'He's done enough': CanMNT legend believes Joel Waterman is ready for Canada nod
VANCOUVER – Joel Waterman continues to turn heads with CF Montréal this season.
In his third campaign with the MLS club, the former Cavalry FC man has really broken out for Wilfried Nancy's side in 2022, going from rotation player at centre back to bonafide week-in and week-out starter for the fifth-ranked team in MLS right now.
After playing around 2500 minutes across 35 games (all competitions) in his first two seasons with Montréal, he's already played over 2000 in 24 games in 2022 alone, showing his importance to the team defensively.
Plus, he's added a bit of an offensive touch, too, scoring three goals and adding one assist, after entering this year with just three assists to his name.
And the latest of his goals had people talking, as he scored a wonderful goal in the 94th minute of Montréal's midweek clash against the Columbus Crew, one that secured a crucial 2-1 comeback win for the visitors.
Joel Waterman with the late GOLAZO ☄️— Alexandre Gangué-Ruzic (@AlexGangueRuzic) August 4, 2022
The #CFMTL CB continues to get it done at both ends for MTL, as he has scored his 3rd goal of the season tonight for the club, helping complete a huge road comeback win v the #Crew96#CanMNT watch remains on for JW16pic.twitter.com/EJ6PReQakV
Capping off a strong performance from Waterman, who stepped up and stopped the red-hot Cucho Hernández, it was business as usual for the 26-year-old, who just continues to get the job done for his side at both ends of the pitch.
As a result, as the clock continues to tick towards the 2022 men's World Cup, the calls for Waterman's inclusion in the CanMNT's squad for that tournament continue to get louder.
One of those voices? Former CanMNT midfield legend and now-analyst, Patrice Bernier, who had nothing but great things to say about Waterman this week.
"His progression from bit-piece to regular under Nancy has been remarkable," Bernier wrote this week in his regular TVA column. "His story with Montréal hasn't always been rosy, he arrived as an unknown, and struggled whenever he had opportunities to crack the lineup."
"He struggled with slow decisions and 1v1 duels, but now, Waterman 2.0 is so good that Nancy doesn't hesitate to play him in big moments, such as when he was shifted to the middle against Columbus."
Because of that, with the CanMNT continuing preparation ahead of Qatar with a camp in Austria in September, Bernier believes Waterman has done enough to at least be included there, if not at the tournament proper later this year.
"If I'm John Herdman, I'm thinking deeply about bringing in Waterman for those friendlies," Bernier wrote. "He's a defender who has done enough to get an opportunity to test himself internationally with Canada, allowing him to potentially crack Canada's 26-player list for Qatar.
'I want the World Cup': Joel Waterman hopes CF Montreal form earns Canada call— OneSoccer (@onesoccer) May 25, 2022
📝 | @AlexGangueRuzic
Joel Waterman blazed the trail from #CanPL to #MLS 🔝
Now? The #CFMTL man has his sights set on a #CanMNT call for Qatar 🍁
READ 👇https://t.co/Xa9jilLra5 pic.twitter.com/juV5A2Gdho
For what it's worth, Waterman remains very interested in Canada, and was close to earning a nod to the CanMNT's last camp in June, telling OneSoccer back in May that he was on the long list of names under consideration by John Herdman.
"I want to be a part of that World Cup squad and play in the World Cup, not only this upcoming year, but in 2026, as well," Waterman told OneSoccer.
"I want to play for my country and get that first cap, that's something I'm chasing, so it just gives me an extra push, that extra motivation to keep playing well here and hopefully get that chance."
So if he maintains this hot run, watch out, as it might be too hard to ignore him, especially as Montréal continues to surge up the MLS standings.
"All I can control is playing and playing well and getting my name into that conversation," Waterman noted back in May.