Canada Soccer have added both experience and youth to their Men’s National Team squad coming off a strong performance at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Coach Octavio Zambrano has selected a pair of former Players of the Year and called in two debutants to the “A” squad for Canada’s return to BMO Field in Toronto this 2 September.
Midfielders Atiba Hutchinson and Will Johnson are both included in the September squad after missing this year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup run to the quarter-finals. Hutchinson of Brampton, Ontario is making his first appearance with head coach Octavio Zambrano. The five-time Canadian Player of the Year has led Beşiktaş JK to back-to-back Turkish Süper Lig titles and consecutive qualifications to UEFA Champions League.
Canada will face the two-time CONCACAF Gold Cup runners up Jamaica on 2 September. The Toronto match serves as a re-match from the Canada-Jamaica quarter-final match at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
“When we play at home, we want to play good football and we want to pick up from where we left off at the CONCACAF Gold Cup,” said Octavio Zambrano, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team Head Coach. “We want to continue to build on what we have established at the CONCACAF Gold Cup and that will happen every time we get together.”
Along with Hutchinson and Johnson, the squad includes former Canadian U-20 Player of the Year Petrasso and reigning Canadian U-17 Player of the Year Alphonso Davies. The 17-year old Davies was recently the Top Scorer and Best Young Player at the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July.
Two players receiving their first call ups to the Men’s National Team are David Choinière (St-Alexandre, QC) and Amer Didic (Sherwood Park, AB). The 20-year old Choinière plays for Impact Montréal FC and has been part of Canada Soccer’s national youth program since 2012. The 22-year old Didic plays for Sporting Kansas City and recently made his debut with Canada’s U-23 program in March.
In all, 13 players are 24 years or younger, with Davies the lone teenager. Alongside Choinière and Didic, goalkeeper James Pantemis (Montréal) is the other player yet to make his international “A” debut.
Coach Zambrano has selected 11 players from Canadian teams, with Jay Chapman, Raheem Edwards, Jonathan Osorio, and Tosaint Ricketts representing local side Toronto FC. There is also a strong contingent of Ontario players returning or making their debut at BMO Field, including Hutchinson, Dejan Jakovic, Cyle Larin, Manjrekar James, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Michael Petrasso, and David “Junior” Hoilett.
“I’m excited because it’s going to be a great game,” said David Junior Hoilett, “It’s going to be my first time playing at home, so it will be a great feeling for me to go out and show my place in my home city.”
This marks the sixth international match between Canada and Jamaica in Toronto, with the most recent meeting a Canada 3:1 win on 9 September 2014. The two sides have also faced each other four times in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, with the two sides winning two matches each.
Canada are two-time CONCACAF champions, having won the CONCACAF Championship in 1985 and the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2000. In five matches under new head coach Octavio Zambrano, Canada’s international record is two wins, two draws, and one loss.
In 2017, Canada’s overall international record is three wins, three draws, and one loss in seven matches. Jamaica’s 2017 record is four wins, two draws, and four losses in 10 matches, including a second-place finish at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
1- GK- Simon Thomas | NOR / FK Bodø/Glimt
2- FB- Nik Ledgerwood | CAN / FC Edmonton
3- CB- Manjrekar James | HUN / Vasas Budapest
4- FB- Michael Petrasso | ENG / Queens Park Rangers
5- CB- Dejan Jaković | USA / New York Cosmos
6- M- Samuel Piette | CAN / Impact Montréal FC
7- FB- Samuel Adekugbe | SWE / IFK Göteborg (on loan from Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
8- M- Will Johnson | USA / Orlando City SC
9- F- Tosaint Ricketts | CAN / Toronto FC
10- M- David Junior Hoilett | WAL / Cardiff City FC
11- F- Cyle Larin | USA / Orlando City SC
12- M- Alphonso Davies | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
13- M- Atiba Hutchinson | TUR / Beşiktaş JK
14- M- Mark-Anthony Kaye | USA / Louisville City FC
15- CB- Amer Didic | USA / Sporting Kansas City
16- F- Anthony Jackson-Hamel | CAN / Impact Montréal FC
17- FB- Marcel de Jong | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
18- GK- Jayson Leutwiler | ENG / Blackburn Rovers
20- M- Raheem Edwards | CAN / Toronto FC
21- M- Jonathan Osorio | CAN / Toronto FC
22- GK- James Pantemis | CAN / Impact Montréal FC
23- M- Tesho Akindele | USA / FC Dallas
24- M- David Choinière | CAN / Impact Montréal FC
25- M- Jay Chapman | CAN / Toronto FC
Name | Birthyear | Age | City where he grew up | First club/active start
Adekugbe, Samuel | 1995 | 22 | Calgary, AB, CAN | Manchester United Grassroots
Akindele, Tesho | 1992 | 25 | Thornton, CO, USA | Mississauga
Chapman, Jay | 1994 | 23 | Campbellford, ON, CAN | Brampton East SC
Choinière, David | 1997 | 20 | St-Alexandre, QC, CAN | AS Haut-Richelieu
Davies, Alphonso | 2000 | 16 | Edmonton, AB, CAN | Edmonton Inter
de Jong, Marcel | 1986 | 30 | Valkenswaard, NED | De Valk
Didic, Amer | 1994 | 22 | Sherwood Park, AB, CAN | Sherwood Park SA
Edwards, Raheem | 1995 | 22 | Toronto, ON, CAN | Erin Mills SC
Hoilett, David Junior | 1990 | 27 | Brampton, ON, CAN | Mississauga SC
Hutchinson, Atiba | 1983 | 34 | Brampton, ON, CAN | Brampton YSC
Jackson-Hamel, Anthony | 1993 | 24 | Québec, QC, CAN | Impact Junior ARS Québec
Jaković, Dejan | 1985 | 32 | Etobicoke, ON, CAN | Rexdale SC
James, Manjrekar | 1993 | 24 | North York, ON, CAN | North York Azzurri
Johnson, Will | 1987 | 30 | Toronto, ON, CAN & Chicago, IL, USA |
Kaye, Mark-Anthony | 1994 | 22 | Toronto, ON, CAN | Wexford SC
Larin, Cyle | 1995 | 22 | Brampton, ON, CAN | Brampton YSC
Ledgerwood, Nik | 1985 | 32 | Lethbridge, AB, CAN | Lethbridge Cosmos
Leutwiler, Jayson | 1989 | 28 | Neuchâtel, SUI | FC Cornaux
Osorio, Jonathan | 1992 | 25 | Brampton, ON, CAN | Toronto Futsal League
Pantemis, James | 1997 | 20 | Montréal, QC, CAN | Pierrefonds
Petrasso, Michael | 1995 | 22 | Woodbridge, ON, CAN | Kleinburg SC
Piette, Samuel | 1994 | 22 | Le Gardeur, QC, CAN | Lionceaux de le Gardeur
Ricketts, Tosaint | 1987 | 30 | Edmonton, AB, CAN | Edmonton Juventus
Thomas, Simon | 1990 | 27 | Victoria, BC, CAN | Bays United SC