John Herdman

John Herdman

Visionary Coach

Coach, Canadian Men's National Team
2022 FIFA Men's World Cup
2016 & 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist
2015 FIFA Women's World Cup – Fifth Place
2014 FIFA Men's World Cup Broadcast Analyst, CBC Sports
2011 Pan Am Games Gold Medalist
Social Followers: Twitter, 26,000

Olympic bronze.

For the Canadian Women’s National Team, it was more than just a medal.

After several international disappointments, Team Canada had finally summoned a performance worthy of the Olympic stage.

At home, from coast-to-coast, hopes rose and support for the team reached an all-time high leading into the semi-final match with the Americans. In what was one of the most memorable performances in Canadian sport history, we held our collective breath for 120 minutes and felt the national heartbreak of the loss.

This unscripted drama was orchestrated by a talented team that had finally found a new determination and physical identity under the guidance of visionary coach and motivator John Herdman.

If Christine Sinclair, with her hat-trick performance, had become the generational face of Canadian soccer, then Coach Herdman had become its impassioned voice.

The encore? 

Led by a steadied group of veterans and a promising young core of emerging talent, the Canadian women came to the Olympic Games in Rio 2016 with an inspired intent.

What they did next was remarkable.

Canada won 5 of its 6 matches including impressive wins over Asian champions Australia, eventual Olympic champions Germany and home-nation Brazil in front of over 50,000 fans.

The result?

A second consecutive Olympic bronze medal.

In March 2018, John accepted a new, and even more challenging role as Head Coach of the Canadian Men's National Team with the goal of earning a World Cup berth in Qatar 2022.

With Canada's last World Cup appearance over a generation ago in 1986, Herdman began his work from the first training camp in Spain with an ambitious vision for a program in need of revitalizaion and a guiding "North Star."

“It was pretty clear that we wanted to pioneer in so many ways. And a big part of that was creating new Canada as a football nation,” Herdman said. “And we know qualifying for a World Cup is the most important part of that event. But there are other things, there are other goals that are important for us.”

For Herdman, qualifying for soccer's biggest showcase was simply not enough.

He wanted to put the Canadian men on the soccer map, just as he did with the Canadian women.

The road to Qatar 2022 began with CONCACAF qualifying — a notoriously challenging zone dominated by Mexico and the United States.

Following a 20-game marathon over thousands of miles including a defining win over Mexico at a sold-out Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton appropriately dubbed "The Snow Bowl," Canada finished at the top of the table and will enter the FIFA World Cup as the zone's top qualifier.

Now, the real work begins to continue to build momentum, to enliven Canada's fans, and to create a legacy that grows the game across the country.

In Qatar 2022, the team opened against World number 2, Belgium and dominated play for the first 40 minutes generating a handful of chances including a penalty shot.

Canada had announced that it was for real before conceding a goal in a 1-0 loss. 

The remainder of pool play saw the Canadians score two goals and end the tournament with some small victories, and a glimpse of their own potential.

And, with 13 players 25-years old or under, there's only one way to describe the valuable experience gained leading into the World Cup in Canada in 2026:


John Herdman

Natalie Spooner

Meaghan Mikkelson

Craig McMorris