Canada Soccer have announced their squad for a crucial home match in 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League against rivals USA. The Tuesday 15 October home match in Toronto provides Canada with the opportunity to face one of the leading nations in Concacaf with the potential to accumulate valuable points on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings. The all-important match gives Canadian fans a chance to get behind their home side as they contend to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The Tuesday 15 October home match kicks off at 19.30 local at BMO Field in downtown Toronto.
“Normally, playing an old rival like the USA is enough to get the juices flowing, but there’s a lot more to play for in this match with Concacaf Nations League Group A positioning and FIFA ranking points on the line,” said John Herdman, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team Head Coach. “If there’s going to be an upset in this match, the Canadian fans will play a big part as they always do at home.”
Following the home match on 15 October, Canada will play away against USA on Friday 15 November to wrap up their four matches in Group A of Concacaf Nations League A. Canada have already won six points from wins over Cuba while USA will face the former Caribbean champions on 11 October and 19 November. From the three-nation group, the group winner will advance to the Final Four of Concacaf Nations League in June 2020 while both the winner and runner up will qualify for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup.
After those back-to-back wins in September, Canada have drawn closer to a Concacaf top-6 spot on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings, which after June 2020 will determine two distinct pathways for 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar Qualifiers. Canada went from trailing El Salvador by 30 points to trailing them by just five points after Canada’s two victories and El Salvador’s win and a loss in the September window.
“The players will be doing everything in their will to achieve a result against USA and our fans play a big role in pushing the team forward in those tough moments and in games like this there’ll be few, so we hope to see a sea of red at BMO Field and feel their passion from whistle to whistle,” said Herdman.
Through Concacaf Nations League, Canada will host USA in a competitive match in Canada for the first time since 1997. The two sides have since faced each other four times in the Concacaf Gold Cup including the 2007 semi-finals. In 2012 and 2013, the two sides played to 0:0 draws in each nation’s respective centennial match.
“It’s a great opportunity for the fans to unite around this team and a big moment for the team to test themselves against one of the best in Concacaf,” said Herdman. “We know the quality of the USA and the history of results in the last two decades, but with the fans behind us we can work together to change that narrative in October and November.”
CANADA’S HEROES RETURN TO BMO FIELD
Canada’s October squad will feature the trio of goalscoring stars from the 2019 season, including newly-crowned single-season record holder Jonathan David of KAA Gent in Belgium. David (eight goals), Lucas Cavallini (seven) and Junior Hoilett (six) are the first Canadian trio of players to each score four-plus goals in a Men’s National Team season.
David is one of six players aged 22 or younger in the October squad, with both David (19) and Alphonso Davies (18) of FC Bayern Munich still teenagers. Against Cuba, David scored in the home match at BMO Field while Davies scored in the away match in the Cayman Islands. The other young players in the Canada squad are Liam Millar of Kilmarnock FC (20), Derek Cornelius of Vancouver Whitecaps FC (21), Stephen Eustáquio of Cruz Azul FC (22), and Kamal Miller of Orlando City SC (22).
Eustáquio gets his first Men’s National Team call up after recently returning to action from a 2018-19 injury. He is one of two players yet to make their international “A” debut, with the other second-time call up centre back Amer Didić of FC Edmonton.
Joining Eustáquio at midfield are Scott Arfield, Will Johnson, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Jonathan Osorio, Samuel Piette, and Russell Teibert. Kaye recently helped Los Angeles FC clinch the MLS Supporters’ Shield while Piette helped the Impact de Montréal win the Canadian Championship.
Along with Didić, Cornelius and Miller, Canada’s backline will feature Samuel Adekugbe, Juan Córdova, Doneil Henry, Richie Laryea, and Steven Vitória. Henry will be in camp, but is ineligible to feature in the match after accumulating two yellow cards in his last match.
In goal, Canada’s squad features Milan Borjan, Maxime Crépeau and Jayson Leutwiler. Borjan of Red Star Belgrade is the most experienced international player in the Canada squad with 47 appearances, including 20 clean sheets.
Canada are two-time Concacaf champions, having won the Concacaf Championship in 1985 and the Concacaf Gold Cup in 2000. In winning the 1985 Concacaf Championship, Canada qualified for the 1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico™; in winning the 2000 Concacaf Gold Cup, Canada qualified for the FIFA Confederations Cup Korea/Japan 2001.
Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Youth Teams, meanwhile, have won two Concacaf titles: both the 1986 and 1996 Concacaf Men’s Youth Championships. Canada have qualified for eight editions of the FIFA U-20 World Cup and seven editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup including the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil which will see Canada take on host nation Brazil in the Opening Match on 26 October.
CONCACAF NATIONS LEAGUE
At stake in 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League is a spot in the Concacaf Hex for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Qualifiers. After the June 2020 rankings, 35 Concacaf nations will be divided onto two pathways to Qatar 2022: the top-six nations in the Concacaf Hex (from which three nations will qualify for Qatar 2022) and the other 29 nations in series of group stage and knockout phase matches (from which one nation will face the fourth-place finisher from the Hex after which that winner will represent Concacaf in a FIFA intercontinental playoff for a spot at Qatar 2022).
Name | Age | City where he grew up | Active start/first club
Adekugbe, Samuel | 24 | Calgary, AB, CAN | Manchester United Grassroots
Arfield, Scott | 30 | Livingston, SCO | Murieston Boys Club
Borjan, Milan | 31 | Hamilton, ON, CAN | Radnicki JP
Cavallini, Lucas | 26 | Mississauga, ON, CAN | Club Uruguay Toronto
Córdova, Juan | 24 | Los Anges, CHI | San Esteban Association
Cornelius, Derek | 21 | Ajax, ON, CAN | Ajax SC
Crépeau, Maxime | 25 | Candiac, QC, CAN | Ligue de soccer pour enfants de Candiac
David, Jonathan | 19 | Ottawa, ON, CAN | Gloucester Dragons
Davies, Alphonso | 18 | Edmonton, AB, CAN | Edmonton Inter
Didić, Amer | 24 | Sherwood Park, AB, CAN | Sherwood Park SA
Eustáquio, Stephen | 22 | Leamington, ON, CAN | Leamington Minor Soccer
Henry, Doneil | 26 | Brampton, ON, CAN | Brampton YSC
Hoilett, David Junior | 29 | Brampton, ON, CAN | Mississauga SC
Johnson, Will | 32 | Toronto, ON, CAN & Chicago, IL, USA |
Kaye, Mark-Anthony | 24 | Toronto, ON, CAN | Wexford SC
Laryea, Richie | 24 | Toronto, ON, CAN | Club Uruguay Toronto
Leutwiler, Jayson | 30 | Neuchâtel, SUI | FC Cornaux
Millar, Liam | 20 | Brampton, ON, CAN | Brampton YSC
Miller, Kamal | 22 | Scarborough, ON, CAN | Malvern SC
Osorio, Jonathan | 27 | Brampton, ON, CAN | Toronto Futsal League
Piette, Samuel | 24 | Le Gardeur, QC, CAN | Lionceaux de le Gardeur
Teibert, Russell | 26 | Niagara Falls, ON, CAN | Niagara Falls SC
Vitória, Steven | 32 | Mississauga, ON, CAN | Sudbury Lions