We’re back with our first show of 2022 and what better way to kick off the new year than with another packed episode of the AFTN Soccer Show and another of our end of season reviews, this time turning our attention to the stellar year that was had by the Canadian men’s national team.
Canada started the year 72nd in the world in the FIFA rankings and they finished it in 40th, their joint highest ever which they also reached in December 1996. The national team played 19 matches last year. All of them competitive games, with not a friendly in site. Crazy really considering how little they’ve played in some recent years.
There were 14 World Cup qualifiers and 5 Gold Cup matches, producing 13 wins, 4 draws, and just 2 defeats, both of those coming at the hands of traditional CONCACAF powerhouses of the US and Mexico and both of those came at the Gold Cup. Canada scored 55 goals, conceding just 11, with 16 different goalscorers.
2021 was a great year, but hopefully it’s just the start of even bigger and better things for Canada. We delve into all of that and a lot more, plus we chat with CPL coaches Bobby Smyrniotis, Tommy Wheeldon Jr, and Jim Brennan to look at how the success of the national team has driven an excitement locally for the CPL teams.
Here’s the rundown for the main segments from the episode:
01.30: Intro chat
03.51: The CanMNT year in numbers
06.48: Canada World Cup qualifying – pre Octo
15.16: 2021 Gold Cup review
27.31: Canada World Cup qualifying – the Octo
51.55: The rise of soccer in Canadian communities – with audio from Bobby Smyrniotis, Tommy Wheeldon Jr, and Jim Brennan
60.56: Wavelength – Scotland 1974 World Cup Squad – Easy, Easy
You can download and/or listen to this, and all previous, episodes of the podcast on the following services:
Or after all that, you could just listen on the player below!