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Beyond the Pitch: CanMNT and former Vaughan Azzurri player Alistair Johnston

By League1 Ontario, 09/01/21, 10:45AM EDT

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In the latest episode of CanPL.ca Newsroom’s Beyond the Pitch, CanPL.ca and OneSoccer’s Kristian Jack sits down for an illuminating chat with the charismatic Canadian men’s national team defender and former Vaughan Azzurri midfielder Alistair Johnston.

More Beyond the Pitch episodes are coming every day as this week as Canada is set for their first three matches of the “Oct” – facing Honduras Thursday (7:30pm ET live on OneSoccer) before going away to the United States on Sunday (8pm ET) and back home vs. El Salvador next Wednesday (7:30pm ET).

  • 7:31 – Johnston recalls his first Canada call: “I knew if I focused on my club career I would get a chance.”
  • 9:59 – Kristian asks about Johnston’s inclusion in Canada’s back three in defence, adapting to a new role exclusively for him: “It’s a perfect fit for me.”
  • 14:39 – How did Alistair become a self-described soccer nerd? As a kid he skipped sleepovers and, of course, utilized an unfinished basement.
  • 16:01 – Is he the Canadian César Azpilicueta? Johnston and coach John Herdman certainly think so.
  • 18:56 – “There’s no reason why 2022 shouldn’t be out of our grasp. We have all the confidence in our group.”
  • 22:17 – What makes Canada’s band of brothers: “We have guys that got battered in Honduras… But there are these younger guys coming through too.”
  • 24:50 – Milan Borjan’s impassioned speech following the win over Haiti was when it ‘clicked’ for Canada’s group.
  • 27:05 – Does Alistair need to start working on his singing skills? Those eagle-eared listeners to the pre-game national anthems think so.

Full conversation available at the link below: