The soccer news starts with the Canadian Soccer Association announcing the new coach of their men's national team, catching people off guard with the choice. They've selected John Herdman, already employed by the CSA as the coach of their women's national team. Herdman is leaving one job for the other, raising questions about gender issues and direction with both programs.
“We welcome John to this new role as he brings his success aligning Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team Program over the past six years and his world-class technical coaching abilities to continue delivering results for Canada Soccer for the Men’s National Team Program,” Canada Soccer president Steven Reed said in a press statement. “We are pleased to have such a capable successor in Kenneth Heiner-Møller who has been a key part of the technical staff that has seen Canada capture back-to-back bronze medals and rise to its highest-ever ranking of 4th in the world. On behalf of Canada Soccer, we would also like to thank Octavio for his contributions over the past year and wish him well in his future endeavours.”
Canada isn't one of the three CONCACAF teams preparing for this summer's World Cup. Their next competitive games will come in the CONCACAF League of Nations, a tournament that barely existed in theory this time last year. The Canadian women's team, meanwhile, is working toward the 2019 World Cup and currently ranked 5th in the world.
On the men's side, Canada is one of the unknowns in CONCACAF. The program hasn't qualified for a World Cup since 1986. They've gone through multiple coaches and plans that haven't built on success like winning the 2000 Gold Cup and making the semifinals in 2002 and 2007. Canada's men's national team is currently 94th in the FIFA rankings, 10th overall in CONCACAF.
Forbes' Bobby McMahon looks at the CSA's decision and what might have led them to part ways with outgoing men's national team coach Octavio Zambrano. The Canadian Press's Neil Davidson focuses on the timing of the announcement which caught players by surprise. Sportsnet's John Molinaro called the switch from Zambrano to Herdman "shocking".
American Soccer Now's Brian Sciaretta responds to the news that Jonathan Gonzalez is reportedly switching his international availability from the USMNT to Mexico. MLSsoccer.com's Matthew Doyle on the Gonzalez situation. The Washington Post's Steven Goff also takes a look at the USMNT reportedly losing Gonzalez.
Inside World Football's Paul Nicholson has the CIES Football Observatory's look at transfer values. Goal.com's Ignasi Oliva on Barcelona's transfer budget post-Neymar. Pro Soccer Talk's Joe Prince-Wright has the back-and-forth between Chelsea coach Antonio Conte and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. The NY Times' Tariq Panja on what FIFA is reportedly paying its council members.
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