Canada will face USA and Martinique in the first round of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup. Canada will also face a yet to be determined qualifier (Haiti, St Vincent, Bermuda, or Barbados) from the preliminary round.
The draw for next summer’s Gold Cup was made in Miami, Florida Monday.
Canada qualified for the 2021 Gold Cup by finishing second in its group during the 2019-2020 Concacaf Nations League. Canada finished behind USA in Group A in 2020, but recorded a famous victory over their neighbours to the south during the group stage.
And Canada head coach John Herdman says his squad will be looking forward to facing the USA again next summer.
“That match means a lot to our players,” said Herdman during a Zoom press conference following the draw. “It will be the game all the players want to play in.
“You can’t hide that rivalry. It sort of ignited last October and November (at the Concacaf Nations League). It will be a good match.”
Busy year ahead for Canada men’s soccer
2021 is set to be a busy year for the Canadian men’s national team. The national team’s 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifying campaign is scheduled to begin in March 2021 also.
And Herdman said the Canadian national team’s priority will still be to qualify for the World Cup, despite juggling a number of competitions.
“It’s a very big year,” said Herdman when asked about the year to come. “When you combine Olympic U23s, World Cup qualification and then a Gold Cup – it’s a very unique situation for all the national teams that are competing.
“We have an opportunity to qualify for a World Cup with some critical games. It will be a busy year for sure. And as an organization, we’ll have to be ready for it.”
The Gold Cup is the biennial international men’s football championship of the North, Central American and Caribbean region organized by Concacaf. Canada won the Gold Cup (or Concacaf Championships) in 2000 and 1985.
Canada were eliminated from last Gold Cup in the quarter-finals after a disappointing loss to Haiti – Canada giving up a two-goal lead to lose 3-2.
The 2021 edition of the tournament is scheduled to be held July 10 to Aug. 1, 2021. It was originally scheduled to be held from July 2-25, 2021 but was later rescheduled due to scheduling pile ups due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The host(s) and venues for the tournament have not been announced.
But plans for all competitions and matches are yet to solidified, with the COVID-19 pandemic and related protocols being the deciding factors.