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HomeSportsSoccerCanada's Eustaquio to miss CONCACAF Nations League tune-up Friday vs. Japan

Canada’s Eustaquio to miss CONCACAF Nations League tune-up Friday vs. Japan

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Canada will be without influential midfielder Stephen Eustaquio when it takes on Japan in an international soccer friendly on Friday in Niigata.

Canada Soccer said the 26-year-old from Leamington, Ont., was unavailable through injury. It did not provide further details.

Eustaquio, who plays his club football in Portugal with FC Porto, has won 32 caps for Canada including 29 starts. He has three goals and four assists.

Canada, ranked 44th in the world, takes on No. 19 Japan at Denka Big Swan Stadium.

Both teams are using the friendly to prepare for upcoming competitive matches.

Canada, under interim coach Mauro Biello, is readying for crucial November matches in the 2023-24 CONCACAF Nations League, which serves as the qualifier for CONCACAF teams participating in next year’s Copa America.

Canada sat out the FIFA September international window and is only playing the one match in October, a thin schedule Canada Soccer blamed on “financial constraints” and its “inability to confirm an additional high-quality opponent.”

The Canadian men are 4-2-2 this year, last playing in July when they lost a penalty shootout to the United States in the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal in Cincinnati. Both losses came at the hands of the Americans.

Japan is gearing up for the start of its 2026 World Cup qualifying in November as well as the Asian Cup in January.

WATCH | Biello eyes full-time coaching role:

CANMNT interim head coach hoping to coach team at 2026 World Cup

Featured VideoCBC Sports’ Devin Heroux speaks to CANMNT interim head coach Mauro Biello about what he hopes he can bring to the job.

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