The Canadian Soccer Association decided to flex their creative muscles and announced the roster for the upcoming international matches and training camp via a fancy youtube video. The clip which you can watch below the jump just gives the names and the basic information on the 22 men that will be involved in the training camp down in Florida ahead of the friendly against the United States and then the pair of World Cup qualifiers.
The roster was filled with all of the names that we are used to seeing with Andre Hainault and Atiba Hutchinson returning after missing the games last fall for various reasons. There were a few more surprising inclusions, with Pedro Pacheco, Issey Nakajima-Farran, and Samuel Piette all being brought in.
For Pacheco and Nakajima-Farran this is a bit of a surprise return to the national team but it means that the likes of Patrice Bernier, Matt Stinson, and Terry Dunfield have been left out of the midfield. The biggest story is that 17 year old Piette has been called up to the senior team. Piette is a player who Stephen Hart clearly has high expectations for and one that he sees as being a huge part of the national teams future. The young midfielder was one of the stand out players for Canada in Olympic Qualifiers despite being one of the youngest players in that squad. He has a whole lot of potential and may even feature in these three games but for the most part should still be considered one for the future.
Hart said at a conference call with media this afternoon, that he had spoken with Dunfield and explained his decision, but that he didn't want too many similar midfielders in the squad. As for Bernier, well to add to the discussion for the lack of playing time Vancouver and Montreal are giving their Canadian players, that was definitely something that played a part in Bernier not being selected. Hart noted that Bernier is a bit disappointed to not make the squad, but felt he hadn't been getting enough consistent playing time.
Closer to home, Toronto FC will be represented by Ashtone Morgan and Julian De Guzman. That is a lower number than normal from the club but Hart decided not to give the call to Adrian Cann, Doniel Henry, Dunfield, or Stinson.
The main question mark for a long time now, and one that certainly wasn't solved in last year's qualifiers is just who plays the Centre Forward position. Olivier Occean had a great year for his club in Germany, so might well get a real chance to make the spot his own. Hart noted that this will be the first extended camp with Canada, so he'll hopefully have the time to mesh with the squad and have them learn what he likes, as he still needs to work out his playing relationship with the other attacking players.
The training camp will take part in two stages, with the European based players starting off, before, following FIFA regulations, the MLS players join up once the league goes on an international break after next weekend's games. With regards to his relationship with the MLS teams, Hart said "Some coaches are fantastic and very supportive, but a lot of it depends on how they are doing in the league, how the player is doing, the player's health."
The full squad is below, and now to the video!
The full roster breaks down as follows.
1- GK- Lars Hirschfeld | NOR / Vålerenga Fotball
2- D- Nik Ledgerwood | GER / SV Wehen Wiesbaden
3- FB- Mike Klukowski | TUR / Manisaspor
4- CB- Kevin McKenna | GER / FC Köln
5- D - André Hainault | USA / Houston Dynamo
6- M - Julian de Guzman | CAN / Toronto FC
7- F- Iain Hume | ENG / Preston North End FC
8- M - Will Johnson | USA / Real Salt Lake
9- F- Tosaint Ricketts | ROM / FC Politehnica Timişoara
10- F- Simeon Jackson | ENG / Norwich City FC
11- M- Josh Simpson | SUI / Berner Sport Club Young Boys
13- M- Atiba Hutchinson | NED / PSV Eindhoven
14- M - Dwayne De Rosario | USA / D.C. United
15- CB- David Edgar | ENG / Burnley FC
16- M- Pedro Pacheco | POR / CD Santa Clara
17- F- Olivier Occean | GER / SpVgg Greuther Fürth
18- GK- Milan Borjan | TUR / Sivasspor
19- LB- Ashtone Morgan | CAN / Toronto FC
20- M- Samuel Piette | Unattached / sans club
21- D - Ante Jazić | USA / Chivas USA
22- GK- Kenny Stamatopoulos | SWE / AIK Fotbol
23- M- Issey Nakajima-Farran | AUS / Brisbane Roar FC