungary and the USSR 0–2, however, to finish at the bottom of their group.
Qualification for 1990 lasted all of two matches for Canada, a home-and-away series with Guatemala, played in October 1988. The Central Americans won the first game 1–0 in Guatemala City while Canada prevailed in Vancouver 3–2. Tied on goal difference, Los Chapines advanced on away goal rule.
1990 saw Canada take part in the first North American Nations Cup, hosting the three-team tournament. Mexico and Canada sent their full squads, but the USA sent a 'B' team. Canada won the tournament after a 1–0 win over the United States on May 6 and a 2–1 win over Mexico on May 13. All three Canadian goals were scored by John Catliff, the tournament's top scorer.
Canada came close to qualifying for the World Cup again in 1994 under the guidance of a defender on the 1986 team, Bob Lenarduzzi. They entered the tournament at the second round stage and advanced as group runners-up. Canada competed strongly in the final qualifying round, drawing their first match in Tegucigalpa after a controversial penalty allowed the Hondurans to tie, winning their next two, over El Salvador and Honduras in Vancouver, losing convincingly at Azteca Stadium, and winning 2–1 in San Salvador. They went into their final group match against Mexico, in Toronto, needing a win to win the group and thus qualify directly for the World Cup. Canada went up 1–0 on a goal credited to Alex Bunbury off a corner, but Mexico scored twice in the second half to win, 2–1. The loss meant Canada finished second and advanced to an intercontinental play-off series where they needed to win two rounds to qualify for the USA 94 World Cup. The Reds went up against Oceania Football Confederation's champions Australia. Canada won the first leg 2–1 in Edmonton. Australia led the second leg 2–1 at the end of 90 minutes, sending the tie to extra time. There was no score in the extra 30 minutes, meaning the series was decided by a penalty shootout which Australia won 4–1 to eliminate Canada from contention. Australia went on to lose 2–1 on aggregate to Argentina, who advanced to the World Cup.
With the World Cup to be played in the U.S., Canada had the opportunity to play a number of high-profile squads in tune-up matches. The highlight of this set of matches—played against Morocco, Brazil, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands all within 13 days—was Canada holding eventual World Cup champions Brazil to a 1–1 draw at Commonwealth Stadium, on 69th minute equalizer by Eddy Berdusco, on Canada's only real scoring chance in the game. Also memorable were accusations by Dutch players after their match of the Canadians tackling too aggressively for a friendly.
With three countries set to qualify out of CONCACAF for the 1998 World Cup, and with Canada handily winning their second round group over El Salvador, Panama, and Cuba, expectations were high for a second qualification in 12 years in the spring of 1997. The Canadians, however, fared miserably, losing their opening game to Mexico 0–4 and the following one to the U.S. 0–3. At home in their next two matches to El Salvador and Jamaica they could only manage two 0–0 draws as they finished bottom of the group with 6 points from 10 games and a −15 goal difference. Having overseen two consecutive World Cup campaigns end in the side failing to qualify, Lenarduzzi stepped down in 1997 and was replaced by interim manager Bruce Twamley.
The Canadian Soccer Association turned to another German to lead the senior national team in 1999 with the signing to the post of Holger Osieck. Success came rather quickly with Canada winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup in February 2000. After emerging from the first round on a coin-toss tiebreaker with invited side Republic of Korea, the Canucks scored a quarter-final extra-time upset win over Mexico on Richard Hastings' golden goal. The win set the stage for an unprecedented run to the final, where Canada defeated Colombia 2–0 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. Canada swept the awards ceremony, with goalkeeper Craig Forrest winning MVP honours, Carlo Corazzin securing the Golden Boot and Hastings named Rookie of the Tournament.
Expectations were again high following the winter's result, but the campaign quickly and thoroughly sputtered, as several had done before. A positive 1–0 away result in Havana in June was followed by a listless 0–0 home draw against Cuba. For the semi-final round two out of four teams advanced. The Dwight Yorke-led Trinidad and Tobago showed in their game against Canada, the opening one for both squads, that they were contenders, defeating les Rouges 0–2 in Edmonton. Canada managed just one goal in 6 games while conceding 8 to finish third in the standings, well adrift of advancing sides T&T and Mexico.
Winning the Gold Cup, however, did earn Canada a place in the 2001 Confederations Cup, where the highlight was holding Brazil to a 0–0 draw. The Gold Cup victory also won them an invitation to compete in the Copa América 2001. When security concerns prompted the cancellation of the tournament, Canada disbanded their training camp and Canadian players returned to their club teams. The tournament was then reinstated and held on schedule. The Canadian Soccer Association announced they would not be able to participate in the reinstated tournament.
Canada had another strong showing in the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup, losing to the United States in the semi-finals in penalties, and then defeating South Korea in the third-place game, 2–1. There was a Gold Cup held the following year as so as to hold the event in years between the World Cup and the Olympics, and Canada was eliminated in the first round on goal difference. Head coach Osieck had seen the side progress but was unable to secure the inclusion of Canada's top scorer Tomasz Radzinski into the squad. The manager resigned in September 2003 and former player Colin Miller was put in charge as an interim.
