The Canadian men's soccer team head into a summer break riding the momentum of taking four of six possible points in two World Cup qualifiers.
The victories, a spirited 1-0 win in Cuba and 0-0 home draw against Honduras, has placed Canada second in CONCACAF Group C, trailing Panama who have collected six points in two matches.
But now the team must sit idle for nearly three months before resuming the quest for a Brazil 2014 berth with a home match at Toronto's BMO Field against Panama on Sept. 7.
Canada's head coach Stephen Hart says the time away from international duty isn't an ideal situation, but there's not much he can do.
"All sports fall into a rhythm and at the moment our team is in a good rhythm with balance and in team spirit," Hart said during a conference call Thursday.
"It would be nice to continue along these lines. But it is a situation where we'll have to wait until September and I'm not going to dwell too much on it."
Hart was mostly pleased with his squad's performance so far in Canada's second round of qualifying, especially its ability to overcome stifling heat and adverse pitch conditions in Cuba.
But after a frustrating draw with Honduras at BMO Field, where Canada dominated play but failed to convert on its scoring chances, there are issues Hart would like to address before regrouping in the fall.
"There are many things I can say that I am pleased with," said Hart. "But I was a little disappointed after watching the (Honduras) game last night again, that we not only missed the chances but we failed to make the 'keeper work. And that was significant."
Midfielder Julian de Guzman echoed Hart's disapointment with the Honduras match. He says Canada should be tied with Panama in the group standings.
"It's OK, we could be better. I thought we deserved more," said de Guzman while at practice with his Major League Soccer club, Toronto FC. "We lost two important points I think at home. When you qualify for these knockout stages, home points are very crucial. I think we completely dominated the (Honduras) game to the point where we deserved three points."
Canada will need to find its offence against a surging Panama side that's won five straight in World Cup qualifying.
Panamanian striker Blas Perez, who plays for MLS's FC Dallas, in particular has been dangerous. He leads the team with six goals in his last four international matches.
"They have a genuine striker at top form at the moment," said Hart. "His finishing has been excellent and his final pass has been excellent and I think that's been the big difference."
The top two teams in the group will advance to the final round of qualifying in the CONCACAF region, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean.
A World Cup berth would be a first for Canada since 1986.
Hart sees obtaining this goal in the big picture for how Canadians will view soccer.
"It will just completely change what happens in Canada. Whether it would mean that we get our own professional league or not, which is badly needed, and I don't think will happen in the near future, it will certainly raise a lot discussion on whether that is possible."
"This is a much different time period than 1986. But the game now due to globalization is bigger than ever before."
- with files from Neil Davidson of The Canadian Press.