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The Canadian men's national soccer team represent Canadamarker in international competitions at the senior men's level. They are overseen by the Canadian Soccer Association.

Their most significant achievements include qualifying for the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexicomarker, winning the CONCACAF Championship in 1985, CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2000 and winning the gold medal in the 1904 Summer Olympics


Early years

Soccer was being played in Canada before rules were formalized in Britain, 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 Jerseymarker to take on a side put forth by the American Football Association, the then-unofficial governing body of the sport in the United Statesmarker. In an unofficial friendly, Canada defeated their hosts 1-0 in East Newarkmarker, 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 Louismarker, Missourimarker. 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. No medals were awarded at the time as the competition was a demonstration event, but the IOC subsequently awarded Canada a gold medal and upgraded the status of the competition to an official event.

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 Galtmarker, now part of Cambridgemarker, Ontariomarker, and ended in a 3-3 draw.

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 Brisbanemarker on June 24, 1924. In 1925, Canada played their old rivals, the United States, in Montrealmarker, winning 1-0 on Ed McLaine's goal. In a return match in November of 1925 in Brooklynmarker, New Yorkmarker, 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 Zealandmarker.

1957 to 1986

Following the lead of British football associations, Canada withdrew from FIFAmarker 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 (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 Torontomarker 5-1 in their opening game, but lost two games in Mexicomarker (failing to play a home game due to financial reasons) 0-2 and 0-3 before defeating the USA 3-2 in St. Louismarker. Mexico advanced as group winners, meaning that Canada missed out on the World Cup in 1958 in Swedenmarker.

Canada withdrew from World Cup qualifying for 1962 and did not enter a team for 1966. They did compete in soccer however at the Football at the 1967 Pan American Games, their first time to do so in the sixth edition of the games, which they hosted in Winnipegmarker. 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 Calimarker, 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 brillant 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-Princemarker. In the championship, played in Monterreymarker and Mexico Citymarker, 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 Tegucigalpamarker. 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 edge out 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 Josémarker, and then in their final game, one they needed to draw to qualify, beat Los Catrachos a second time, 2-1 in St. John'smarker, Newfoundlandmarker, 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 finals, 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 Citymarker while Canada prevailed in Vancouvermarker 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, winning their next two, over El Salvador and Honduras in Vancouver, losing convincingly at Azteca Stadiummarker, 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 Stadiummarker, 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 Canucks, 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.

21st Century

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 Coliseummarker in Los Angelesmarker, Californiamarker. 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 Havanamarker 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 the les Rouges 0-2 in Edmontonmarker. 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 CSA 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 penalities, 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 MLS 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 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 Fieldmarker. 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, May 18, the CSA 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 FIFA U-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. Under Mitchell, Canada drew friendlies with Iceland away and against Costa Rica at home, lost 0-2 to South Africa in Durbanmarker, had a 1-0 win over Martinique, and a 0-2 defeat to Estonia in Tallinnmarker. Optimism grew however as Canada played well in a 2-3 loss to Brazil, in a match played at Qwest Fieldmarker.

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 easily 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 Fieldmarker, conceded two second half goals in quick succession in a 1-2 home loss to Honduras at Saputo Stadiummarker, 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 27th, 2009, head coach Dale Mitchell was fired. The president of the Canadian Soccer Association, Dominic Maestracci, said that "[the CSA 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.


Soccer-specific stadiums in Canada include BMO Fieldmarker (formerly named the National Soccer Stadium) in Toronto (home to Toronto FC) and Saputo Stadiummarker in Montreal (home to Montreal Impact). In 2008, Canada played its home games at BMO Field, Saputo Stadium, and Commonwealth Stadiummarker in Edmonton.

Recent results

Colors indicate result, Red = Loss, Green = Win, Tan = Tie

Date Tournament Location Home Team Score Away Team Scorers
November 18, 2009
Bydogoszczmarker, Polandmarker
November 14, 2009
Strumicamarker, Macedoniamarker
July 18, 2009
2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup
Philadelphiamarker, USAmarker
July 10, 2009
2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup
Miamimarker, USAmarker
Costa Rica
Bernier de Jong
July 7, 2009
2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup
Columbusmarker, USAmarker
El Salvador
July 3, 2009
2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup
Carsonmarker, USAmarker
June 30, 2009
Oxnardmarker, USAmarker
Gerba , Bernier
May 30, 2009
Larnaca, Cyprusmarker

Upcoming fixtures

Date Tournament Location Home Team Away Team

Current squad

The following 18-man squad has been named for the friendlies against Macedonia and Poland.Caps and goals as of the International Friendly 1-0 defeat to Poland on November 18, 2009.

