Photo: @onesoccer

One surprise from this World Cup Qualifying cycle has been the emergence of Canada. A team who had to start in the first round of Concacaf qualifying, Canada had to advance through two rounds to even reach the Concacaf powerhouses of the United States and Mexico.

One reason for Canada’s improvement has been Alphonso Davies. The Bayern Munich star has helped get Canada into position to qualify for the FIFA World Cup but he has been sidelined since January due to developing myocarditis from testing positive for COVID-19. Since then, Davies has been a fan, livestreaming himself watching games via Twitch. It’s not quite the ManningCast but it’s an entertaining and unfiltered experience.

So as Canada clinched their first World Cup berth since 1986, Davies was in tears as the seconds ticked down and Canada scored the 4-0 victory over Jamaica.

I don’t have to say this is a big deal for Canada but it’s worth noting that they haven’t qualified since 1986 and that was their only World Cup. Hosting with Mexico and the United States in 2026, some had whispered if Canada was going to have a team good enough to compete. They certainly showed they can and did it four years in advance. It doesn’t necessarily matter where you finish in the “Octo” unless it’s top three but Canada leading the group is a statement that they’re ready for the main stage.

[Photo: @onesoccer]

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @phillipbupp