MONTREAL — The Canadian national team have called up Montreal Impact midfielder Samuel Piette for its Concacaf Nations League qualifiers against French Guiana at BC Place on March 24.
“It’s the last game before the Gold Cup so it’s a last preparation to be called up for it especially since the competition is more and more fierce on the national team,” Piette said. “There are more and more high quality players on the team.”
The Concacaf Gold Cup is special for Piette. The Montreal audience got its first glimpse of the midfielder during his 2017 run with Canada. Piette moved to the Impact shortly after Canada’s quarterfinal exit.
The 24 year-old is part of the new wave of young talent on Canada’s national setup. The group aspires to greater things for the Gold Cup this time around.
“In 2017 we got eliminated in the quarterfinals by Jamaica, which I thought we were a superior team,” Piette said. “It was a spot that we didn’t reach in a few tournaments so we were very disappointed and with the change in mentality, I don’t think we can aim lower than that. We are going there to win and I think it’s super exciting.”
Canada Soccer squad for decisive match in Concacaf Nations League Qualifying
— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) March 12, 2019
In 2018 John Herdman took over as head coach, moving over from the women’s setup. Piette credits his new coach for the current change and success that the national team has seen.
Even with games and camps far apart, Herdman regularly follows up on his players. Piette said that with him, “you never forget the national team.”
“We get a ton of videos and calls to work on tactical aspects. [We have] one-on-one calls with the coach, with the leaders, so we have a lot of things outside of the camps,” Piette said. “I think that John [Herdman] really changed the culture and the mentality of this team. It’s tougher and tougher to break into the 23.”
Joining Piette on the Canada squad is fellow Impact player Zachary Brault-Guillard. The 20 year-old fullback will look to earn his third senior cap.