Recent call-ups

The following players have also been called up to the national squad within the last twelve months. Updated 2009-09-13.
Player Date of birth Club Caps (clean sheets) Most Recent Call up

Greg Sutton 1977-04-19 Unattached 16 (0) v Honduras, July 18, 2009

Player Date of birth Club Caps (goals) Most Recent Call up
David Edgar 1987-05-19 Burnley 0 (0) v Jamaica, November 19, 2008
Chris Williams 1981-06-01 Charleston Battery 2 (0) v Jamaica, November 19, 2008

Adrian Serioux 1979-05-12 Toronto FC 19 (1) v Mexico, October 15, 2008
Eddy Sidra 1989-02-20 Energie Cottbus 1 (0) v Cyprus, May 30, 2009

Player Date of birth Club Caps (goals) Most Recent Call up

Tyler Hemming 1985-05-09 Charleston Battery 1 (0) v Cyprus, May 30, 2009
Dominic Imhof 1982-07-28 FC Rapperswil-Jona 1 (0) v Cyprus, May 30, 2009
Nikolas Ledgerwood 1985-01-16 FSV Frankfurt 3 (0) v Cyprus, May 30, 2009

Player Date of birth Club Caps (goals) Most Recent Call up
Ali Gerba 1981-09-04 Toronto FC 28 (15) v Honduras, July 18, 2009
Andrzej Ornoch 1985-08-21 Heracles Almelo 3 (0) v Cyprus, May 30, 2009
Tosaint Ricketts 1987-08-06 MyPa 0 (0) v Cyprus, May 30, 2009

Coaching staff

Name Nat Position
Stephen Hart Head coach
Nick Dasovic Assistant coach
Paul Dolan Goalkeeping coach
Djamel Laarabi Goalkeeping coach
Morgan Quarry Manager
Mike Moretto Equipment manager
Ted Tilbury Physiotherapist
Eddie Cannon Physiotherapist
Dave Foley Physiotherapist
Dr. Michael Campbell Team doctor
Garret Kusch Massage therapist
Vic Mendes Video coach
Vincent Ursini Head of delegation

World Cup record

World Cup record
Year Round GP W D* L GF GA
1930 Did Not Enter - - - - - -
1934 Did Not Enter - - - - - -
1938 Did Not Enter - - - - - -
1950 Did Not Enter - - - - - -
1954 Did Not Enter - - - - - -
1958 Did Not Qualify - - - - - -
1962 Withdrew - - - - - -
1966 Did Not Enter - - - - - -
1970 Did Not Qualify - - - - - -
1974 Did Not Qualify - - - - - -
1978 Did Not Qualify - - - - - -
1982 Did Not Qualify - - - - - -
1986 Round 1 3 0 0 3 0 5
1990 Did Not Qualify - - - - - -
1994 Did Not Qualify - - - - - -
1998 Did Not Qualify - - - - - -
2002 Did Not Qualify - - - - - -
2006 Did Not Qualify - - - - - -
2010 Did Not Qualify - - - - - -
Total 1/19 3 0 0 3 0 5

Qualification record
1958 4 2 0 2 8 8
1970 4 2 1 1 8 3
1974 4 1 1 2 6 7
1978 10 4 3 3 13 9
1982 9 2 6 1 10 9
1986 8 5 3 0 11 3
1990 2 1 0 1 3 3
1994 14 6 4 4 22 20
1998 16 6 4 6 15 21
2002 8 2 3 3 2 8
2006 8 3 2 3 12 8
2010 8 2 2 4 13 14
Total 95 36 29 30 123 113

