Canada face Haiti in a crucial 2022 World Cup qualifier match Tuesday to see who advances to the final round of Concacaf qualifying.
And the personal and professional partnership between star Canadians Jonathan David, 21, and Alphonso Davies, 20, could prove a deciding factor in Canada’s fate. Both have had a successful qualifying campaign so far, scoring eight goals between them and often providing assists for each other.
But Canada head coach John Herdman isn’t surprised the relationship continues to grow stronger.
“They’re in that same generational phase where they listen to the same music, they play the same games,” said Herdman during a media availability Monday. “And that now that they’re both winning in Europe. It’s a pretty exciting thing to see.”
Jonathan David a “different man”
Forward David has especially caught his coach’s eye this camp, having joined up the with the national team after winning France’s Ligue 1 with Lille OSC this season.
“And Jonny, he’s come back, all the staff and all of the players have said, he’s come back a different man,” said Herdman. “The Jonny that we previously new, we wouldn’t hear him say a word through like the whole of the camp.
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“You know, this camp, he’s been hard to shut up at times,” joked Hermdan. “Which has been phenomenal. He’s confident. And him and Phonzie are starting to jive a little bit with the banter.”
Davies and David on same wavelength
Herdman believes David’s recent club success is the reason he now carries himself with an air of confidence.
“Yeah, he’s really found himself. I think winning that title and just the experience in France and dealing with that sort of expectation and pressure has brought himself out of his shell.
With that, him and Phonzie now have the same sort of wavelength and even in sense of humour. It’s been a nice journey to watch these kids grow.”