Facing current Gold Cup and Nations League champions Concacaf on the road after a disappointing 1-1 draw with Honduras, Herdman has been quiet about how his side will approach Sunday’s game.
“These are World Cup qualifiers now, so I have to be low-key about everything,” Herdman said with a laugh. “We are in enemy territory and it is always difficult at Concacaf. I said from the start that we have depth in this team. We have world-class players and we’re going to have to rotate the players over three games. “
After being frustrated by a crafty Honduran team in Toronto, Canada now takes on the spoiler role trying to take their hometown team’s breath away in Nashville.
“It’s a team we’re going to try to frustrate, and that’s what you have to do as a team outside of Concacaf,” said defenseman Alistair Johnston, who will play for his club in MLS. . “You have to be a frustrating team to fall apart and take whatever you can get.”
While they will aim to outsmart the Americans, who are breaking a 0-0 stalemate in El Salvador, don’t expect Canada to park the bus and hold out for a draw.
“I’m going to say it as simple as this: we go into every game looking for three points,” said Johnston. “I don’t think we’re ever going to go anywhere and settle in and try to play strictly 0-0. I don’t think it’s in the DNA of this team.
Johnston will play in Nashville on the visiting team for the first time in his two professional seasons. He’s got off to a flying start since being picked No.11 in the 2020 SuperDraft MLS presented by adidas, and now can’t wait to see what a welcome he will receive at his adopted home.
“I’m telling you what, I think our audience has always been first class. They showed me a lot of love throughout my first year and a half here in Nashville, ”said Johnston. “I wouldn’t mind seeing what they have. We’ll see what they have, if they have any songs or whatever they have to throw at me. I still think I’ll have a decent reception. Maybe not the loudest of the whole team. “