For interim Canadian coach Biello, stakes vs. Jamaica are simple yet significant: just win
On Tuesday, the Canadian men's soccer team will return to Toronto for the second leg of its CONCACAF Nations League quarterfinal matchup against Jamaica. The stakes are significant, especially for interim head coach Mauro Biello.
Saturday's 2-1 win was Canada's first in Jamaica since 1988. An emphatic follow-up victory at BMO Field — where the men memorably beat Jamaica 4-0 in 2022 to qualify for their first World Cup in 36 years — would seal an invitation to next summer's prestigious Copa America.
It would also cement Biello's case to lead them there.
"It means a lot to me — I'm Canadian — to represent this group, to work with this group. The focus remains that," he said Monday.
Biello was tapped for the top job, at least temporarily, after former head coach John Herdman resigned in August to take over Toronto FC. The 51-year-old Biello had been Herdman's assistant for five years and was the obvious stop-gap choice.
"My whole life I worked for this moment," Biello said at the time.
A former player and head coach with the Montreal Impact, now CF Montreal, he has been open about his wishes since: He wants to take the national team to the next men's World Cup, which Canada will co-host with the U.S. and Mexico in 2026.
WATCH | Biello discusses desire to lead Canada into World Cup:
But Canada Soccer, mired in a leadership crisis of its own, affixed the word "interim" to his title with considerable resolve.
The governing body is searching for a new general secretary to replace Earl Cochrane, who resigned in April. (Former captain Jason deVos currently occupies the role, also on an interim basis.) That hire is expected to be made before the end of the year.
A permanent head coach won't be named until after that