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Team Canada: “See thee Rise”

Hello friends and welcome back to a brand new episode of my Football Manager Story. As you may recall from the last update I had resigned from Toronto FC after winning the North American Champions League for the second time so as to concentrate on my other role as Head Coach of Team Canada.

My goal then for Canada is attempt to qualify for the 2022 World Cup as the country had failed miserably in the previous qualification tournament which is when I took over with one game remaining in the round robin section.

** Authors note**

I’m not going to go through the whole squad highlighting each and every player as that’s too time consuming but will hyperlink a player to a picture when perhaps that individual has made a key contribution to a game.

Before we get on with Team Canada I believe a reader asked about my standing in the Hall of Fame last time so here’s a couple of screen shots.

As you can see I don’t even know what position I am but suffice to say it’s way down the list :)

June 2018

The first game of the year was away to Wales and had been organized before I took over. The Welsh with a fully fit Gareth Bale scored within 10 minutes thanks to the left wingers mesmerizing speed and continued to dominate the entire first half scoring again just before the interval through an horrendous own goal by Toronto FC keeper Chris Seitz who had won his first cap.

After the break we played much better but David DiPlacido looked awful on the Racecourse Ground and was substituted whilst Gershon Koffie missed two great chances that would have tied the game up. In the end it was defeat but not that surprising really.

Wales had actually qualified for the 2018 World Cup and would be runners-up in Group H behind Brazil, knocking out the USA in the process. In a closely contested final the Argentina came out eventual winners defeating Mexico in a penalty shoot-out.

August 2018

Columbus crew players Tyler Celebrini and Jerome Lyall won their first caps as we took on Honduras in Montreal. With most of the team at a condition rating of 90% at kick off the speed of the Hondurans quickly made an impact on the game taking the lead after 26 minutes. The Central Americans stifled our attacks quite comfortably and in the end we only managed one shot on target and conceded a second late in the game.

After back to back defeats I needed cheering up and I got that in the form of an announcement that my favorite player signed during my club career Joshua Galloway was now eligible to play for Canada. This kid was one of my first “Moneyball” signings when I dragged him out of the FC Dallas reserve team and plunged him straight into the Vancouver first team and he’s never looked back.

September 2018

With the visit of Panama for an international friendly I switched from my Toronto Slant Left tactic to my old Vancouver 4-5-1 formation with two MC’s, Galloway being one of them alongside former team mate Gershon Koffie. Galloway ran the show and in a brilliant performance getting himself on the score-sheet after 35 minutes. This game was all about our midfield triangle (including DMC) and the new tactic seemed to work wonders and we could have scored more but in typical Canadian style just added a second so as to be polite enough not to upset the visitors.

Three days later we were in Finland where we got off to a terrible start after a fluffed goal kick by Edson fell straight to a Finnish striker and it was 1-0 after just 5 minutes. Finland tormented us for the entire first half as we slipped into a defensive mode and gave up another goal before half time and a third just after the hour mark. A desperate shout of “Get the ball forward” created a goal for David DiPlacido after the introduction of Adam Jackman on the right. That goal inspired Galloway who proceeded to score a sensational hat-trick in the final 20 minutes, the winning goal being a superb run from the half way line collecting a through ball and lobbing the stranded Finnish keeper for a brilliant come from behind win!

October 2018

A month later we hosted El Salvador in a game that was very low on entertainment but we did manage to secure a win making it three in a row, boosting morale considerably.

November 2018

Our first game at BMO Field for some time saw the visit of Mexico who were the World Cup runners up and gave me a first opportunity to review what we would be up against on our own quest to reach Qatar 2022. It didn’t take long for the Mexicans to assert themselves on the game taking the lead after just 5 minutes through Javier Hernandez. However we knuckled down and worked hard to avoid a collapse and by the interval the score remained the same. Despite their speed and skill Mexico couldn’t break us down and with 9 minutes reaming a rare free kick was floated into the Mexico area by Galloway that Tiebert pounced on and forced the ball across the line for a dramatic equalizer.

Our final game of 2018 was away to the US and with injuries to both David Edgar and Gershon Koffie sustained in the game against Mexico our hosts sprinted out to an early 2-0 lead exposing the lack of depth in our squad. With a mostly experimental side we didn’t provide any real trouble for the Americans and the few opportunities that we had were finished poorly.

Domestically the Canadian dominance of the MLS finally came to an end with both Vancouver and Toronto losing their conference semi-final games and Los Angeles being crowned MLS Champions. Houston won the Supporters Shield going from 15th place last season to top the overall table and qualify for the NACL.

For 2019 we just have three games arranged so far and all within our geographical area and by the time those are done we would have met all the teams that were in the final qualifying phase for the World Cup.

So that completes the first Team Canada update so thanks very much for taking the time to read it. For those in the UK enjoy your Bank Holiday weekend, mine is next week in Canada.






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8 years ago

Some good form against some tough teams, the overall highlight probably being the draw against Mexico. I hope you can get the World Cup, and with a squad I’m presuming isn’t too strong at the moment good luck.
Where do you stand in the world rankings?

Ana Garcia
8 years ago

Would love my bank holiday if the damn rain stopped!! Rained constantly for most of the week please a little sun for Monday! ;)

Tough start to life in the national job! A couple of good wins though and a great draw against Mexico so things will fall into place am sure.

Good luck!!

8 years ago

Rough start for you at the beginning, but you then managed to get some great wins and a very creditable draw against Mexico!

Darren Smith
8 years ago

That was a tough start Kevin, but after a tactical change things started to pick up and that 1-1 draw with Mexico should hopefully provide the morale boost required.

8 years ago

Seems the tactical change helped the team a lot, and grabbing a draw against Mexico, albeit a friendly is still quite encouraging.

Shame about the defeat to the USA, but if you were experimenting, and a couple of key injuries, it’s not that big a deal anyhow.

Gaurav Chaddah
Gaurav Chaddah
8 years ago

Tough start you rein Kevin however given time things will pick up.

Victor Baluta
8 years ago

Thank you for posting the screen shot with the Hall of Fame.

I think you have a good start with the national team and it seems that they are starting to understand your tactics. Hope you’ll win all the games from 2019 and start the qualifying campaign with good morale.

The game with Mexico is surely something special for you, the fact that you were equal with runner-ups of the las World Cup is encouraging, even though it was just a friendly game.

Good luck!

8 years ago

I would say the friendly was a good workout for you. It gives you an idea of finding the right formation and getting things right. The team will get better as shown in your results. This looks promising and all the best for the upcoming games.

8 years ago

Hey Kevin,
Best of luck with your mission! That’s awesome that you held the defending world champions. I’me sure you would have done at least the same if your stars were fit for the game against America.
Where is Canada currently ranked in your game?

8 years ago

Some decent results against tough opposition, especially the draw with Mexico Kevin, with Galloway in the team he should be able to spark the team when he plays, when is the World Cup qualifying rounds starting? Also I think you can look forward to the Gold Cup sometime soon, should be a nice competitive environment to see how you measure up (USA look pretty strong but your side wasn’t totally overrun so I think your first team will be able to compete)

Johnny Karp
8 years ago

Hey Kevin, greetings from Zagreb! The results have improved after switching to the 4-5-1 so that was a wise choice. Good luck for the next games!

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