March 20, 2023

At its second World Cup, Canada is here to stay | defector

It’s almost time for the 2022 World Cup. To help you prepare, we’re providing you with valuable information about each team in the tournament. You can read all of our World Cup previews here.

There are several ways to illustrate how remarkable it is that Canada is finally back at the World Cup with momentum: the last time Canada was at the World Cup, Pierre Trudeau had just retired as Prime Minister. Now, in 2022, Pierre Trudeau’s son Justin has been Prime Minister for seven years; Canada scored the fewest World Cup goals of any nation in the tournament, and that includes hosts who have never played at a World Cup before; Canada hadn’t even reached the last qualifying round in CONCACAF since 1998 (they finished last) until they won it last year and celebrated their second World Cup and first since 1986. Whatever they do in Qatar is bound to make history. since they lost all three games without scoring a goal since 1986.

Canada is in the midst of a veritable soccer explosion. Their main guy and main scoring guy are both stars for Champions League clubs and the rest of the squad is full of cool young guys. If that sounds a lot like the trajectory of the USMNT, well it should. Both teams have benefited greatly from their MLS clubs building veritable academies, just as both have benefited from their country’s geopolitical position. Canada is in a really tough group this time, with the 2018 World Cup runners-up and third-placed in their group, along with Morocco. They probably aren’t expected to escape, despite being built to surprise. They’re rowdy, they’re not afraid of anything, and they’ve got a few high-profile gamebreakers. I should also stress here that they will be fun, win or lose.

Who is her captain?

Canada’s protagonist is Alphonso Davies, who has blossomed into one of the best left-backs in the world at Bayern Munich. Davies is in the Zinchenkian form of players occupying a more advanced or central position for their relatively mid-sized national team than for their prestigious clubs. Although Canada use him in midfield and up front, where he began his career with the Vancouver Whitecaps, Bayern have the luxury of keeping Davies in their back line and using his world-class speed to put out fires and ignite them. This has done the Germans enormous good as he is perhaps the most physically gifted full-back in the world. He’s good at everything – as a former winger Davies is a spectacular dribbler – and he’s also an extremely cool and funny guy. My favorite highlights from Davies are his recoveries when an attacker thinks they have the space to do something with the ball, only for Davies to appear out of nowhere to get their ass.

Davies is also easy to find. He was born in a camp in Ghana to Liberian refugee parents and moved to Edmonton at the age of five. A decade later he joined the academy in Vancouver, quickly rose to the first team and then transferred to Bayern. At the age of 20 he had started in the Champions League and won a final and with it an incredible journey behind him. That journey continues with Canada’s first World Cup in ages, hosted by a country with a terrible record of abuse of migrant workers. The life story of Davies is obviously not the same as that of the Bengali, Filipino and Nepali workers who died building stadiums in Doha, although it certainly rhymes. It would be pretty tough if he had a big moment at this particular tournament.

Who is your top scorer?

For a man who has spent most of his career playing in all positions except forward, Johnathan David has a pretty incredible goal record. David is the type of player that every team in the world could use a one or two. His best position is as a Griezmann-like second striker/playmaker hybrid, although he has excelled for Canada, Lille and Gent as a winger, forward and No10. As a USMNT fan, watching David play Attack as his Lille teammate Tim Weah can on occasion be a brutal experience as the talent differences between the two are made clear every time. David is a bad, bad man.

The numbers speak for themselves: 22 goals in 34 games for Canada and 37 in 89 for Lille (including three goals in Europe). Lille bought him ahead of the 2020/21 season, played him in every game but one and won the league against PSG. He would be James Rodríguez’s candidate for this team if it weren’t so obvious: he’s about to achieve great things and he doesn’t need a great World Cup performance to get there. Like Davies, David’s trip to Canada was awkward. He was actually born in Brooklyn (like Weah, who also happens to be Liberian-North American, although his father is the President and Davies was a refugee, so there are some pretty big differences there), then moved to Haiti before moving to Canada . He governs! Canada has too many cool guys!

where’s the beef

What teams or players does Canada dislike? Do Canada’s players like each other? We examine their potential enemies.

