GLENDALE, Arizona -- Octavio Zambrano finds himself in a unique situation.
The Canada national team head coach says the sky is the limit for his team at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Yet, he also is trying to keep his players' feet on their ground after reaching the knockout rounds for the first time in eight years.
"We are now shooting for the stars. We're going for everything," Zambrano told CONCACAF.com. "Why not? This team has showed some resilience under tough conditions against tough opponents. It also has shown we can score and we have more than couple of guys that have burst into the scene. That is also a sign that this is a team poised to get more.”
Les Rouges face Jamaica in the quarterfinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on Thursday.
"As long we stay within our game and drawing from our strengths, and we address our weaknesses, we can go very far," Zambrano remarked.
In order to progress, Canada finished second in Group A by going undefeated with a 1W-2D-0L record. In their previous three Gold Cup appearances combined, the Canadians won only once in nine games.
The performances have lifted the team, providing the players with a source of confidence.
"They have a sense of kind of an accomplishment," Zambrano concluded. "I am trying the best that I can to keep firmly with their feet on the ground and not allowed them to get too overjoyed. There is something to be said about the effort, no doubt.
“But we would short-change ourselves if we just settled for this. We would do ourselves a disservice. We are looking for more. These results have empowered our guys to look for more."