Soccer: Canada names Herdman new leader of men's program

10 Enero, 2018, 01:06 | Author: Thomas Hicks
  • Canada Soccer brings on new head coaches John Herdman, Kenneth Heiner-Møller

The question circulating in the soccer world is why Herman would leave a highly successful women's team to coach a team that has rarely been relevant in men's international soccer.

Former national team defender Rhian Wilkinson, who retired from the game following the 2016 Olympics but has since been involved with Canada Soccer in a coaching capacity, posted that the national team is "in great hands" under Heiner-Moller, though Herdman will "definitely be missed". In comparison, the men are currently ranked 94th in the world while the women are ranked 5th. "That's natural for most people that are transitioning, whether it's women who have moved into men's pro soccer, or the female referees that have moved into that side of the game".

He says his "ultimate goal" is to take the men's team to a World Cup, a tournament they have only reached once - in 1986. In that time the team rose from No. 12 in the world to No. 5 in the latest rankings.

The 42-year-old Englishman succeeds Octavio Zambrano, who has lost his job as part of the shake-up, and also takes on the role of Men's National EXCEL Director.

"Speechless right now.", tweeted captain and Canada's longest-standing player Christine Sinclair in response to Canada Soccer's announcement Monday night.

Herdman issued an emotional apology to fans after the team's defeat by England at the 2015 World Cup.

Needing to act quickly to replace Zambrano and keep the man who'd just been named the Jack Donohue Coach of the Year by the Coaching Association of Cananda, Herdman was promptly named both coach of the national men's team and the national team program director, giving him full control of the program from the under-14 age level on up.

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Goalkeeper Erin McLeod, who made her debut for the national team as a 19-year-old in 2002, echoed Wilkinson's gratitude.

Canada Soccer general secretary Peter Montopoli said: "It is easy to point to John's record with Canada to demonstrate his effectiveness as a high-performance coach, in earning back-to-back Summer Olympic medals he's achieved in team sport something no other coach in Canada has done in over 100 years".

"On top of that he has singlehandedly changed soccer in this country, and I look forward to seeing him take our men's team to new heights".

"One of the reasons I started searching for my purpose on this earth.which lead me to becoming a (Unicef Canada) ambassador", she wrote alongside a photo of herself and Herdman. "I've enjoyed every minute of it with the group".

The Canadian men were ranked No. 117 in the world when Zambrano was hired by Victor Montagliani, currently president of CONCACAF.

A native of Consett, England, Herdman previously coached the New Zealand women's national team from 2006 to 2011. His squad finished sixth at the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015. Sportsnet's John Molinaro called the switch from Zambrano to Herdman "shocking".

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