Canada hosted the USMNT in Hamilton, Ontario on January 30th and presented their statement game of the entire World Cup qualifying campaign. In unforgiving, frigid conditions, the Canadians withstood a furious American onslaught, resisted every thrust, countered with bravery and panache and won 2-0, guaranteeing World Cup qualification and winning their two games against their southern neighbors 4-0. That’s a huge statement. Canada is America’s shadow in many ways, and they have to wheeze their young killers home and away was a strong announcement of intentions. It’s going to be a sick rivalry for years to come I hope.

Most likely, David Ospina or James Rodríguez are fashionable

Who is Canada’s no. 1 contender for outstanding achievement to earn them a career-changing transfer? Could this potential post-tournament transfer go well, like when Colombian James Rodríguez joined Real Madrid after starring at the 2014 World Cup? Or could things go badly like when Colombian David Ospina left for Arsenal after starring at the 2014 World Cup?

There are many high-profile candidates here – Tajon Buchanan, Liam Millar – although I’m going with Stephen Eustáquio. The 25-year-old defensive midfielder fulfills an extremely important role for the team and comes into the tournament with a lot of momentum. Born in Canada to Portuguese parents, Eustáquio has played every single game of his professional career but one in Portugal. His journey in Portuguese football has been a slow, steady climb, from the fourth tier all the way up to Porto, the country’s second largest and most successful club. He played a bit for the Canada and Portugal national teams before settling for Canada in 2019. In his first full season with Porto, he has already scored in the Champions League against Brugge and Atlético Madrid, whom he eliminated earlier this month.

Porto are heavily scouted and always seem to sell their cool guys fairly early so a big World Cup would boost their already high inventory.

David Ospina Mode Probability Score: 1,091 (of 7,000)

James Rodriguez mode probability value: 9 (of 11)

Fun geographic fact

Canada has some of the most remarkable geographies in the world. It has the longest coastline in the world and borders the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans, but the vast majority of its population lives within 100 miles of the southern border with the United States, the world’s longest binational border. Canada has the greatest amount of lake water in the world, a significant amount of its terrestrial glacial ice, and much of its (crucial!) permafrost.

That’s all cool, but none of it matches the awe-inspiring majesty of the Canadian Shield, which contains possibly the oldest rocks in the world. A shield is the type of geological province that contains the longest surviving rocks on the planet, igneous and metamorphic rocks that have been at the surface and the violent collisions between plate boundaries and associated geological destruction for almost as long dodge the earth existed. The Canadian Shield, located near Hudson Bay, is one such province.

Aging rocks older than 4 billion years is a somewhat imprecise endeavor — one common method involves aging zircon crystals, which can survive many metamorphic processes — while the actual title of Earth’s oldest rock is an oddly subjective one some areas of the Canadian Shield have definitely been so for over 90 percent of Earth’s surface existence. That’s potentially longer than there was water on the surface of the earth. Unbelievable! (I would note here that the oldest materials scientists have dated is much older. The Murchison meteorite that landed in Australia in the 1960s is probably 7 billion years old.)

Good flag or bad flag?

Image via Getty

A flag divided into three vertical sections is the most common, most boring flag design this side of all former British colonies, forced to have the Union Jack in the northwest corner like a bruise from a tyrant. So Canada went from worst to second worst flag occupancy, although they’re going beyond conventional wisdom here because Your flag whips your ass. Anytime you can incorporate a plant or animal (or an AK-47) into a flag, all the better for it. The maple leaf is pleasantly shaped, defiant in its simplicity and inviting despite the red coloring. Great flag.

Good anthem or bad anthem?

Not even the cooler bilingual version can lift this anthem out of the turbo butt class. It sucks!

Remarkable moment in World Cup history

The 1986 World Cup was notable for being the final tournament for many Brazilian legends, including Zico, Socrates and Falcao. They were eliminated by Michel Platini in the quarter-finals against France, in an epic game that ended 1-1 and went to penalties against France. It was a real classic among the matches.

France beat Canada 1-0 in the group stage.

How can they win the World Cup?

This world championship takes place in winter. You know where winter is a big deal? Do you know which country is famous for being all the way up north, full of glaciers and having all that permafrost (spoilers in the previous paragraph)? You know who loves that cold shit? Canada! All other nations won’t be able to hang on and compete once the calendar switches to December and it starts snowing in Qatar (global warming or something?), clearing the way for Canada to cruise.

#World #Cup #Canada #stay #defector

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