World Cup Qualifying Preview: Canada - Cuba

Canada can move into back into first place in a competitive Group C with a win over the already eliminated Cubans on Friday night at BMO Field.
Canada (4-2-3-1): Hirschfeld; Edgar, Hainault, McKenna, Jazic; de Guzman, Johnson; Jackson, Hutchinson, de Jong; Occean.


Goalkeepers: Lars Hirschfeld, Milan Borjan, Kenny Stamatopoulos

Defenders: Mike Klukowski, Kevin McKenna, André Hainualt, Marcel de Jong, Dejan Jakovic, David Edgar, Ante Jazic

Midfielders: Nik Ledgerwood, Julian de Guzman, Will Johnson, Atiba Hutchinson, Terry Dunfield, Pedro Pacheco, Patrice Bernier

Forwards: Iain Hume, Tosaint Ricketts, Simeon Jackson, Olivier Occean

Cuba (4-4-2): Pichardo; Serrano, Zalazar, Rondon, Joseph; Juara, Ramirez, Lugo, Dominguez; Saez, Gonzalez.

Team News

The Cuban side is a bit of a mystery. A roster has not been publicly released.

  • Canada defeated Cuba 1-0 in Havana back in June in the group's opening match. Canadian goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld was ejected from that match for intentionally handling the ball outside the 18-yard box.
  • Both nations have a solitary World Cup experience: Canada in 1986 and Cuba in 1938.
  • Cuba has yet to score a goal in this round of qualification, and has thusly been eliminated from contention. Canada has scored just twice, but has still amassed seven points in its four games.
  • The 146th-ranked Cubans are at the bottom of the CONCACAF's Group C in terms of ranking. Canada is 61st in the FIFA rankings, good enough for second in the group.
  • The temperature is forecasted to be around 5 degrees Celsius (41 F) at kickoff in Toronto. At the same time in Havana, it is expected to be around 26 C (79 F).