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John Herdman admits Canada roster is 'work in progress' ahead of USMNT clash

Lizzy Becherano
Canada face the USMNT on Sunday
Canada face the USMNT on Sunday / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Canada head coach John Herdman provided a status update on Stephen Eustáquio before praising the US men's national team ahead of the highly-anticipated match on Sunday at Tim Horton Field in Hamilton, Ontario.

Eustáquio was ruled out of Canada’s first match of the January/February international window against Honduras after testing positive for Covid-19. The player has since recovered, and may feature against the United States. 

“We are hoping to see him join the squad hopefully tonight or tomorrow," Herdman said in his Saturday media availability. 

“The roster at this stage, it's still a work in progress."

Canada currently leads the Concacaf table with 19 points in nine games and a record of 5-4-0, but a loss against the USMNT on Sunday could see them slide to second. With the US only one point behind, the match will be key to determining the top three teams.

"Gregg Berhalter is a good coach. He is going to try and adapt to what he thinks we are going to put out there. I think he has seen us play different ways and he will have to adapt to that. But they have a strong blueprint,” Herdman continued.

“One thing with the US, they have a really good identity and if you give them those inside channels, the expected goals from those positions, they are absolutely killers. So we have to manage that.

"It is a really strong team, that is what we get excited about. You have got to win those individual battles and then look to manage that space behind your fullbacks. They love that space and those cutbacks into the box."

USMNT player Tim Weah is unavailable for Sunday’s match after failing to meet Canada’s mandated vaccination requirements, leaving the team vulnerable. 

While the top three nations on the Concacaf table automatically qualify for the 2022 World Cup, the race remains tight.