Canadian men to face Cayman Islands in Florida in World Cup qualifying match


TORONTO — Canada’s World Cup qualifying game scheduled for March 28 in the Cayman Islands will now be played in Bradenton, Fla.

The match will be played at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, where the Canadian team held a camp in January.

The Canadian men kick off their Qatar 2022 qualifying campaign against Bermuda on March 25, also in Florida. While a Canada home game, the match was moved to Orlando’s Exploria Stadium because of pandemic-related border restrictions.

The Cayman Islands faces its own difficulties in hosting a game, given it currently requires visitors to quarantine for 14 days upon entry. That quarantine period is being reduced to 10 as of March 22, providing visitors have been vaccinated.

The Canadian men are currently ranked 73rd in the world compared to No. 169 for Bermuda and No. 193 for the Cayman Islands.

Canada is 5-0-4 all-time against Bermuda and has won the last three meetings, outscoring the Bermudians 9-2.

While the Canadian men have never faced the Caymans at senior level, they have played there. Cuba shifted a home match to George Town, the Caymans’ capital, in September 2019 in CONCACAF Nations League A play.

The location for Canada’s away game June 5 against No. 200 Aruba and home match June 8 against No. 141 Suriname have yet to be announced.

The Cayman Islands open qualifying March 24 at Suriname.

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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press