After making history as head coach of the Canadian men’s national team, John Herdman has announced his departure to take on a new challenge — head coach of Toronto FC.
For more than a decade, John has successfully lead Canada at the international level. He is the first coach to qualify both a women’s and men’s team from the same country for the World Cup. John first came to Canada in 2011 as head coach of the Canadian women’s national soccer team, after the previous coach resigned following a poor performance at the Women’s World Cup.
Under John’s leadership this once struggling team won back-to-back bronze medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, becoming the first team to do so, male or female, at a Summer Olympics in over a century; won a historic gold medal at the Pan Am Games, the first in Canadian soccer history; and earned a top-six finish at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
In 2018, John moved to the men’s national team with the goal of turning the team, which ranked 95th in the world at the time, into World Cup contenders. A lofty goal John achieved in 2022, when the men’s team earned their first FIFA World Cup qualification since 1986. Along the way, the team achieved several firsts for the league, including a top 30 FIFA ranking, the coveted number one spot in their CONCACAF WCUP qualification, and an incredible 17-game winning streak.
In a statement released by Canada Soccer, John said, “I am grateful for the incredible opportunity to have represented Canada for the past 12 years, for the moments I’ve been able to share with the players, the staff, and the supporters.
The goal was always to leave the game in a better place, and I’m confident that goal has been achieved for Canada.”
From Canada Soccer to MLS
As of October 1, 2023, John will be the head coach of another struggling team — Toronto FC. It’s facing one of its toughest seasons yet, with just three league wins alongside 10 draws and 13 losses. It is currently tied for last place in MLS with 19 points.
“I am keen to start this new opportunity with Toronto FC,” John said in a statement. “Personally, it’s the right time for me to step into a new challenge in my career, and the structure of a club environment is a context I’ve aspired to operate in.
Having access to connect and collaborate with the staff and players daily allows for a different depth of development and connection, both on and off the pitch.”
After announcing his departure, Charmaine Crooks, president of Canada Soccer, released the following statement in acknowledgement of John’s incredible contribution to the national teams:
“John Herdman is the most successful head coach in the history of Canada Soccer. From leading the women’s national team to back-to-back Olympic bronze medals, paving the way for their gold medal in 2020, and to leading the men’s national team back to the FIFA World Cup, John’s contribution to the game in Canada is unmatched. We would like to thank John for his immense contribution to the game in Canada and wish him the very best in his new role at Toronto FC.”
Watch John talk about the “life-changing” journey of leading the Canadian men’s team to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in the video below:
John Herdman is internationally renowned for his leadership philosophy and has been credited with revolutionizing how soccer is organized and delivered through his award-winning “Whole of Football Plan”.
As a keynote speaker, John shares his proven performance philosophies, emphasizing the importance of vision, passion, and discipline in achieving success, whether it’s on the field or in the office.
Providing instantly usable takeaways, including visualization techniques and goal-setting strategies, John’s talks are guaranteed to inspire and transform. Contact us to learn more about John and how to book him for your next event.