VANCOUVER, Canada – While it was disappointing for Canada Head Coach John Herdman to learn that MF Alphonso Davies will miss the final 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League Qualifier versus French Guiana on Sunday, the Canada boss also sees it as an opportunity for others to step up.
Speaking with reporters this week as the news of the Bayern Munich starlet’s absence was revealed, Herdman expressed his faith that his players can still get the job done and earn three points that would qualify them for the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.
“You can never rely every game on your best players,” Herdman said.
“It's an opportunity for people to step up as this door opens for somebody else, and I think we've got the talent here for someone to really step through and start to show Canada that there's more to this team than Alphonso Davies. There's a lot of good players. If one youngster drops out, another youngster can step forward,” added Herdman.
Still, it was hard for Herdman not to feel for Davies, who would be returning to Vancouver where he played for three seasons with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
To boot, in his young international career, the 18-year-old winger has had great success against French Guiana, having scored a brace when the two teams met in the 2017 Gold Cup.
“The kid was devastated. As a coach you're always upset, but you can look down this roster and there's some really good players to step through. But I was just so gutted for him. He was so excited to come back. He had some tears on the phone. He actually couldn't finish his sentences. Someone else picked the phone off him at one point. You feel for him because this meant a lot to him,” concluded Herdman.