Canada manages heat, experiences Gold Cup success
Scott Arfield (#8) and his Canada teammates try to advance the ball against Costa Rica during a 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup match on July 11, 2017, in Houston, Texas, USA. (Photo: AFP)

FRISCO, Texas -- Midfielder Scott Arfield has spent the vast majority of his life in Scotland and England, so the sorts of climatic extremes with which he has dealt since becoming a Canada international last year have been a bit of an adjustment.

In the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Canada has faced some pretty harsh conditions with heat and humidity in the Texas cities of Houston and Frisco, but has come through in fine form.

“It’s been mad for me,” said Arfield.  “As soon as I came to Texas in particular, it was like walking into an oven.  Tournament football for me is fantastic because you’re training every day.  I love football, so the more time you get on the training pitch is a fantastic thing.”

Heat and humidity have often proven to be an Achilles heel for past Canadian sides.  In Gold Cup play, however, there has been an uptick in fortunes.

With a young squad moving Canada into the quarterfinals for the first time since 2009, there is belief that a return to the region’s elite is increasingly possible.

“The objective remains the same.  We’ve done part one and now we go to part two,” Arfield remarked.  “Since I’ve made my first game (for Canada), I think I’m a far better player mentally, physically, technically, tactically.  I think I’ve developed in every way and that’s thanks to the three managers I’ve worked under so far.”

Canada will enjoy its next destination. Glendale, Arizona, is just as hot as Frisco, but University of Phoenix Stadium has a retractable roof.