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Canadian men’s soccer team aiming to end more than 30 years of hurt

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TSN Soccer Analyst


Back in 1996, the Football Association in England approached Ian Broudie, singer and guitarist of the band Lightning Seeds, to make a song for the home nation’s European Championships campaign.

Broudie reluctantly agreed, and after comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner joined him the song the world now knows as Football’s Coming Home was born.

It remains very much alive today. Football of course did come home for that country during the tournament, but the one line that was sung most passionately that year, and ultimately needed to be changed for future versions, was in reference to the gap between successes at a major tournament.

Thirty years of hurt.

John Herdman was just 20 at the time and lived Euro 96 as a young man growing up in the football heartbeat of the North East of England.

Now the head coach of Canada’s men’s national team, Herdman is focused on ending another winless run.

“It’s a 30-year hiatus,” he said, avoiding using the word hurt.

Herdman is referring to the last time Canada defeated the U.S. It happened in a 1985 friendly in Vancouver, which is actually 34 years ago – a run of 17 games since Canada last beat their rivals to the south. You have to go back to 1980 for the last time Canada won this matchup in a competitive game.

“It’s clear to the group that it isn’t their history, it’s only what is ahead of us now,” Herdman said. “It is a talented group, but there have been other talented groups that have played against the U.S.”

So what makes this one so different?

“The mindset is very clear and we’ve got a mission and........