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    Herdman lauds ‘balance’ in CanMNT squad for WCQ: ‘I believe in this group’

    photo Courtesy of John Herdman will be keeping close tabs on Canada at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil. (Photo: Canada Soccer).

    Excerpts of the following story are from on May 29, 2021 by CHARLIE O’CONNOR-CLARKE, digital content editor (@CHARLIEJCLARKE):

    Canadian men’s national team coach John Herdman held court with the media on Saturday morning, shedding some light on his decisions after revealing the 24-man squad that will convene in the United States for Canada’s upcoming World Cup qualifying games against Aruba and Suriname. The prevailing theme, apparently, is optimism, with a very strong group of players involved.

    “Talking about the guys that are committed and focused, it’s an exciting group,” Herdman told reporters. “I think we’ve got pace, we’ve got power, we’ve got experience in key parts of the field, and [Milan] Borjan in net. I think we’ve got a good balance across this team, and again, we’ve got a young group.

    “The experience, I think if you look at the caps some will think you’re maybe lacking that sort of experience but these games, what this team needs is that growth in Concacaf together, so I’m excited to bring it in and unleash it in these two matches.”

    RELATED READING: Henry, David among CanMNT returnees for June WCQ matches; Hutchinson misses out | CanMNT’s June WCQ squad announcement: Everything you need to know

    With Jonathan David returning to the national team setup for the first time since 2019, he’ll be a key part of Canada’s attack alongside Cyle Larin and Alphonso Davies, after the trio completed excellent seasons at the club level. Herdman kept his cards close to the vest on just how exactly he sees his attackers playing together, but he suggested he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve.

    “[Larin and David] know how to score goals, so it’s about the supporting cast, and finding ways to allow them to use the spaces that they need to use to create those moments — to enter the box late, to arrive off players,” Herdman said.

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