December 6, 2023
Herdman turns to Chris Hadfield to launch Canada into new soccer stratosphere

Whereas no slouch as a motivational speaker himself, John Herdman seemed for a special voice forward of the Canadian males’s return to the World Cup after a 36-year absence.

Which explains why former astronaut Chris Hadfield, carrying a Canadian group jacket, was standing shoulder to shoulder with the Canada coach belting out “O Canada” earlier than kickoff at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Herdman invited Hadfield to talk to the group forward of the sport in opposition to second-ranked Belgium.

“That was a particular second for all of us,” Canada captain Atiba Hutchinson mentioned Thursday. “Simply principally him taking us by what it took for him to be in the correct thoughts body to go and do what he did. Every little thing he spoke about was precisely what we have been going by, so we may relate to it a lot.

“I do not assume there’s any higher particular person that would have been in that room [Wednesday] to get us ready for that sport. Superb. Simply to listen to the journey that he had gone although was actually cool.”

The 63-year-old Hatfield is a renaissance man — the primary Canadian to stroll in area and command the Worldwide House Station. He’s additionally an engineer, pilot, adjunct professor, writer, musician and TV host.

Herdman mentioned he met Hadfield in 2013, with each being a part of the identical audio system’ bureau.

“I used to be advised ‘You have to take heed to this man as a result of he is the most effective within the enterprise,”‘ Herdman mentioned. “And I assumed I used to be at the least a half-decent motivational speaker after which I watch him onstage enjoying a guitar and singing. Man, he can do all of it.

“However he mentioned some issues that basically resonated with me on the time. A couple of pennies dropped round his story, the nine-year-old child that dreamed of strolling in area. After which how deliberate he was to go on that journey. I needed a pioneer in that [dressing] room, a real pioneer.”

Hadfield “represented his nation in a fighter jet,” Herdman famous.

“So he is aware of what it means to signify his nation. He is aware of what it means to place his physique on the road, to place all of it on the road. And I advised the lads I need individuals like that on this room. However I did not convey him right here for that. I introduced him right here to share his pioneering story of being that man that did what he did. And it was sensible. He is simply a tremendous, wonderful human being.”

The Belgians bent however did not break in opposition to No. 41 Canada, which dominated the match however failed to attain and ultimately went down 1-0.

WATCH | Canada-Belgium post-match evaluation on CBC Sports activities’ Soccer North:

Canada vs. Belgium post-match response present | Soccer North

Watch as Andi Petrillo takes a have a look at the Canada vs. Belgium sport on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with company together with Ariel Helwani!

Davies ‘disenchanted’ by loss

Alphonso Davies took to social media Thursday to offer a short tackle Canada’s loss.

“A disappointing outcome in opposition to a prime group within the World Cup. We received two extra video games to go, we go once more on Sunday!” wrote the Bayern Munich star. “Thanks to all of the followers for his or her assist.”

The 22-year-old from Edmonton was entrance and centre Wednesday at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in close by Al Rayyan. He had an opportunity within the eleventh minute to attain Canada’s first-ever objective on the event however his penalty kick was saved by Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

DOHA, QATAR – NOVEMBER 23: Thibaut Courtois of Belgium saves the penalty taken by Alphonso Davies of Canada through the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group F match between Belgium and Canada at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on November 23, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Picture by Clive Brunskill/Getty Pictures) (Clive Brunskill/Getty Pictures)

Requested by beIN Sports activities after the sport what was going although his thoughts when he stepped as much as the penalty spot, Davies offered a extra normal reply.

“For me, it was realizing that it is the greatest stage on this planet, yeah, simply play my sport. Do not change something about how I play. And defend and assault with the group.

“In all, I used to be somewhat bit disenchanted however we’re undoubtedly, undoubtedly pleased with how we performed at the moment.”

Canada Soccer has not made Davies obtainable to the Canadian media since he arrived final Friday from Germany, though he did do an interview with TSN on Sunday.

Davies additionally shared his emotion on making his World Cup debut.

“It feels good,” he advised BeIN, a event rights-holder. “Stepping out on the pitch at the moment was a dream come true for everybody on this white shirt. Enjoying Belgium, it wasn’t straightforward and we took the battle to them. We knew we needed to present our high quality at the moment and that is what we did.”

And Davies shared a few of coach John Herdman’s feedback after the match.

“He advised us simply maintain going. The simplest factor to do is shrink back from competitors. We stored preventing, we stored battling and he simply advised us to maintain our head excessive and maintain preventing.”

Davies’ penalty was certainly one of Canada’s three pictures on course. Eighteen different Canadian makes an attempt have been off the mark.

“Fonzie, I assumed he was sensible tonight,” Herdman mentioned after the match. “I assumed he was far more disciplined. He confirmed braveness when he wanted to. I believe in among the others video games we have had him in positions the place he is overplayed at instances. However tonight I simply thought he received the right stability.”

Of the Canadian starters Wednesday, Junior Hoilett has had probably the most success from the spot — changing three penalties for Canada. Davies has two profitable spot kicks and Jonathan David one.

Some observers have puzzled why David didn’t take the penalty.

“We had two gamers that have been assured in doing it,” captain Atiba Hutchinson defined Thursday. “Alphonso’s taken a few penalties, in addition to Jonathan. John [Herdman] has left it to the gamers in that place with who’s able to go.”

Hutchinson mentioned he was near David and Davies within the lead-up to the spot kick.

“I do not assume it was a dialogue. It was extra of ‘Are you OK to take it?’ And Fonzie, he had the ball in his hand and was clearly prepared for that second. Like I mentioned, it was simply unlucky he did not rating. He was going up in opposition to an excellent goalkeeper. Simply on the day it did not cross the road.”

Canada, ranked forty first on this planet, takes on No. 12 Croatia on Sunday realizing a loss will finish its hopes of advancing to the knockout spherical. It wraps up Group F play Dec. 1 in opposition to No. 22 Morocco.

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