Canada has named Glasgow Rangers Scott Arfield as the permanent captain from ex-captain Atiba Hutchinson for the foreseeable future.
The 35-year-old Hutchinson, is in the twilight of his career and is arguably one of Canada’s best football exports. He remains a key figure in the squad with 78 caps, plus Champions and Europa League game time under his belt with Turkey side Besiktas.
Arfield will lead out the Canadians against Dominica in the CONCACAF Nation League qualifying on Tuesday at the BMO Field. The Rangers midfielder also wore the captain’s arm band in last month’s 8-0 win over the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Arfield, was forced to leave the training session on Sunday as a precautionary measure with a very minor knock, but he will still be fit to start the next match.
He has already won 13 caps for the Canadians since making his debut in March 2016, and has become a powerful player in the engine room of the Canada team.
Coach John Herdman gave the 29-year-old Arfield the arm band, but only after speaking to Hutchinson whose last game for the national team was in September 2017.
Arfield has a super-outgoing positive personality and enormous energy, but he’s also very vocal, and just what a captain requires to be successful.
Whereas Hutchinson was reflective, quiet, unassuming, but was dialled into almost everything. Arfield is into the spirit of the group and also into the psyche of his players to gain results.
Herdman works on all the little details, which Arfield thinks is important for Canada — not only by working on certain things but trying to cover everything, and every aspect of the game.
Obviously with Herdman and Arfield working together with some of the newer talent Canada has at it’s disposal, and a lot of the younger players with potential, it is starting to look more promising.
The Scottish-born Arfield only qualified through his Toronto-born father to play for Canada, and the new found chemistry between all the players, is improving all the time.
Arfield won 17 caps for the Scotland under-21 team and one for Scotland B. But he never got the chance to play for the Scot’s senior side. Scotland’s loss is now Canada’s gain.
Tuesday’s game is one of four for Canada in qualifying play for the CONCACAF Nations League, setting the stage for a three-tier competition — complete with promotion and relegation.