John Herdman leaving CANMNT to take head coach job with Toronto FC

John Herdman will say goodbye to the Canadian Men's National Team as he takes over as the next head coach of Toronto FC.

John Herdman has stepped down from his position as head coach of the Canadian Men's National Team program, and will be the next head coach of Toronto FC, the club and national side announced on Monday.

Herdman and TFC had reportedly been in extended talks for the past several weeks, with a report from Aug. 14 first revealing the mutual interest between the two sides.

John Herdman is reportedly set to take over Toronto FC amid a tumultuous campaign. (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images)
John Herdman is reportedly set to take over Toronto FC amid a tumultuous campaign. (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images)

"I am grateful for the incredible opportunity to have represented Canada for the past 12 years, for the moments I’ve been able to share with the players, the staff, and the supporters," Herdman said via a Canada Soccer release. "The goal was always to leave the game in a better place and I’m confident that goal has been achieved for Canada."

Herdman also thanked his players from the Canadian side, expressing gratitude for the sacrifices they made as they secured Canada's first World Cup berth since 1986.

"The level of trust and belief that we have developed over that time, and the tightness of the brotherhood that we have today is something that I will always treasure and something that I’ll miss, for sure," Herdman added. "2022 was only the start of the team’s own journey and I’ll be excited to watch as the team goes on to even greater things, as individuals and as a group."

The 48-year-old now looks to guide a Toronto FC club in the midst of tremendous turmoil, including reports of unhappy superstars and a lackluster place in the MLS standings.

Just this past Friday, top star Lorenzo Insigne reportedly squabbled with interim coach Terry Dunfield, making "derogatory comments" and eventually leaving the club's training as a result.

In addition to Herdman's exit, Canada's staff will be seeing wholesale changes — with assistant coaches Simon Eaddy and Eric Tenllado, lead scout Alex Dodgshon and head of performance Dr. Cesar Meylan also on their way out.

"I would like to thank Simon, Eric, Alex and Cesar for their immense contributions to the game in Canada," said Jason deVos, Canada Soccer's interim general secretary.

"Having worked closely with these individuals behind the scenes, I have experienced first-hand the value they have brought to Canada Soccer. I want to thank them for the countless hours they have given to Canada Soccer and wish them all the best in their new endeavors."

This mass exodus marks yet another bump in the road for Canada Soccer this year. Both the Men's and Women's sides continue to sit at odds with the National program, with concerns surrounding funding and equal pay as the primary contributors to the ongoing labour strife.