It’s now less than a week until Canada’s Men’s U-20 Team heads to Jamaica to take on CONCACAF’s best as they seek a berth at the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015 and Head Coach Rob Gale has named the 20 players who hope to take Canada there.
Canada will play out of Group B and will be rolling into Montego Bay with no shortage of confidence having picked up some encouraging results and performances in the run-up to the competition.
“I am excited to get this squad together and we are all looking forward to the learning experience of a world cup qualifying campaign. This is an opportunity to continue the players development and expose them to demands of an international football tournament,” said Gale. “I hope and expect the players will seize this opportunity to test and showcase themselves and we are confident in showing everyone what a good football team we are becoming and helping these players move on in their international careers.”
First up is Haiti on Saturday 10 January followed by Mexico two days later (12 January). Matches against El Salvador (15 January), Cuba (19 January), and Honduras (22 January) conclude the group stage. The group winner moves to the tournament final with a FIFA U-20 World Cup spot secured, while the second and third placed teams will playoff against the second and third placed teams from Group A for the other two spots open to the CONCACAF region.
All of Canada’s matches will be played at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.
It’s a gruelling competition and Canada will have to achieve it without team captain Dylan Carreiro and Fraser Aird as they had to stay with their club teams who have matches during the event.
“(I’m a) bit disappointed to lose some key characters with clubs not releasing them but it will provide opportunities for talented players to step up and prove they can apply themselves at this level,” said Gale.
Gale has been working to develop the depth in the squad and it’s still a richly talented group that contains a number of players with significant international experience.
That depth will be required as the games come fast and furious in the Caribbean heat.
A full schedule of the competition can be found on canadasoccer.com. Fans will be able to follow live on Twitter @CanadaSoccerEN and review match reports and reactions from Jamaica on Canada Soccer’s website.
GK- Marco Carducci | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
GK- Nolan Wirth | USA / Oregon State University
D- Samuel Adekugbe | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
D- Alexander Comsia | FRA / RC Strasbourg
D- Luca Gasparotto | SCO / Rangers FC (on loan at Airdrieonians)
D- Jackson Farmer | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
D- Jordan Haynes | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
D- Brandon John | GER / Erzgebirge Aue
D- Rares (Chris) Serban | CAN / University of British Columbia
M- Manuel Aparicio | CAN / Toronto FC
M- Louis Béland-Goyette | CAN / Impact de Montréal
M- Hanson Boakai | CAN / FC Edmonton
M- Marco Bustos | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
M- Kianz Froese | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
M- Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé | CAN / Impact de Montréal
M- Chris Nanco | USA / Syracuse University
M- Michael Petrasso | ENG / Queens Park Rangers
F- Calum Fergusson | SCO / Inverness Caldeonian Thistle
F- Jordan Hamilton | CAN / Toronto FC
F- Cyle Larin | unattached / sans club