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Canada coach Jon Herdman to Marcelo Flores: Consider switch from Mexico

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Gomez: USMNT had no sense of urgency in loss to Canada (1:48)

Herculez Gomez explains what went wrong for the U.S. men's national team in its 2-0 loss to Canada. (1:48)

Canada coach Jon Herdman had a message to Arsenal youngster Marcelo Flores -- consider switching from Mexico.

Herdman brought up Flores when speaking after Canada's emerging pool talent following its 2-0 win over the United States in World Cup qualifying on Sunday.

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"We've got stars now, we've got young star players that are going to be around for a long generation. I'm sure you've got players like young Marcelo Flores [who] might be looking after this game and wondering whether he wants to play for Mexico or Canada. This is what we're starting to provoke across the world," Herdman said a news conference after the game.

Before playing for Mexico's senior side, Arsenal academy product Flores was included in Canada's preliminary roster for the 2021 Gold Cup. However, Flores made his senior national team debut with Mexico in a friendly last December, but still holds eligibility for Canada and England. He was not called up by Gerardo "Tata" Martino for Mexico's trio of World Cup qualifiers.

Flores has recently made waves with his impact for club and country. For Mexico's U20s, the teenager was selected as the MVP of last November's Revelations Cup. Over at Arsenal's academy, he has stepped up with three goals for the U23 squad in January. Most notably, on the 18th, the Canadian-born teenager led the Gunners with a brace in a 4-0 win over AFC Bournemouth in the U23 Premier League Cup.

Herdman was beaming in a post-game after Sunday's win that saw his side maintain their top spot in CONCACAF's Octagonal table. With 22 points and a four-point cushion over their American rivals in second place, the Canadians are on the verge of qualifying for their first World Cup since 1986. Mexico are tied with the U.S. on points but sit in third place due to goal differential.

"We all want to get to Qatar," said Herdman. "I genuinely believe that these men know that they've got an opportunity to really leave a proper football legacy for this country."

The top three squads in CONCACAF's eight-team qualifying round advance to Qatar with the fourth-place finishers going to a playoff against OFC's representative.

Herdman had no lack of praise for his players, lauding the performances from players like Jonathan David and Cyle Larin.

"This is a high performing group of guys, high quality leaders. That's the starting point. I'm a conduit in that process but those guys have really took on that leadership responsibility and that's why they don't break," said Herdman after the match.

The Canadians are in top form despite the absence of Bayern Munich's Alphonso Davies, who is sidelined with the heart condition myocarditis.