Top 3 Unsung Heroes In Canada Soccer Team
2022 is a big deal for Canadian soccer fans, as it marks the first time that Canada has qualified for the FIFA World Cup in almost four decades. The last time we saw Les Rouges walk out onto the pitch in the world’s biggest and most prestigious soccer tournament was way back in 1986 in Mexico.
Needless to say, things didn’t exactly go as planned for Canada in the group stage. Not only did they not make it into the knockout phase of the competition, they actually failed to even score a single goal, leaving the tournament dead last out of a total of 24 teams.
Since then, the Canadian team has never looked strong in soccer betting markets, reflecting the fact that they’ve struggled to even get into international competitions, never mind actually winning them.
But 2022 has rolled up to the pitch with a bang, and an opportunity to rewrite history has landed right in front of the Maple Leafs, along with bettors at Bodog for Canadian soccer.
Road to Recovery
The road to recovery has been a long one. It started looking up when John Herdman signed on as head coach in 2018, bringing some much-needed hope to the team that had previously fallen to 122nd place in the FIFA rankings, which was the country’s worst position in history.
With help from big stars like Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies and Lille’s Jonathan David, Herdman has managed to pull the team up out of deep water in recent years. Canada even saw its biggest ever win after beating the Cayman Islands 11-0, then climbed high up the FIFA rankings to 33rd in February 2022, and 38th going into June.
Canada’s Unsung Heroes
Ahead of the first World Cup match on November 23, Les Rouges will be playing three matches this June. This will be a great opportunity to get involved in some soccer betting and to get a glimpse at who Herdman is likely to include in his squad for Qatar.
Two games will be in Vancouver, the first a friendly against Panama and the second a CONCACAF Nations League fixture against Curaçao. The final game will be in San Pedro Sula against Honduras.
Davis and David will be in top form no doubt, but no team acts alone. If they want to shock the world at the World Cup, they’ll need to rely on the entire squad to make it happen, including these three unsung heroes on the team.
Stephen Eustáquio is a 25-year-old defensive midfielder originally from Leamington. He’s had quite a varied club career, having bounced around six different Portuguese clubs between 2013 and 2021, before moving to Porto for 2022.
The Canadian has only been a part of the Canadian national team since 2019, having previously been a part of Portugal’s under 21 squad.
Eustáquio made his debut for Les Rogues in November of that year, replacing Mark-Anthony Kaye as a sub in the second half of a game against the US. He then made 17 appearances in 2021, taking part in Canada’s CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign, during which time he scored his first of three international goals.
This is just one example of the fact that, despite playing near the back, Eustáquio has proven he can get the ball in the net when the chips are down. He doesn’t make many attempts at goal, but when he does, more often than not, it’s in. That’s a bankable trait on the field in a competition as key as the World Cup.
With 55 appearances for the Canadian national soccer team, Jonathan Osorio is a reliable force who doesn’t always receive the credit he deserves. Osorio joined the Maple Leafs in 2013 at the height of the team’s struggles, and during its steepest period of decline.
He took a few years to level up to international football standard, scoring his first goal in early 2017 against Bermuda. Since, Osorio’s been a regular staple on team sheets, competing in the Gold Cup regularly.
Osorio’s biggest achievement so far was his goal against Mexico in October last year. In addition to being the equalizer that helped Canada pick up a valuable point in their World Cup qualification campaign, it ended a 41-year drought of goals against the fellow North American team.
At club level, Osorio has been signed to Toronto FC since 2013. The Toronto native has made 247 appearances for the team and picked up 36 goals in the process. During that time, he’s helped the club win the MLS Cup, the Supporters’ Shield, and three Canadian Championships.
Cyle Larin has made a big contribution to the success of Canada’s soccer team in the last couple of years, though he doesn’t get the same props as Davies or David.
Although he’s been part of the squad since 2014, Larin didn’t start making regular appearances until 2021, when he really proved himself. Playing in 13 matches, the forward who hails from Brampton, Ontario, netted 14 goals last year.
As a result, Larin was instrumental to the successful qualifying attempt for the World Cup this year – something that should have made more noise than it did.
In club competitions, Larin has proven himself in three big leagues. Between 2015 and 2017, he was signed to Orlando City in the MLS, where he scored 43 goals from 87 appearances. He then signed for Beşiktaş in Turkey and was loaned to the Belgian side, Zulte Waregem, for 2019 and 2020. After returning to Turkey, Larin helped Beşiktaş win its country’s top-flight Super Lig title and the Turkish Cup.
There’s real promise in the current Canadian national team, thanks in no small part to these unsung heroes. With that in mind, there could be some exciting soccer betting opportunities at Bodog in the upcoming games and the World Cup, so don’t look away for even a second, and get your bet slips battle-ready for action.