With results that might feel a little disappointing, the Canadian Men’s National Team can hold their head high knowing that they surpassed expectations and captured the hearts of a whole country.
Though they will not being advancing through to the round of 16, they showed that they do belong on the grandest stage, and that this is likely the beginning of something Canadian football fans can look forward for in the coming future.
We can learn a lot from the performance of the team, and take a look at what stood out as positive, and what stood out as negative. Here are a few key takeaways that we saw during the tournament.
Ismaël Koné is a Promising Talent
The 20 year old midfielder was used as a substitute for the team, but when he came on there was a sense of energy and spirit that was lifted. This was specifically noticeable during the loss against Croatia when he came on at half time.
Facing off against Luca Modric, and Ivan Perisic is not a simple task, but given the circumstances he was able to show that he can compete.
Koné currently competes in the MLS at the club level, but has the eye of European clubs watching him in the past. His performance likely catches the eye of other European clubs in search of a young talented midfielder that demonstrates significant promise.
Looking forward for 2026, Koné will most likely be present there and with a few more years to develop himself as a player, he looks to make headlines for one of the hosting nations.
Lack of a World Class Defense
It was clear that during the three games the Canada played that there was a lack of world class talent defensively. Canada’s star and best player Alphonso Davies is a world class defender at the club level for Bayern Munich, but he shines in an offensive role for Canada, and therefore plays higher up the pitch.
What this leaves Canada with is a defense that is weaker when compared to other nations and it showed during the three games in Qatar. Small defensive errors were present throughout all three games and at times costed the team heavily.
Meanwhile Croatia for example, it was evident the impact that having just a single world class defender like Joško Gvardiol can have on your defense alone.
Looking forward for 2026, fingers crossed that Canada can develop a stronger backline, a develop a world class defensive talent, or find a way to boost technical ability that minimizes and reduces defensive technical errors.
The Passion is There
The final key point that we can take away from 2022 World Cup run is that Canada is a footballing country. Each and every player that represented the nation did so with pride and the effort was present. The first game against Belgium was electric and it showed that those who work hard can compete against the most talented in the world when the talented players don’t work hard.
The fixtures that Canada competed in had families at home on their seat and hopefully inspired a new generation to pick up the sport and have dreams to compete on the international stage.
Looking for more soccer after the 2022 Qatar World Cup? You can watch the Premier League, Serie A, Ligue 1, and the Canadian Premier League on fuboTV! Click here to to learn more!