2004 marked the beginning of qualifying for the 2006 World Cup, and a new era under the guidance of former Canadian skipper Frank Yallop. He seemed just the man for the job after seeing the San Jose Earthquakes to two Major League Soccer championships in three years. Things began brightly, with the Canadians dispatching of Belize handily in the Premilinary Round, 8–0 on aggregate, in a home-and-home series. Matters turned, however, just as they had done four years earlier, with Canada finishing bottom in a group featuring Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Honduras. They managed only 5 points from 6 matches and a −4 goal difference.
Hard times continued under Yallop as the Canucks again went out at the first barrier in the Gold Cup, losing to both the U.S. and Costa Rica, while defeating Cuba. The manager stayed on through 2005 into the following summer, overseeing a series a friendlies against European sides. He resigned on June 7, 2006 to become head coach of the Los Angeles Galaxy, finishing with a win-lose record of 8–9–3.
Things turned around under interim coach Stephen Hart's guidance. Canada opened their 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign with a 2–1 win over Costa Rica. A 1–2 upset loss to upstarts Guadeloupe was followed by a convincing 2–0 victory over Haiti, securing Canada first-place in their group. They next beat Guatemala 3–0 in their quarter-final match setting up a semi-final showdown with the host Americans at Soldier Field. Frankie Hejduk scored first in the 39th minute and Landon Donovan added to the American tally, scoring on a penalty. Substitute Iain Hume scored for Canada in the 76th minute. After the United States were reduced to ten men, Canada pressed for the equalizer but were controversially denied when Atiba Hutchinson's stoppage-time goal was incorrectly flagged offside by linesman Ricardo Louisville.
Prior to the Gold Cup, on May 18, 2007, the Canadian Soccer Association announced that former national team player Dale Mitchell would take over as head coach of the senior team after the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Mitchell had previously served as an assistant coach under coach Frank Yallop. Mitchell was head coach of the men's U-20 squad at three Under 20 World Cups. Following the announcement, Canada's U-20's went scoreless in the 2007 U-20 World Cup and were eliminated in first round play.
The team faced criticism for its poor handling of goalkeeper Greg Sutton, who suffered a concussion during a practice in Miami prior to the start of the Gold Cup in May. Without a doctor accompanying the team, Sutton instead saw a local physician who cleared him to practice, resulting in Sutton suffering post-concussion syndrome. Sutton was lost to his professional club Toronto FC for nearly a year. Dale Mitchell then decided not to call up any Canadian players playing in North America for that summer's friendlies. Under Mitchell, Canada drew friendlies with Iceland away and against Costa Rica at home, lost 0–2 to South Africa in Durban, had a 1–0 win over Martinique, and a 0–2 defeat to Estonia in Tallinn. Optimism grew however as Canada played well in a 2–3 loss to Brazil, in a match played at Qwest Field.
Despite defeating Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 7–1 on aggregate in a second round series—they had had a bye in the first—Canada did not play at the level they had showed at the Gold Cup and were eliminated from qualifying for the 2010 World Cup. They conceded an equalizer shortly after scoring the opening goal in a 1–1 draw to Jamaica at BMO Field, conceded two second half goals in quick succession in a 1–2 home loss to Honduras at Saputo Stadium, and then lost away to Mexico and Honduras. They finished last in the four-team group with just 2 points from 6 matches.
On March 27, 2009, head coach Dale Mitchell was fired. The president of the Canadian Soccer Association, Dominic Maestracci, said that "the Canadian Soccer Association is committed to the future of our men’s national team program. We have made this decision to move the program in a new direction." Technical director Stephen Hart was renamed as interim head coach.
On December 9, 2009 Stephen Hart was named as Head Coach. Hart's first competitive action as the full time head coach was a poor showing at the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, not managing to get out of the group stage. However, during the early stages qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, Canada put up a string of good results. They topped their group in the second round and opened the third round with a win in Cuba and a draw against Honduras. These results were some of the best Canada has had in World Cup Qualifying since the 90s.
Soccer-specific stadiums in Canada include BMO Field in Toronto (home to Toronto FC) and Saputo Stadium in Montreal (home to Montreal Impact) and King George V Park in St. John's. Canada played its 2010 World Cup qualification home games at BMO Field, Saputo Stadium, and Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton. Since 2011 Canada has played all home games at BMO Field in Toronto.
- Main article: Canada men's national soccer team match results
Win Draw Loss
|Date||Tournament||Location||Home Team||Away Team|
|September 7, 2012||2014 World Cup Qualification||Toronto, Canada||Canada||Panama|
|September 11, 2012||2014 World Cup Qualification||Panama City, Panama||Panama||Canada|
|October 12, 2012||2014 World Cup Qualification||Toronto, Canada||Canada||Cuba|
|October 16, 2012||2014 World Cup Qualification||San Pedro Sula, Honduras||Honduras||Canada|
|Stephen Hart||Trinidad and Tobago||Head coach|
|Tony Fonseca||Portugal||Assistant coach|
|Paul Dolan||Canada||Goalkeeping coach|
|Mike Moretto||Canada||Equipment manager|
|Dr. Michael Campbell||Canada||Team doctor|
|Garret Kusch||Canada||Massage therapist|
|Victor Mendes||Canada||Video coach|
This squad was selected for the second set of round three World Cup Qualifiers against Panama on September 7 and 11.
Goals and caps are updated as of August 15, 2012.
The following players have also been called up to the England squad within the last twelve months.