Canada’s quest to qualify for the 2018 soccer World Cup starts against Dominica on the road at Windsor Park in Roseau in June. The date will be released shortly.
The first meeting between the two countries in a World Cup qualifier will be followed by the return leg of the home and away series on June 16 at BMO Field in Toronto.
National coach Benito Floro said Canada is ready for Dominica’s challenge.
“We have prepared for this,” he said. “The single most important thing for us now is to win this qualification and move to the next round.”
Tickets for the home game against Dominica went on sale last week on Ticketmaster.ca. Further details can be found on canadasoccer.com/canMNTvDMA.
Canada is ranked 114th in the world while Dominica is listed at #177.
The winner on goal aggregate will qualify for Round Three of the Confederation of North, Central American & Caribbean Associations of Soccer (CONCACAF) preliminary competition that will be held from August 31 to September 8, followed by the Round Four round-robin series in November this year and March and September 2016.
The match-ups for Round Three and seeds for Round Four will be determined after the International Soccer Federation (FIFA) World Cup preliminary draw on July 25.
The final round of the CONCACAF preliminary competition will be contested among the remaining countries from the region between November 2016 and October 2017. The top three finishers are guaranteed places in the next World Cup in Russia and a fourth team from the region will join them after a home and away playoff with another confederation team.
Canada’s first and only World Cup appearance was in 1986 in Mexico where the national team failed to score a goal while conceding six to France, Hungary and the Soviet Union.
Meanwhile, Jeffrey Webb will serve a second term as CONCACAF president. The Cayman Islands resident was re-elected at the governing body’s 30th ordinary congress last week in the Bahamas.
“CONCACAF is, more than ever, united by one vision,” said Webb. “We represent our region on the global stage with one strong and cohesive voice. The invisible barriers that have hampered the region’s progress for decades are diminishing, and we are seeing unprecedented levels of success both on and off the pitch.”
Jamaica Soccer Federation president Horace Burrell was re-elected as CONCACAF’s Caribbean zone vice-president.
And, Ethiopia has terminated the contract of head coach Mariano Barreto a year after he inked a two-year deal.
Ethiopia finished at the bottom of their 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying group and it’s speculated that there are deep divisions between Barreto and the country’s soccer federation’s technical department.
Ethiopia is drawn with Algeria, Lesotho and Seychelles in their 2017 Nations Cup qualifying group.
They kick off their campaign against Lesotho in June.