Canada may not yet have a coach in place for the Gold Cup but they do have a preliminary roster announced. That roster is made up of 35 players and will be trimmed down to make up the 23 man roster for the event this summer. The 35 players will take part in a 10 day training camp prior to the Gold Cup down in Oxnard, California before kicking off the event on July 7th against Martinique.
The majority of the roster is made up of players who have featured in one of the team's three camps so far this year. As a result, it has a lot of inexperienced players in the mix to compliment the veteran core. Most of Canada's top players for the past World Cup qualifying cycle are still in the mix with Lars Hirschfeld, David Edgar, Andre Hainault, Nik Ledgerwood, Julian de Guzman, Atiba Hutchinson, Will Johnson, Dwayne De Rosario, Simeon Jackson, and Tosaint Ricketts likely to still make up the core of the Gold Cup team.
The roster comes with two big surprises though with Keven Aleman and Fraiser Aird included. The surprise is that both players were talked about as potential options to switch their international allegiances. Aleman came back into the fold with the U20 team where he was impressive and also recently signed his first professional deal in Spain so seeing his name on the list is less of a surprise but in the case of Aird it is a bit of a shock. He has found success at Rangers since their fall from grace in Scotland and seemed to be on course to represent the Scottish national team rather than his native Canada but may have had a change of heart about that with his name included in the preliminary roster. Getting both capped to Canada would certainly be a relief for fans who spend a lot of time worrying about who will be the next talented player to slip away from Canada.
Toronto FC has a decent contingent on the roster with Doneil Henry, Ashtone Morgan, Kyle Bekker, and Johnathan Osorio all making the cut so far. They are joined by a large collection of former TFC players with Nana Attakora, De Guzman, and De Rosario also on the roster. Being called into the camp will mean missing some time during the MLS season for the players but the good news for Toronto FC is that none of the four players are regular starters in the lineup and with the season quickly going down the drain losing them to national team duty is not that big of a blow.
The one depressing part of this roster is the number of names that are followed by unattached. There are far too many of Canada's top players that are currently looking for a club to play for and that it never a good thing. When even some of Canada's top players like Hutchinson, Jackson, and de Guzman are looking for a new club it is a bit concerning. It is good that Canada's most meaningful games for quite a while are the Gold Cup and hopefully some of those situations will be resolved in the coming months.
The roster brings in a lot of youth but it will be interesting to see how many of the young players do enough in the camp to earn a spot in the final 23 man roster. With 12 players not making the cut there will be a lot of names crossed off the list but hopefully a lot of the young players will get a good long look from whoever is coaching.
GK- Haidar Al-Shaïbani | FRA / Nîmes Olympique
GK- Milan Borjan | TUR / Sivasspor
GK- Tomer Chencinski | unattached
GK- Lars Hirschfeld | NOR / Vålerenga Fotball
GK- Simon Thomas | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
D- Nana Attakora | USA / San Jose Earthquakes
D- Marcel de Jong | GER / FC Augsburg
D- David Edgar | ENG / Burnley FC
D- André Hainault | unattached
D- Doneil Henry | CAN / Toronto FC
D- Ashtone Morgan | CAN / Toronto FC
D- Adam Straith | GER / FC Saarbrücken
D/M- Nik Ledgerwood | SWE / Hammarby Fotboll
M- Fraser Aird | SCO / Rangers FC
M- Keven Aleman | ESP / Real Valladolid
M- Kyle Bekker | CAN / Toronto FC
M- Julian de Guzman | unattached
M- Daniel Haber | unattached
M- Atiba Hutchinson | unattached
M- Will Johnson | USA / Portland Timbers
M- Jonathan Osorio | CAN / Toronto FC
M- Pedro Pacheco | POR / unattached
M- Samuel Piette | GER / Fortuna Düsseldorf
M/F- Dwayne De Rosario | USA / D.C. United
M/F- Issey Nakajima-Farran | CYP / Alki Larnaca
M/F - Russell Teibert | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
F- Lucas Cavallini | URU / Club Nacional
F- Stefan Cebara | SVN / Nogometni Klub Celje
F- Randy Edwini-Bonsu | unattached
F- Marcus Haber | ENG / Stevenage FC
F- Simeon Jackson | unattached
F- Frank Jonke | FIN / FF Jaro
F- Kyle Porter | USA / D.C. United
F- Tosaint Ricketts | NOR / Sandnes Ulf