Canada Soccer announced on Monday that the men's national team will be playing its next two World Cup qualifying matches against Aruba and Suriname in Florida and Illinois, respectively. The OneSoccer Today crew reconvened to discuss, and to set up the pair of rapidly approaching games (June 5 and 8). The panel of Andi Petrillo, Oliver Platt, and Gareth Wheeler broke down the reasons behind Canada playing their matches in the United States – COVID-19 travel restrictions chief among them. But why, for instance, is Canada playing its "away" game against Aruba in Bradenton, Florida, but its "home" game against Suriname up in Bridgeview, Illinois? "I have to think, Florida in June, the obvious explanation is they want to go somewhere a little bit cooler," Platt offered. "But really it's gonna all be about having that controlled environment as much as you can. Dealing with all the COVID regulations, dealing with not playing in your home stadium in your home country, you want to make sure you have a good training camp, good facilities, a good stadium to play in with a pitch that's gonna favour Canada playing their football."
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Wheeler added that Canada will have to be very wary of playing Suriname, who have improved immensely in short order due mostly to heavy recruiting of dual-nationals in Europe. "Don't sleep on them, they're absolutely a top-eight team in Concacaf," Wheeler said. "This is gonna be a huge challenge for the Canadian men's national team." The panel went on to discuss a possible qualification playoff in Haiti (and whether that's a concern for visiting teams), as well as just how important the month of June is going to be for this Canadian team. Canada's World Cup qualifying matches – June 5 against Aruba and June 8 against Suriname – will be broadcast live on OneSoccer.
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