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Herdman quits as Canada men's coach to move behind bench of Toronto FC in MLS

TORONTO (AP) — John Herdman quit as coach of Canada's men's national team on Monday to move behind the bench at Toronto FC of Major League Soccer starting Oct. 1.

The 48-year-old Briton took over as men's coach in 2018 after seven years leading Canada's women and helped the men qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986. Canada lost to Belgium, Croatia and Morocco at the tournament in Qatar.

Herdman said then he hoped to stay through the 2026 World Cup, which Canada will co-host, but in June he said the Canada Soccer Association needed to increase the team's funding.

Toronto fired Bob Bradley on June 26 and made Terry Dunfield its interim coach. Toronto has 19 points, tied for the lowest in the 29-team league, and has three wins, 13 losses and 10 ties.

“It’s the right time for me to step into a new challenge in my career, and the structure of a club environment is a context I’ve aspired to operate in,” Herdman said in a statement released by Toronto. “Having access to connect and collaborate with the staff and players daily allows for a different depth of development and connection, both on and off the pitch.”

Mauro Biello, an assistant coach since 2018, was promoted to interim head coach. Canada plays at Japan in an exhibition on Oct. 13 ahead of a two-leg CONCACAF Nations League quarterfinal in November.

Assistant coaches Simon Eaddy and Eric Tenllado, lead scout Alex Dodgshon and head of performance Cesar Meylan also are leaving.

Herdman coached New Zealand’s women’s team from 2006-11 and led Canada’s women to Olympic bronze medals in 2012 and 2016.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/Soccer