For the last few years, Canadian soccer fans have waited patiently about what Midfielder Junior Hoilett was going to do with his international career. On Wednesday, Canada got a huge boost to there 2018 World Cup Qualifying campaign as Junior Hoilett announced he will suit up for Canada.
It seems simple, but as it always is with the Canadian Men’s National team, it was everything they needed. Hoilett was born in Brampton, Ontario but has ties to Jamaica. During the last Qualifying cycle in 2011-12 season. Hoilett never committed to any country, as he wanted to focus on his club situation. As it turned out, Canada could have used him as they were edged by Honduras and Panama by a single point.
Hoilett plays for the English-side on the Queen Park Rangers, who are currently in the second tier of English Football. Hoilett’s preference was to play for England’s national team but was ineligible.
For a country that’s population in 35 million, only qualifying for one World Cup has been a disappointment. The teams lack of goal scoring and ultimately a lack of wins has consistently been Canada’s downfall over the years. More importantly, over the last decade and if not more, there have been many players who are eligible to play for Canada but have chosen to play for a different country. This had become devastating for the National team as with top players playing for other countries, it has become very difficult to field Canada’s best team possible and therefore compete with CONCACAF’s best teams.
Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come. In the last four months, two others have committed to Canada. The others include Frasier Aird and Tesho Akindele. All three, should give Canada hope that they can ultimately turn the corner.
A deep run from their national team is something that Canada has been waiting for a long time now. With an upcoming friendly against Ghana on October 13th, Canada seems poised to put their best team put forward before they head into the fourth round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. Canada got placed in the “Group of Death” that also features Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador. The fourth round beings November 13th at B.C. Place as Canada welcomes Honduras.
Only time will tell if this boost is enough to help Canada reach their heights that they haven’t seen in almost two decades.