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‘I worked for this moment’: Interim men’s coach Biello wants to lead Canada into 2026 World Cup

Mauro Biello says being named interim head coach of the Canadian men’s soccer team is the opportunity of a lifetime — and if he has it his way the interim title will be dropped, making him the permanent head coach.

On Wednesday, Canada Soccer revealed Biello will stay the interim coach until a new permanent coach is hired. The board of directors have decided that won’t happen until the appointment of a new general secretary.

Biello wants to be the head coach for Canada at the World Cup in 2026.

“My whole life I worked for this moment. I went through the different levels having to manage different high profile players and into the international world and having that opportunity to work with John [Herdman],” Biello said.

“I know there’s a process and I respect that. But I’m going to do everything I can to be the head coach of this team. And I know it won’t be easy but I’m going to focus on what I can control and that at the moment is preparing this team the best I can to win games.”

Speaking to media for the first time just weeks after taking over the interim role in the wake of John Herdman’s departure at the end of August, Biello told CBC Sports his first order of business after assuming the interim role was having conversations with players.

Biello, 51, has been the assistant coach of the national team under Herdman since 2018.

“The minute I got the news I reached out to some of the leaders, some of the players that have been in the environment. And I felt it was important for me to listen but also to let them know what to expect from me. I’m not coming in to change the world, but I’m different,” Biello said.

“Every coach is different. Every coach has their way of working. But I also do believe that a lot of things that have been put in place are worthwhile.”

Biello is a former Canadian national team member and was the head coach of the Montreal Impact from 2015-2017. He assumed that role in similar circumstances to the one he now finds himself in.

Biello took over after Frank Klopas was fired following a loss to Toronto FC. The team had plummeted in the standings — but after the coaching change, Biello guided Montreal to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

His interim role was dropped and Biello served as head coach for the next two seasons.

Canada qualified for the men’s World Cup for the first time in 36 years under the guidance of Herdman. At the end of August it was revealed Herdman would be leaving to assume the head coaching role for Toronto FC.

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