Lost amid all the craziness of TFC's latest moves is a piece of very good news for the Canadian Women's team. The CSA announced today that coach John Herdman will be staying with the team, signing a new contract that goes well beyond the 2016 end date of his previous agreement, all the way to 2020.
Ever since Hope Powell was sacked as coach of England, there's been speculation that Herdman might be poached away, similar to how Canada got him from New Zealand. Canadian pessimism and insecurity of course brought the theory that even though Canada is currently ahead of England in terms of the Women's game, the potential, the glamour, and the resources of the English FA must obviously be better than what the CSA can do. Add in the fact that Herdman's English so there's also the pull of his home country and plenty of people were worried that even the home soil World Cup of 2015 wouldn't be enough to keep him around, and pondering what his departure might mean for the Women's programme. Herdman himself didn't exactly dampen the flames of that theory, saying "I'm going to keep doing what I do and if the English FA ring me up, it's my homeland, and if they say ‘we need your help' I'm going to consider that,"
Well, thankfully we don't have to worry any more with the news today that not only will he be staying for that World Cup, and the 2014 U20 World Cup before it, but if he stay to the end of this new deal, will also be around for the World Cup after that in 2019, as well as a couple of Olympic games cycles as well, all the way to 2020.
"The Canadian Soccer Association is thrilled to renew its commitment of having John Herdman as Canada's Women's National Team Head Coach through 2020. Just like it was the case when we initially announced him as our new Women's Head Coach two years ago almost to the day, we continue to believe that John has the leadership and vision to develop the clear pathway this country needs to grow women's football in addition to world class performances on the pitch." - Peter Montopoli, Canadian Soccer Association General Secretary
"I am thrilled to know that I have the support from the Canadian Soccer Association to not only build a strong Women's program but also to have the opportunity to implement it and see it through after Canada 2015. We now have the clarity to move forward, focus on our performances and put in place the stepping stones to truly leaving a lasting legacy for women's football in Canada." - John Herdman
Given his importance to the team, that's huge news, meaning he'll be around to lead the team into the post-Christine Sinclair era. The 2015 World Cup and 2016 Olympics will probably be the last hurrah for many of the players from the 2012 Olympics, managing that transition while also focusing on competing in those tournaments will be a tough challenge, it's good to know that there will be continuity beyond that time.
Also announced today was that Canada will be playing Mexico in a friendly in Vancouver on November 24th. This comes after the recent announcement that Canada will again take on the U.S on January 31st next year, somewhere in the U.S though the exact time and place hasn't been decided upon yet.