Canadian men's soccer coach Stephen Hart steps down

Canadian men's soccer coach Stephen Hart resigned Thursday on the heels of an embarrassing World Cup qualifying loss in Honduras earlier this week.

Embarrassing World Cup qualifying loss could signal series of personnel moves

Stephen Hart, seen gesturing during his team's World Cup qualifying match against Honduras, leaves the team with six months left on his contract. (Esteban Felix/Associated Press)

Canada's humiliating loss in Honduras has cost coach Stephen Hart his job.

Canadian Soccer Association president Victor Montagliani said Hart had resigned effective Thursday.

Canada needed just a tie or win in San Pedro Sula on Tuesday to advance to the final round of World Cup qualifying in the CONCACAF region, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Instead, Hart's team was drubbed 8-1 Tuesday in the worst defeat by a Canadian men's team since an 8-0 shellacking in Mexico in 1993.

Hart said after the game he thought he had done his best. But he understood that Canadian fans would not be able to forgive him.

Montagliani said Hart had served the CSA with class, calling him an "exemplary model for the game at both the national and international levels."

Hart, 52, worked his way through the CSA coaching ranks and had several stints as interim coach of the men's team before getting the job for good in December 2009.

Hart, then under-17 coach and assistant coach with the senior side, first took over as interim coach in July 2006 after Frank Yallop resigned to take over the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Hart, who has also served as the CSA's technical director, was named interim coach again in April 2009 after Dale Mitchell was fired following Canada's exit from World Cup qualifying with a dismal 0-4-2 record.

Hart had been a candidate for the job given to Mitchell.

Hart also served as interim coach at the 2007 Gold Cup when Mitchell was coaching the national under-20 team at the world championships.

Hart led Canada to the semifinals of the CONCACAF championship in 2007 and the quarter-finals in 2009. Canada failed to make it out of the group stage in 2011.

A native of Trinidad and Tobago, he played for Texaco in Trinidad's National Football League and the San Fernando Strikers in the local Premier League.

In 1980 he was selected to the Trinidad and Tobago national team. Later that year he moved to Canada to attend Saint Mary's University in Halifax.