John Herdman resigns as Canada men’s soccer coach for Toronto FC | CBC sports

John Herdman has spent more than a decade successfully leading Canada internationally.

Now the longtime soccer coach faces what may be his most difficult task of all: putting Toronto FC, a dying major league soccer club, back to its former glory.

Herdman resigned as head coach of the Canada men's national team and was named head coach of TFC on Monday. He will succeed interim captain Terry Dunfield on October 1.

Canada Soccer stated that the search for coaches will begin immediately.

His decision to leave the men's team comes about a year after the team competed in a World Cup for the first time in 36 years at the 2022 event in Qatar, and three years before Canada joined the United States and Mexico in the major soccer events.

“I'm excited to take this new opportunity at Toronto FC,” Herdman said in a statement. “Personally for me it is the right time to take on a new challenge in my career and the structure of a club environment is a context in which I want to operate.”

“Being able to engage and collaborate with the staff and players on a daily basis allows for different depths of development and connection, both on and off the pitch.”

VIEW | Herdman talks about the ‘life-changing' World Cup:

John Herdman's World Championship trip was a ‘life-changing experience'

The Canada men's soccer team coach joins CBC Sports' Andi Petrillo as he looks back on the road to Qatar and the prospect of the 2026 World Cup in North America.

TFC fights

Always up for a challenge, the 48-year-old Englishman is sure to get one with Toronto FC.

He's inheriting a club so far removed from its 2017 peak when it won the MLS Cup, Supporters' Shield and Canadian Championship that it's almost unrecognizable.

Toronto (3/13/10) has been terrible this MLS season. The club are without a win in 13 games (0-10-3) and have won just one in their last 19 games (1-14-4) in all competitions.

His high-priced Italian stars Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi largely underperformed and provided lightning rods for criticism, with Bernardeschi publicly voicing dissatisfaction with the club's style of play earlier this season.

And the coaching situation has been unstable since Greg Vanney resigned after the 2020 season to join the Los Angeles Galaxy. Chris Armas, Javier Perez and most recently Bob Bradley have not managed to build on Vanney's success.

Bradley, a former US national team coach whose son is Toronto midfielder Michael Bradley, was fired on June 26 as Toronto's record was 3-7-10. TFC have lost all eight games in MLS and League Cup since Dunfield took over.

“There is still work to be done, and we recognize that transformative change takes time,” Herdman said. “We understand what it takes to make a difference and I am committed to getting this city and this club where it belongs.”

Successful with men's and women's teams

Toronto hopes to find that stability at the helm of Herdman, who joins Major League Soccer after 13 successful years coaching Canada internationally. He is the first manager to lead both a women's and a men's team from the same country to World Cup qualifiers.

He took charge of the Canada women's national team in 2011 after Carolina Morace retired after a poor performance at the Women's World Cup.

Under Herdman's tutelage, the Canadian women posted a record of 62-32-14 from 2011 to 2018 and won Olympic bronze medals in 2012 and 2016.

Canada's 1-0 win over France in the 2012 bronze medal match followed a dramatic semi-final against arch-rivals USA in which the Americans overcame a Christine Sinclair hat-trick to win 4-3 in overtime.

Herdman joined the men's national team in 2018 and was instrumental in turning the club around.

Canada qualified for only the second time for the World Cup and the first time since 1986 when Canada finished first in the CONCACAF region third qualifying round. Results included a win over Mexico in Edmonton and a draw against the CONCACAF powerhouse at Mexico City's massive Azteca Stadium, as well as a win over the United States in Hamilton.

financial instability

While Canada lost all three games at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, it was the better team for long stretches in a 0-1 defeat against the then number 1. 2 Belgium and Alphonso Davies scored the country's first World Cup goal in a 4-1 defeat by semi-finalists Croatia. The last game was a 2-1 loss to Morocco, another semi-finalist.

When Herdman took over the men's team, Canada was ranked 95th in the world, climbing to 33rd in February 2022, an all-time high. It is currently ranked 43rd.

“I'm grateful for the incredible opportunity to represent Canada over the past 12 years, for the moments I've shared with the players, staff and fans,” said Herdman.

“The goal has always been to finish the game better and I'm confident that goal has been achieved for Canada.”

VIEW | Canada eliminated at the World Cup in Qatar:

Canada exits World Cup after third loss and looks to 2026

Team Canada's World Cup series came to an end after a 2-1 defeat by Morocco. Despite their record of consecutive losses, the future looks bright for the team as Canada prepares to host the World Cup in 2026.

But possibly due to the financial uncertainty Canada Soccer is facing, Herdman has decided to switch to club football and pass up the chance to coach Canada at the 2026 World Cup, which the country is co-hosting with the United States and Mexico.

Earlier this year, Herdman asked the governing body for resources.

“We have to sort this out financially,” he said in the evening after Canada lost 2-0 to the USA in the final of the CONCACAF Nations League. “We have to be serious about winning a World Cup. Playing at home gives you a chance to win them. You have a chance to go to a semi-final, a quarter-final, a semi-final and then make your way there.” Win It.

“And we don't mean it. We have brought a World Cup to our country and we are not serious about winning it.”

Both Canada national teams are in a bitter labor dispute with Canada Soccer. The men's team players recently expressed their disappointment that there are no matches scheduled for the upcoming FIFA international window.

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