Even when there is bad news for the Canadian men's national team as of late, good news tends to follow in short order. A late goal from Jozy Altidore saw Canada lose 1-0 to the United States last night. But a day later it looks like there is confirmation that their player pool has expanded once again.
Scott Arfield has long been rumoured to be joining Canada in time for their end of March World Cup qualifiers, but for the first time he has gone on record to confirm. Talking to the Lancashire Telegraph this morning, he says that barring some issue with paperwork he will join the national team for their next set of qualifiers.
There are two important documents that have to go through in order to make this official, but both have been filed. The first would be Arfield's Canadian passport application, which he is hoping will be processed before March. The second is his one time switch, which he has filed making him permanently cap tied to Canada. It doesn't sound like there was much resistance from the Scottish FA.
"[Scottish manager Gordon Strachan] gave me a call and he wished me all the best," Arfield told the Telegraph. "He never tried to change my mind. He wanted to touch base since the paperwork came through to Scotland. I told him my decision and it's one I'm glad I took."
Arfield is eligible for Canada because of his Toronto-born father, who is absolutely thrilled about his son's decision. Despite his strong play for Burnley Scotland never called him up past the youth level. This led to him looking to Canada in order to start his international career.
The 27-year-old Arfield has already had a strong club career. This season he has played 30 games in the Championship with Burley and has 6 goals and 5 assists. Burnley currently sits fourth place in the league and there is a chance they could be in the EPL next year. He has also spent time with Falkirk and Huddersfield Town.
Arfield joins a Canadian midfield that is already the deepest and most important part of the Canadian team. Between Will Johnson, Atiba Hutchinson and Julian De Guzman the trio was crucial to the four points Canada got from their opening pair of qualifiers. He could also potentially play on the right wing as well, which could be where Benito Floro chooses to play him.
Either way, the national team player pool will continue to get deeper with this move. The national team has recently added a number of new faces, as Steven Vitoria made his first start for Canada last night. Junior Hoilett, Fraser Aird and Wandrille Lefevre were also added to the group.
This gives the national team a fresh feel as they head into March needing to steal at least a point from Mexico to stay in one of the top two spots in the division. Canada is trying to qualify for the final stage of CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers for the first time since 1998 qualifiers.