The Canadian men’s national team will already be without its best player for the next round of World Cup Qualifying and now will have to play its showdown against the United States with a reduced home crowd.
Canada Soccer announced Thursday that the January 30th qualifier at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton will be played at 50 percent capacity. The attendance will now be at 12,000 spectators, a major drop off for what will be the second showdown between Canada and the U.S. men’s national team this cycle.
“We remain excited to bring the Men’s National Team FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Qualifiers match to Hamilton with the team riding a nation-wide wave of support at the top of the table and we thank all of our fans who helped us sell out Tim Hortons Field back in December and are pushing our team to new heights,” said Canada Soccer President Dr. Nick Bontis.
“We prioritize the safety of all players, staff and fans and want to acknowledge the diligent and ongoing work, not only these past few weeks, but throughout the Final Round of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, of our partners at all levels of government to ensure that we are able to play in front of our fans on home soil.”
The match had already sold out, but with the change in capacity, all previous ticket purchases will be canceled and refunded, and a new round of sales will be set up.
Canada sits in first place in the octagonal round table through eight matches played and is the only nation that has yet to suffer defeat. John Herdman’s side leads the table with 13 goals scored and is tied with the USMNT for the fewest goals conceded (5).
The Canadians earned a 1-1 draw with the USMNT back in September in Nashville, using a Cyle Larin equalizer to earn one point. Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies will not take part in the upcoming window following complications after his positive COVID-19 test, leaving a major hole in Canada’s squad.
Canada will travel to El Salvador on January 27 before hosting the USMNT on Jan. 30. The Canadians will close out their penultimate window with a trip to Honduras on Feb. 2. looking to move one step closer to a first World Cup berth since 1986.