Mauro Biello is set to be the head coach of the Canadian men’s national team until 2024. But he want to be in the role a lot longer than that.
Canada Soccer announced on Wednesday that the former CF Montréal head coach, who had been John Herdman’s assistant in the CanMNT set-up, will be in charge of the team on an interim basis until likely the end of the year while the federation looks for a new permanent general secretary.
Related read: Mauro Biello likely to be CanMNT head coach until end of 2023 as Canada Soccer hunts for new general secretary
The 51-year-old told Canadian media that he has already informed the CSA that he would like to be considered as a candidate to land the job on a permanent basis.
“I spoke with [Canada Soccer] and I expressed I would like to be a candidate. And they’re OK with that,” Biello told La Presse.
“I know there’s a process and I respect that but I’m going to do all I can to be the head coach of this team,” he added to CBC Sports’ Devin Heroux. “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 the team as best I can to win games.”
Biello is no stranger to graduating from interim head coach to full-time manager. He did so in Montréal, then known as the Impact, in 2015, when he was appointed as Frank Klopas’ temporary replacement in August before being given the job full-time three months later.
“I can learn several lessons from this and use them to help this group,” he noted.
Biello is a well-respected and well-liked coach within Canadian soccer. An Impact player for almost the entirety of the 1990s and the 2000s, he worked his way up from the club’s assistant manager to the top job before joining the CanMNT program in 2018. As well as five years as assistant head coach of the national team, he led the Under-20 side in 2022-23.
“For me, it’s obviously an honour, a privilege for me to be able to work with such an extraordinary group,” Biello told Heroux.
“I’m a product of Canada, I grew up playing in Montreal, I played for the junior national team, I went on to play in Montreal, I went through the different levels of coaching in MLS. I had this opportunity to work with John and I’m looking forward to working with these players and pushing this group forward.”
Unsurprisingly for a man like Biello, much of his focus is on ensuring that his foundational principles are translated to the CanMNT players during his time at the helm.
“The type of person I am, I’m hard-working and honest, and those are some of the values you get growing up and these are the values I’m going to share with my team,” he added. “It’s about respect, hard work, and humility.”
He’s already reached out to much of CanMNT’s senior leadership group, he notes, placing a focus on continuity and collaboration.
“It was important for me to listen and get some feedback. But I also wanted to reassure them, to tell them that I was going to provide continuity,” he told La Presse. “Of course, each coach has his own way of working. I’m different, I’ll bring my ideas. There will be this continuity, but with certain variables that I can bring to adjust, to improve, to push this team forward.”
While Biello understandably believes he should be a candidate for getting the gig full-time, there are bigger fish to fry for CanMNT in the next couple of months.
First, an October 13 friendly against Japan, who impressed at the World Cup last winter. Then, the CONCACAF Nations League quarter-final that will determine whether or not Canada get a guaranteed berth in next summer’s Copa América in the USA.
“It’s going to be a big challenge, but that’s what we want, and that’s what the players wanted,: Biello concluded. “To try to have high-level matches, because it’s in these matches we will learn… I will use this camp in Japan, and this match, to get answers, especially on the key players.”