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Canada Soccer cancels January camp, training match over COVID-19 concerns

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Citing the pandemic and impact of the Omicron variant, Canada Soccer has cancelled its planned January men’s camp and a training match in Florida.

The 40th-ranked Canadian men had been scheduled to play No. 122 Guatemala on Jan. 22 at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, ahead of three FIFA World Cup qualifying matches in the January-February FIFA international window.

Canada visits No. 76 Honduras on Jan. 27, hosts the 11th-ranked Americans in Hamilton on Jan. 30 and plays at No. 70 El Salvador on Feb. 2.

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A men’s under-20 camp that was planned alongside the senior side’s Florida session has also been cancelled.

The senior camp, which was scheduled outside of the FIFA international window, would largely have featured players from Major League Soccer and others out of season.

The camp cancellation is another moving part for Canada coach John Herdman, who has already lost St. Johnstone midfielder David Wotherspoon to a long-term knee injury.

Canada star Alphonso Davies is one of a long list of Bayern Munich players to test positive for COVID but is said to be well and self-isolating at home.

The Canadians (4-0-4, 16 points) currently top CONCACAF’s final qualifying round standings with six games remaining in the eight-team round robin. Come March, the top three will book their ticket to Qatar 2022 to represent North and Central America and the Caribbean.

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The fourth-place side will face a team from Oceania in an intercontinental playoff to see who joins them.

The U.S. (4-1-3, 15 points) currently stand second ahead of Mexico and Panama (both 4-2-2, 14 points).

The Canadian men went 13-2-4 in 2021, recording nine clean sheets and a record 55 goals scored. Canada also set a record with eight consecutive wins.

Herdman’s team is unbeaten in eight games (4-0-4) since a 2-1 loss to Mexico in the Gold Cup semifinals.

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