Welcome to your Canada men’s national team game thread. Join us in the comments section to follow the match live and share your thoughts. We only ask that you keep debate respectful and refrain from any abuse of fellow Waking the Red members, which will not be tolerated. Come on you (other) Reds!
Tonight is something like a video-game-style boss battle for the Canadian men’s national team. At 10pm ET in Frisco, Texas, Canada take on Honduras in their final group game at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Canada’s last two World Cup qualifying campaigns have effectively been ended in San Pedro Sula, Honduras’s second-largest city. It is a place that has forever become synonymous with heartbreak for national team supporters after a humiliating 8-1 loss sunk their hopes of reaching the 2014 World Cup.
Whenever the Canadian men’s national team program is looking to move up a level, like an impossible to beat video-game boss Honduras is always standing in their way. Tonight is no different, as Canada look to make the Gold Cup knockout stage for the first time since 2009.
If Canada win or draw - they could even lose in some scenarios - they will clinch their spot in the next round. That’s a proposition that sounds eerily familiar to the 2014 qualifying campaign.
There are some differences, however. For one, Canada is riding high into this game after a big 1-1 draw with tournament contenders Costa Rica. Furthermore, even a loss will see them advance if Martinique or El Salvador lose.
Canada won’t be looking to leave anything up to chance, however, and will hope to grab one of the top two spots in the group. After some experimental moves through the first two games from manager Octavio Zambrano, he will likely field what he feels is his strongest XI tonight.
That means it is probable that Patrice Bernier, Lucas Cavallini and Marcel de Jong all return to the lineup. Cavallini, especially, was missed against Costa Rica, against whom Canada lacked a target man for most of the match.
The other question going into the match for Canada is the status of Alphonso Davies. The 16-year-old tournament leading scorer is said to be fit and ready to go after suffering an ankle injury against Costa Rica, but whether or not he starts or comes off the bench remains to be seen.
Canada has a few alternative options. Zambrano chose to sub on Fraser Aird as a replacement for Davies late in the match against Costa Rica, but Aird is better on the right. Russell Teibert has also played left wing for Canada in the past, but the most likely replacement for Davies is Toronto FC’s Raheem Edwards.
While Canada comes into this match in a good run of form, Honduras hasn't impressed so far at this year’s Gold Cup. They have yet to score but were awarded a 3-0 win over French Guiana after the non-FIFA team elected to play the ineligible Florent Malouda.
However, Honduras also knows that their backs are against the wall. Anything but a win puts them in danger of missing out on the knockout round, and a loss would put them seriously at risk.
If Costa Rica underestimated a young Canadian team on Tuesday, don’t expect the same from Honduras. They will be hungry as ever to keep up their domination of Canada. Canada will be just as hungry to beat the team who have been holding them back for years.
Kick-off: 10pm Eastern
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Frisco
TV channel & live stream
TV: TSN 2 (Canada), FS1 (USA)
Stream: TSN Go (Canada), Fox Sports Go (USA)
All signs point to the fact that Alphonso Davies’ ankle injury has healed, but whether he is 90 minutes fit is a different story. Expect Davies to at least be available off the bench.
What is less clear is whether or not Honduras defender Ever Alvarado will be available for the match. The Honduran left-back picked up his second yellow card of the tournament in the forfeited game against French Guiana, but it has not been confirmed whether or not that will now be voided.
Honduras: López; Beckeles, Henry Figueroa, Maynor Figueroa, Alvarado; Acosta, Mejia; Elis, López, Quioto; Lanza.
Canada: Borjan; De Jong, Vitoria, Jakovic, Petrasso; Piette, Bernier, Arfield; Edwards, Cavallini, Hoilett.