Toronto FC II assistant coach and former TFC player Danny Dichio has been named to coach John Herdman’s Canadian Men’s National Team (CANMNT) staff for upcoming Concacaf qualifying matches, Canada Soccer announced today.
“I have lived in Canada for 14 years now and is a country that my family calls home, so to be asked to be part of the National team is a great privilege,” said Dichio. “I thought that I had lost the opportunity last year when I was first invited for the games versus Trinidad & Tobago which were eventually postponed due to Covid, but John was kind enough to invite me in again due to Mauro Biello being away with the U23 team in Mexico for Olympic qualifiers.”
The CANMNT is in Group B with Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Aruba and Suriname. Canada will only have two matches during this window, opening with Bermuda on March 25 at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida. Canada will then face Cayman Islands on March 28 at IMG Academy in Tampa, Florida.
“The club is proud of Danny getting called up to represent Canada in these important World Cup Qualifiers,” said TFC II head coach Mike Munoz. “Danny’s professionalism and experience make him an ideal coach for the Canadian Men’s program. Danny is an important addition to our young Second Team players at TFC and I want to wish Danny and Canada all the best in their search to qualify for the World Cup.”
Dichio, a Toronto FC fan favourite, had a long-playing career in Europe before moving across the Atlantic to join TFC early in the club’s inaugural season in 2007. He was immortalized in the hearts and minds of fans and supporters as he became the first player to score a goal in team history on May 12, 2007. Dichio scored 14 goals for Toronto FC in a total of 59 appearances. On May 8, 2010, he was the second player to have his name and number added to Toronto’s FC’s Wall of Honour.
“My role is to assist and add value to John and his staff while preparing for these two important games which are in quick turnaround,” Dichio continued. “John has asked me to specifically work with and prepare the forward group in preparation for both games.”
Dichio began his professional career with Queens Park Rangers in 1993 and went on to score 20 goals in 75 appearances for the London club. In 1997 he moved to Italy where he played for Sampdoria and Lecce before returning to England in 1998. Dichio won promotion to the English Premier League with Sunderland and was part of the squad that finished in seventh place in the topflight for two consecutive seasons. From there he moved to West Bromwich Albion where he also won promotion to the Premier League. He also spent time with Derby County, Millwall and Preston North End.
Dichio has completed his Elite Formation Coaching Licence program, a development course partnered by Major League Soccer (MLS) and the French Football Federation (FFF). He also holds a UEFA ‘B’ and United States Soccer Federation (USSF) ‘A’ & ‘B’ coaching licences. In addition to his coaching duties, Dichio also holds a club ambassador role for Toronto FC.