Confederations Cup Record

Year Round GP W D L GS GA
1992 Did Not Qualify - - - - - -
1995 Did Not Qualify - - - - - -
1997 Did Not Qualify - - - - - -
1999 Did Not Qualify - - - - - -
2001 Round 1 3 0 1 2 0 5
2003 Did Not Qualify - - - - - -
2005 Did Not Qualify - - - - - -
2009 Did Not Qualify - - - - - -
Total 1/8 3 0 1 2 0 5

Gold Cup record

CONCACAF Championship/Gold Cup
Total: 2 Titles
Year Round GP W D* L GS GA
1963 Did Not Enter - - - - - -
1965 Did Not Enter - - - - - -
1967 Did Not Enter - - - - - -
1969 Did Not Enter - - - - - -
1971 Did Not Enter - - - - - -
1973 Did Not Qualify - - - - - -
1977 Fourth place 5 2 1 2 7 8
1981 Fourth place 5 1 3 1 6 6
1985 Champions 4 2 2 0 4 2
1989 Did Not Qualify - - - - - -
1991 Round 1 3 1 0 2 6 9
1993 Round 1 3 0 2 1 3 11
1996 Round 1 2 1 0 1 4 5
1998 Withdrew - - - - - -
2000 Champions 5 3 2 0 7 3
2002 Third place 5 2 2 1 5 4
2003 Round 1 2 1 0 1 1 2
2005 Round 1 3 1 0 2 2 4
2007 Semi-Finals 5 3 0 2 9 5
2009 Quarter-Finals 4 2 1 1 4 3
Total 2 Titles 45 19 12 13 56 59

Most capped Canadian players

# Name Career Caps Goals
1 Randy Samuel 1983–1997 82 0
2 Paul Stalteri 1997– 79 7
3 Mark Watson 1994–2004 78 3
4 Lyndon Hooper 1986–1997 67 3
5 Alex Bunbury 1986–1997 64 16
6 Nick Dasovic 1992–2004 63 2
7 Colin Miller 1983–1997 61 5
Mike Sweeney 1980–1991 61 1
9 Carlo Corazzin 1994–2004 59 11
10 Richard Hastings 1998– 57 1
Bold notes player is still active.

Top goalscorers

# Name Career Caps Goals
1 Dale Mitchell 1980–1993 55 19
2 John Catliff 1984–1994 44 18
3 Alex Bunbury 1986–1997 64 16
4 Dwayne de Rosario 1998– 52 15
Ali Gerba 2005– 28 15
6 Igor Vrablic 1984–1986 35 12
7 Carlo Corazzin 1994–2004 59 11
Paul Peschisolido 1992–2004 53 11
9 Tomasz Radzinski 1995– 46 10
10 Kevin McKenna 2000– 46 9
Bold notes player is still active.

Manager history

Name From To
Don Petrie 1957 1957
Peter Dinsdale 1968 1970
Frank Pike 1970 1973
Bill McAllister 1973 1973
Eckhard Krautzun 1973 1975
Bill McAllister 1975 1975
Eckhard Krautzun 1975 1977
Barrie Clarke 1979 1981
Tony Waiters 1981 1985
Bruce Wilson (interim) 1985 1985
Tony Waiters 1985 1986
Bob Bearpark 1986 1987
Tony Taylor 1988 1989
Bob Lenarduzzi 1989 1990
Tony Waiters 1990 1991
Bob Lenarduzzi 1992 1997
Bruce Twamley (interim) 1998 1998
Holger Osieck 1999 2003
Colin Miller (interim) Fall 2003 Fall 2003
Frank Yallop 2004 June 2006
Stephen Hart (interim) July 2006 June 2007
Dale Mitchell June 2007 March 2009
Stephen Hart (interim) April 2009

Bruce Wilson coached two matches at the 1985 President's Cup in the Republic of Koreamarker during Tony Waiters' first reign.



* Prior to 1991, the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying cycle doubled as the regional championship and is considered the precursor to the modern Gold Cup. Mexico had qualified automatically in 1985 as World Cup 1986 hosts and did not take part in qualifying. Canada earned the remaining CONCACAF spot and were named continental champions without lifting a trophy.

See also


  1. "History of Soccer in Canada"
  2. Copa America 2001
  3. Canada announces roster for European matches

External links

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