Given that Canadian women's soccer coach John Herdman is an Englishman, no one's going to be calling him "Broadway John" any time soon, but his comments following the Canadians' crushing, controversial 4-3 loss to the U.S. in the semifinals Monday were rather reminiscent of Joe Namath's famous pre-Super Bowl III guarantee. Here's what Herdman had to say about how his team's approaching the bronze-medal match with France (8 a.m. Eastern, Thursday) after the loss against the Americans, in a quote distributed by the Canadian Olympic Committee's media office:
"They've come to see the flag rise. That's the job. They came here for that and the job is not finished. They'll be disappointed tonight because it won't be gold or silver, but we'll take a medal from this tournament."
It's not quite "We're gonna win the game. I guarantee it," but it's still a pretty bold statement. Herdman's no stranger to those, though; following January's qualifying tournament, he ambitiously proclaimed that the goal in these Games was a medal, saying "London is calling, and we're aiming for the podium." It's worth remembering that although that comment may not look crazy in hindsight, with Canada making it to the semifinals and playing for a medal, they entered this tournament as the seventh-ranked team in the world and the sixth-ranked team in this competition. There was always a chance they could get to a medal game if the draw broke in their favour, and it certainly did that (although a second-place finish in the pool would have avoided the U.S. until the gold-medal game), but Herdman's pre-Games podium expectations were pretty ambitious. Now that they have a real shot at meeting those, he's upping the ante even further by guaranteeing a victory in this game.Read More »from Canadian women’s soccer coach John Herdman guarantees bronze after heartbreaking loss to U.S.