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John Herdman

November 24, 2021 by Speakers' Spotlight

John Herdman leads Men’s Soccer to Top Spot in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers

It was a good night! After defeating Mexico last week, the Canadian Men’s Soccer Team will finish 2021 undefeated and sitting in the number one spot in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers.

Since joining the team as Head Coach in 2018, John Herdman had the goal of transforming the squad into a World Cup contender, and seeing them qualify for the 2022 World Cup and be competitive when Canada co-hosts the tournament in 2026.

After many ups and downs over the last couple of years, Canada is one step closer to John’s dream after defeating Mexico for the first time in decades. Their 2-1 win secured their spot at the top of the CONCACAF qualifying table with six games to go.

When asked about what’s next for the team, John told Canada Soccer:

“Keep working hard, that’s what I keep saying to these lads, you know, we keep starting again, we win again, we draw again, we start again. Your last successful act is your last successful act, we just got to keep moving forward.”

John is no stranger to adversity having been the former head coach of the Canadian Women’s Soccer Team. He transformed this once called “struggling squad” into a winning team. Under his leadership, the team won two back-to-back bronze medals at the Olympic Games, and a gold medal at the Pan Am Games — the first Pan Am gold in Canadian soccer history. This certainly set them on their path to gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

John is applying the same coaching philosophy that brought the women’s team success to the men’s team. He doesn’t demand perfection but instead inspires them to “be good”. Too often, he says, we over complicate our lives and overlook the basic features of what makes us good — not great, but good. John believes that when we’re able to be good consistently at everything we do, it’s this that leads us to greatness.

“It took them time to recognize that we’re for real; it’s for real,” he told Canada Soccer. “They’ve built the foundation here that they’ll fight and they’ll work for each other, and when that’s there, the talent comes out.”

Hear more from John in this emotional interview with Canada Soccer right after their win against Mexico.

In his riveting keynotes, John Herdman draws on his experience coaching both the Women’s and Men’s soccer teams to illustrate his performance-improvement philosophies. These include leadership and motivation, going outside one’s comfort zone, reaching for the top, and, most importantly, crafting and leading a high-performance culture.

Interested in learning more about John and what he can bring to your next event? Email us at [email protected].