Canada works for return to Gold Cup summit
Marcel de Jong (red jersey) has been one of Canada’s standout players in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. (Photo: AFP)

GLENDALE, Arizona -- Canada finds itself in a unique position in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The 2000 champion advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1998.  If the journey is to continue, however, it will have to overcome 2015 runner-up Jamaica on Thursday night at University of Phoenix Stadium.

"Tomorrow is everything or nothing," said midfielder Marcel de Jong, one of the few holdovers from that 2009 quarterfinalist squad.  "We just have to go for it and see where it ends.  If it's enough to go to the semifinals, then it's great."

So far, it has been great for the Canadians, who went undefeated (1W-2D-0L) to finish second in Group A play.  With a fourth-ever trip to the semifinals possible, you can sense momentum in the camp building.

"It's really something special to be in the quarters," de Jong expressed.  "We've grown a lot.  There is still a lot more potential.  We are not at our peak yet."

Perhaps Cyle Larin will play a role in making that happen with some goals of his own.  The Orlando City SC forward was added to the roster for the knockout rounds.  Although he hasn't played on a regular basis recently, head coach Octavio Zambrano said the lethal striker was in "good form."

"It will just take time and I'll be back scoring goals," Larin added.

Larin said he was "excited to be back with team and to get on the field again for Canada and take the team somewhere."

That somewhere could be to the semifinals, which Les Rouges haven't reached since 2005.