Canada Soccer have announced their Men’s National Team squad for the start of 2018-19 Concacaf Nations League Qualifying that kicks off Sunday 9 September. Head Coach John Herdman and his staff have put together an exciting squad that includes established stars and some of Canada’s next generation of bright young stars. The squad will gather on Monday 3 September during the international window in preparation for the opening match against US Virgin Islands.
“It’s a great time and this is a talented group: it’s a period in time where every match matters, adding the sort of pressure that will help bind the group tighter,” said John Herdman, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team Head Coach. “There is no life in between anymore, that line was burned brightly into the culture in our first camp in March 2018. We know what we are here to do and as a group we will either choose to take this team to another level or we won’t, it’s that clear. This is a talented group who have a real shot at qualifying for Qatar 2022.”
Canada face US Virgin Islands in the opening match of 2018-19 Concacaf Nations League Qualifying on Sunday 9 September in Bradenton, FL, USA. It is the first of four matches in the series, with Canada back at home on 16 October against Dominica, away against St. Kitts and Nevis on 18 November, and then back home on 26 March 2019 against French Guiana.
“It’s more meaningful matches more often,” said Herdman. “It’s exciting to bring a group of men together where there is real expectation, scrutiny and consequences which ultimately will drive the performance levels up. Knowing you have to win matches sharpens the focus; it breeds both competition for places and a togetherness.”
The squad features plenty of skill from professional clubs in Canada, USA, Mexico and across Europe. Amongst the experienced veterans are midfielder Scott Arfield from Glasgow Rangers FC, midfielder Jonathan Osorio from Canadian champions Toronto FC, and centre back Dejan Jakovic from Los Angeles FC. Other notable veterans include winger Junior Hoilett from Cardiff City in England’s Premier League, goalkeeper Milan Borjan from Red Star Belgrade, and midfielder Samuel Piette from Impact de Montréal.
The squad also features attacking star Alphonso Davies from Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Davies was the 2017 Concacaf Gold Cup Top Scorer and Best Young Player in his first season with Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team. Davies, still the youngest player in the Canada squad, recently signed a MLS-record deal with FC Bayern in Germany with whom he will join after the 2018 Major League Soccer season.
Forward Tosaint Ricketts (58) from Toronto FC and fullback Marcel de Jong (55) from Vancouver Whitecaps FC both have more than 50 international “A” appearances for Canada. Ricketts is also Canada’s active leader with 16 international goals scored.
Also called into the September squad are winger Tesho Akindele from FC Dallas, forward Lucas Cavallini from Puebla FC, centre back Manjrekar James from FC Fredericia (on loan FC Midtjylland), forward Cyle Larin from Beşiktaş JK, and midfielder Russell Teibert from Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Centre back Doneil Henry, also from Vancouver Whitecaps FC, returns to the Men’s National Team for the first time since 2016.
The Canada squad also features four players who have yet to make their international “A” debuts as well as four other players with less than a handful of appearances. Potential debutants are fullback Zachary Brault-Guillard, goalkeeper Alessandro Busti, centre back Derek Cornelius, and forward Jonathan David. All four have represented Canada at the international youth level and only Cornelius has had a previous call up to the Men’s National Team in March of this year.
All four potential debutants are currently playing in Europe, with Brault-Guillard in the Olympique Lyonnais program in France, Busti at Juventus with the Primavera squad in Italy, Cornelius with FK Javor Ivanjica in Serbia, and David with KAA Gent in Belgium.
In addition, winger Liam Millar of Liverpool FC U-23 and midfielder Jonathan Wotherspoon of St. Johnstone FC made their international debuts in March 2018, with Millar the man of the match in the Canada 1:0 win over New Zealand. Both midfielder Jay Chapman and goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau have made just two international appearances.
In all, Herdman has called five teenagers into camp, with Davies the fifth in that young group alongside Brault-Guillard (19), Busti (18), David (18) and Millar (18). Cornelius, meanwhile, is just 20 years old.
