The 2026 World Cup in North America may still be a while away, but Canada needs to start preparing for it straight away to stand a chance of going beyond the group stage. The disappointment faced in Qatar will be fresh in the players’ minds, but the experience will have taught them how much harder they need to work.
There are various factors that could help Canada get further in the competition than ever before, and it will be great for the event if even one of the host nations can make it through to the knockout stage.
Home Turf and Automatic Qualification
As one of the three host nations alongside the USA and Mexico, Canada will automatically qualify for the next World Cup. This means that the players and manager will not have to worry about navigating qualifying games and can instead put all their focus on preparations for the tournament. This gives them a head start before a ball has even been kicked. In addition to that, host nations tend to be drawn into favourable groups, so this could be another factor in favour of Canada.
It is also likely to have a vast amount of home support from people in the country. Soccer isn’t the most popular sport, but there was a great deal of interest in the recent World Cup. It was found that nearly 50 per cent of people in the country tuned into Canada’s group games, making them among the most-watched matches of the 2022 competition.
There are likely to be even more people watching the 2026 edition. Moreover, related industries will also likely hype it up massively in advance. Indeed, the booming betting industry in the country will play a huge part in showing support for Canada's football team with special bets and promotions to raise awareness. There are so many sites operating in the country now that bettors use review sites to find the best sports betting sites in Canada. These are arranged based on their offers, whether they have fair odds, and if they have a range of betting options.
Star Players Need to Play at the Top
Canada’s chances in the World Cup will rest upon how well their key players are performing at that stage. The exciting thing is that there are some up-and-coming players who could be world-class talents by the time the tournament rolls around.
Alphonso Davies is the standout star in the Canadian ranks at the moment, and the pacey fullback is currently tearing it up in the Bundesliga. Canada will need the 22-year-old to be at the top of his game in 2026 and will most likely use him as a wide attacker. Davies could even attract the attention of other major European clubs between now and then, which would help him build his skillset further.
The other player that Canadians will be most excited about seeing at the 2026 tournament is Jonathan David. The 22-year-old was named the male Canada Soccer Player of the Year in 2019, and he has bagged 22 goals in 38 appearances for the national side so far. He’s currently plying his trade for Lille but has attracted interest from top European clubs like Chelsea and Arsenal. If he can get a high-profile move in the years before the World Cup, David will earn some vital experience.
There are a few other factors that could help Canada’s chances at the World Cup. For instance, it may be advisable to hire a more experienced manager to navigate the ultimate tournament. John Herdman has made some incredible improvements to date, but a more prestigious hand may be needed to take Canada to the next level.