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Canada have ‘biggest opportunity in the world’ at Qatar 2022, says John Herdman

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Canadian Men’s National Team head coach John Herdman believes his side have the ‘biggest opportunity in the world’ at Qatar 2022.

The CanMNT are returning to the World Cup stage for the first time since 1986, beginning their campaign on Wednesday against Belgium before fixtures against Croatia and Morocco.

Facing the teams that finished second (Croatia) and third (Belgium) at the 2018 World Cup and a Morocco side ranked 22nd in the world will be no easy task.

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However, Canada have the luxury of playing as the underdogs, expected to lose. The pressure will be on the opposition to get the job done against the tournament minnows.

“This is a massive opportunity. I mean, I think we have the biggest opportunity in the world,” Herdman said (via CTV News).

“You’re not here to be Belgium or Croatia, because they go there [to the World Cup]. They go there all the time. And they are carrying that weight of expectation that ‘We might be the team that get beat off Canada,’ ‘We might be the team that don’t get to the quarterfinal.’”

“For us, we haven’t been here for 30-odd years. As a country, I know the majority of fans are just going to enjoy this moment for what it is. The first time in generations that they’ve been able to put their Italian jersey in the drawer, their Croatian jersey in the drawer, their Greek jersey in the drawer and put the red on.”

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The last time Canada performed on this stage, they exited a group containing the Soviet Union, France, and Hungary without a single point or goal.

Even just to score would be an incredible indicator of just how far this nation has come, developing talents like Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David, and Cyle Larin.

“We knew this was a big opportunity to unite a country coast to coast, and the mission is to score that first goal, that’s it,” Herdman continued.

“To have that celebration and know that 15 million people, however million, are watching that game from coast to coast, they’re jumping around their living rooms, the people in the stadium [are] celebrating.

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“That’s not the only goal, but for us, that’s the starting point.”

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Monterrey signs midfielder Jordi Cortizo from Puebla

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Rayados de Monterrey have signed midfielder Jordi Cortizo from Club Puebla, ahead of the 2023 Liga MX Clausura. 

He joins the Guadalajara team on a four-season contract, according to Diego Armando Medina of TUDN.

“I have been delighted since the opportunity to come here was given, I always knew that I had to make a leap to these big leagues with one of the biggest clubs in Mexico,” Cortizo said of his transfer. 

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Cortizo kicked off his professional career with Queretaro in 2017, recording four goals in 76 appearances over the course of three years before seeing stints with Tijuana and Puebla. He managed well in Liga MX, but it wasn’t until the 2022 Apertura that he became a standout. 

The offensive midfielder recorded five goals in 20 overall matches to inspire Puebla to eighth on the table and the Liguilla quarterfinals. 

Overall, Cortizo has 12 goals in 149 Liga MX appearances. 

“They are going to see a player who always tries, that will never fail, who will go for the ball, will try to play, propose offensive play, go forward and who will always give himself up for the club. It is my dream to be champion of the Liga MX, there is no better option today than to be sitting here and with this squad to achieve it,” he said.

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Cortizo stands as the first signing under new Monterrey president Jose Antonio Noriega, who replaced Duilio Davino  following the team’s elimination from the 2022 Apertura. Upon his arrival, Noriega insisted he needed to evaluate the team’s needs before making drastic changes. 

But the arrival of Jordi Cortizo will now set off the several moves already planned. 

The 2023 Liga MX Clausura kicks off on January 6.



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Club America sign defender Israel Reyes from Puebla

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Club America has finally signed defender Israel Reyes from Club Puebla.

He stands as the team’s first reinforcement ahead of the 2023 Liga MX Clausura, joining on a four-year contract.  The Mexico City team reportedly paid $4.5M for Reyes, after he established himself as one of the most promising defenders in the Mexican league.

Reyes kicked off his professional career with Atlas in 2019, before quickly securing a loan deal to Puebla. After 19 games with the Franja, the team exercised his purchase option to make Reyes a staple of the backline. 

But it wasn’t until the 2022 Apertura that he became a standout in the Mexican league. The 22-year-old managed three goals in 17 games of the 2022 Apertura, inspiring Puebla to eighth place in the regular season and the Liguilla quarterfinals. 

Overall, he recorded six goals in 76 appearances with Puebla before joining Club America.

Internationally, the player holds one cap with the Mexican national team. He made his debut on December 8, 2021, coming on as a substitute in the 68th minute of a friendly against Chile.

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England vs Senegal: Confirmed lineups

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England vs Senegal: Confirmed lineups

On Sunday, England and Senegal, their opponents in the last-16 of the World Cup, square off at Al Bayt Stadium in a battle for a spot in the quarterfinals.

The Three Lions take on the Lions of Teranga, who advanced to the knockout stages thanks to a crucial intervention from their captain, in a first-ever meeting after Gareth Southgate’s team defeated Wales to win Group B.

Line-up

England XI: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Henderson, Bellingham; Saka, Foden, Kane.  

Senegal XI: E. Mendy; Sabaly, Koulibaly, Diallo, Jakobs; Ciss, N. Mendy; Diatta, Ndiaye, Sarr; Dia. 

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