Canada vs. Uruguay: How to watch & stream, preview of World Cup prep friendly
Canada’s penultimate friendly ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup arrives Tuesday when meeting fellow qualifier Uruguay on neutral soil in Bratislava, Slovakia.
How to watch and stream
With less than two months until the unconventional November/December World Cup, international coaches have little time with their players amid ongoing club campaigns.
That makes Tuesday’s opportunity even more essential for Canada manager John Herdman, whose team will also face Japan on Nov. 17 in Dubai in a final tune-up match. Afterwards, Group F play awaits against Belgium (Nov. 23), Croatia (Nov. 27) and Morocco (Dec. 1).
After topping Concacaf’s Octagonal qualification pathway, Les Rouges are back in the World Cup for the first time since 1986, snapping a 36-year drought. Excitement is certainly building for what these underdogs could accomplish.
The sour taste of the June international window – and its player/federation labor dispute – isn’t 100% gone, but Friday’s resounding 2-0 win over Qatar sure helped. Les Rouges got goals from strikers Cyle Larin and Jonathan David inside of 13 minutes, and dictated much of the match against the 2022 World Cup hosts.
Now, a step up in competition awaits Herdman’s side. Canada’s toughest tests have been Mexico and the United States in World Cup qualifying, not playing a team of Uruguay’s caliber since well before the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020.
“We have a tough test, but after four years of playing Concacaf opponents, the players have been dreaming of playing a nation of the stature of Uruguay,” Herdman said after the Qatar victory. “We’ve been waiting for it and we’re excited, but we have to temper that because of the quality that they have. We will need to put the work in for the next few days to make sure we are ready to go again.”
Perhaps the only worry against Qatar was that superstar Alphonso Davies got subbed off at the hour mark following a collision. Herdman said “I think he’s all right,” a reassuring sign since Canada will need the Vancouver Whitecaps FC homegrown product at peak levels to cause damage this fall.
Club Brugge winger Tajon Buchanan could return too, with it seeming like the former New England Revolution star awaits limited minutes per an agreement with his Belgian side.
The continued midfield absences of veterans Atiba Hutchinson and Jonathan Osorio will continue, though Stephen Eustáquio and Samuel Piette struck up a strong partnership to start the September international window.
Uruguay are looking to bounce back from a 1-0 defeat Friday to Iran, allowing a 79th-minute goal by Porto striker Mehdi Taremi. They won the shots battle 16-5 and dominated possession (63%-37%), but couldn’t solve the World Cup-qualified nation from Asia.
There’s an abundance of talent at the disposal of head coach Diego Alonso, who led Inter Miami CF during their MLS expansion season in 2020. Standouts include Tottenham midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur, Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde and Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez. All-time leading scorer Luis Suárez is in camp, while Edinson Cavani is not.
The MLS connection on Uruguay’s roster is LA Galaxy defender Martin Caceres, a summertime signing for the five-time league winners. Orlando City SC winger Facundo Torres wasn’t called in despite strong form that helped the Lions lift the 2022 US Open Cup title earlier this month.
At the World Cup, Uruguay are drawn into Group H alongside Ghana, Portugal and South Korea. La Celeste have made all but one World Cup since 2002, winning the inaugural 1930 edition and in 1950 as well. They placed fourth as recently as 2010.
Canada have only met Uruguay once before, with the South Americans claiming a 3-1 win in 1986.