TORONTO - Mention 'San Pedro Sula' in certain circles across the vast (and oft snow-blanketed) lands of Canada, and you may find yourself greeted not with a "Huh? Where's that?" or a "... sir, can please drive up to the first window?" but instead with hushed stares painted on panic-tinged faces, and a He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named-esque insistence - "don't you dare speak of such a place."
For, but a decade ago, under the hallowed (and haphazardly assembled) lights of the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in Honduras' industrial capital, a group of men kicked a ball around a patchy grass field for some 90 or so minutes, and set into motion those heartbreaks and agonies that, 10 years on, sees Alphonso Davies stream FIFA to an audience in the tens of thousands on Twitch.
Canada versus Honduras. Honduras versus Canada. A Concacaf clash that spans 42 years of history, punctuated very clearly by the events of October 16, 2012, when the Canadians, within touching distance of their first return to the FIFA World Cup since their sole appearance in 1986, succumbed in humiliating fashion by a score line that has left its mark upon the hearts of the team's loyal, long-time followers.
But how could you not fear it? Or, rather, how could you not fear repeating it?
And so, with their tails rightly tucked between their legs, a fine and talented but utterly defeated generation of Canadian footballers were all but retired, and behind the scenes began the groundwork to very simply never, ever let that happen to the country again.
The match itself has been dissected to death, even by our own documentary crew. "What went wrong?", each and every player and coach has been asked and have answered, and in private, Iain Hume will tell you exactly how Canada shit the bed, in a language not suited for television (but maybe one day).
Catch Canada in World Cup Qualifying action this month, available on OneSoccer.
Perhaps it was the sort of sobering moment the entire country needed; a wake-up call, of sorts, or a call to at least re-evaluate those things that could be made better. For anyone who's been watching since, the evidence of that change - though slow and painful at times - is now clear.
Today, we see Davies stand among the elite of world football, one of Bayern Munich's - and the world's - best defenders; his counterpart up top, Jonathan David, led Lille OSC to a Ligue1 title, and now counts himself as the French first division's top scorer.
Every single month, it seems, a new name emerges, whether propelled by MLS Cup-winning star power like that of Tajon Buchanan, or simply by those virtues that Canadians most admire: Glove-drop defiance in the face of adversity; a grind-the-nose work ethic; friendly when it matters, fierce when it matters more; or, to simplify, whatever makes up Richie Laryea and Alistair Johnston on the inside.
Whatever Canada was in Concacaf, it no longer is. What Canada is today is a titan in the region, sitting pretty at the top of the Octagonal group in this final round of World Cup Qualifying, and looking all but assured in their quest to qualify for Qatar 2022.
The New Canada
This new Canada doesn't cower. It does not yield to the region's toughest opposition. This new Canada dominates, and dismantles, and destroys with ruthless, ragtag efficiency. No one in the region has been safe - Canada has bested them all so far, picking up more and more momentum - and, crucially, more and more points - along the way.
More importantly, this Canada team has done it all with a smile. This latest adventure has been defined by players jumping into snowbanks and celebrating in front of packed stadiums, shattering team and individual records along the way. There hasn't been an away trip that this new Canada hasn't walked out of with at least a point, undefeated they now stand.
Still... this new Canada hasn't gone to San Pedro Sula yet.
Since that fateful day, Canada has met Honduras on five more occasions, marking 26 total match-ups against this particular opponent. You can check out a more comprehensive history review here, but for our purposes, we turn our attention, instead, to the 27th - January 27, to be exact, when Canada takes on Honduras for the 27th time, away from home in the world's (former) murder capital.
And so we found ourselves once again in a similar place, 10 years older, 10 years more experienced, still carrying the memory of a day many a Canadian would wish to forget, but filled with the sort of unbridled optimism and hope that only a Justin Bieber-flavoured Timbit can match.
There's no point pretending otherwise; we're going back to San Pedro Sula. The stakes are just as high, though not quite as do-or-die. The result will remain a mystery, until a group of men kick a ball around a patchy grass field for some 90 or so minutes.
"Maybe this time it'll be different?" you say, and we'd probably all agree.
But since Canada can walk into the graveyard of their predecessors, lose again, and likely just shake it off and laugh their way to Qatar all the same... hell, maybe it already is.