BACK HOME IN OCTOBER
Following the away match on 9 September, Canadian fans will have a chance to cheer on their home side when Canada face Dominica in Toronto on 16 October in the second match of 2018-19 Concacaf Nations League Qualifying. Tickets to the match start as low as $20 (plus applicable fees) via Ticketmaster.ca or by phone at 1.855.985.5000. Group discounts are available by organising a group of 10 or more tickets, giving fans a discount of up to 30% off the regular price. There is also a special Me+3 ticket offer in Price Category 3 which gives fans four tickets for the price of three.
1- GK- Maxime Crépeau | CAN / Ottawa Fury FC
2- FB- Zachary Brault-Guillard | FRA / Olympique Lyonnais
3- CB- Manjrekar James | DEN / FC Fredericia
4- CB- Derek Cornelius | SRB / FK Javor Ivanjica
5- CB- Dejan Jaković | USA / Los Angeles FC
6- M- Samuel Piette | CAN / Impact de Montréal
7- M- Russell Teibert | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
8- M- David Wotherspoon | SCO / St. Johnstone FC
9- F- Cyle Larin | TUR / Beşiktaş JK
10- W- David Junior Hoilett | WAL / Cardiff City FC
11- F- Tosaint Ricketts | CAN / Toronto FC
12- W- Alphonso Davies | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
13- M- Jay Chapman | CAN / Toronto FC
14- W- Liam Millar | ENG / Liverpool FC U-23
15- CB- Doneil Henry | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
16- M- Scott Arfield | SCO / Glasgow Rangers FC
17- FB- Marcel de Jong | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
18- GK- Milan Borjan | SRB / FK Crvena zvezda (Red Star Belgrade)
19- F- Lucas Cavallini | MEX / Puebla FC
20- F- Jonathan David | BEL / KAA Gent
21- M- Jonathan Osorio | CAN / Toronto FC
22- GK- Alessandro Busti | ITA / Juventus Primavera
23- W- Tesho Akindele | USA / FC Dallas
Name | Age | City in which he grew up | Active start/1st Club
Akindele, Tesho | 26 | Thornton, CO, USA | Mississauga
Arfield, Scott | 29 | Livingston, SCO | Murieston Boys Club
Borjan, Milan | 30 | Hamilton, ON, CAN | Radnicki JP
Brault-Guillard, Zachary | 19 | Montréal, QC, CAN | Club Sportif Lagnieu
Busti, Alessandro | 18 | Toronto, ON, CAN | Lascaris
Cavallini, Lucas | 25 | Mississauga, ON, CAN | Club Uruguay Toronto
Chapman, Jay | 24 | Campbellford, ON, CAN | Brampton East SC
Cornelius, Derek | 20 | Ajax, ON, CAN | Ajax SC
Crépeau, Maxime | 24 | Candiac, QC, CAN | Ligue de soccer pour enfants de Candiac
David, Jonathan | 18 | Ottawa, ON, CAN | Gloucester
Davies, Alphonso | 17 | Edmonton, AB, CAN | Edmonton Inter
de Jong, Marcel | 31 | Valkenswaard, NED | De Valk
Henry, Doneil | 25 | Brampton, ON, CAN | Brampton YSC
Hoilett, David Junior | 28 | Brampton, ON, CAN | Mississauga SC
Jaković, Dejan | 33 | Etobicoke, ON, CAN | Rexdale SC
James, Manjrekar | 25 | North York, ON, CAN | North York Azzurri
Larin, Cyle | 23 | Brampton, ON, CAN | Brampton YSC
Millar, Liam | 18 | Brampton, ON, CAN | Brampton YSC
Osorio, Jonathan | 26 | Brampton, ON, CAN | Toronto Futsal League
Piette, Samuel | 23 | Le Gardeur, QC, CAN | Lionceaux de le Gardeur
Ricketts, Tosaint | 31 | Edmonton, AB, CAN | Edmonton Juventus
Teibert, Russell | 25 | Niagara Falls, ON, CAN | Niagara Falls SC
Wotherspoon, David | 28 | Bridge of Earn, SCO