CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – Current Canada MF Jonathan Osorio was just eight years old when the Canadian National Team won the 2000 Concacaf Gold Cup, defeating Colombia 2-0 in the Final.
Yet it is something that has stayed throughout the years with Osorio, who fondly recalled the memory in an exclusive interview with Concacaf.com.
“It was a team that everybody thought they couldn’t do it, and it ended up being a special final for me because they played against Colombia, which is where my parents are from, so it was great,” said Osorio.
“It was great that two countries that mean a lot to me were in the final and for Canada to come out on top. I think I was happier with that because it was a Concacaf competition, so it was great day,” added Osorio.
If anything, that victory for Canada further inspired Osorio to pursue his professional football dreams.
“I think it gave me a lot of belief. It made me believe that as a Canadian you could make it, you could achieve great things on the highest stage. For me it was special. Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be a professional footballer so things like that motivated me even more,” said Osorio.
Nineteen years later, the current crop of Canada players is more motivated than ever by the 2000 team to deliver the country’s its second Gold Cup crown.
“We know that we are only one of three nations to win it. We have a background in being a champion. We know it’s in us and in the people of our country. We have a coach on our staff, [Assistant Coach] Jason DeVos, who was there. He lived it and was the captain. It’s great hearing stories from him and it just motivates you,” said Osorio.
People associated with that 2000 Canada team acknowledge that it was a group of players with a special chemistry, and there are hints that this Canada squad is also brewing something very similar.
“I think there is something special here. You could argue that this is the best group we’ve ever had in our nation’s young history in football. It’s an exciting time but we know you can only say it’s special if you prove it on the field,” concluded Osorio.