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Canada Gold Cup training camp squad revealed

Colin Miller announced today 22 of the 23 players that will represent Canada at the upcoming Gold Cup.

All together now, I believe the children are our future...
All together now, I believe the children are our future...

The initial 35 man preliminary roster came out a few weeks back, the final 23 man roster will be submitted to Concacaf and revealed on Friday. There'll be a pre tournament camp and today we learned which 22 players will be attending that, before Canada kicks off the whole thing off with a game against Martinique on the 7th of July, then plays Mexico on the 11th and Panama on the 14th before hopefully continuing on to the knockout stage.

Going in there was definitely a couple of ways Miller could have gone. The first would be to look to the next World Cup qualifying cycle and perhaps move on from some of the veteran players, focus on those who can be helping out when the serious qualifying games start in 2016. Also as always Canada has to think about cap tying some new players and this competition represents the only official non friendly games they will play between now and 2015, so it's our best chance to "handcuff those children to the motel radiator that is Canadian soccer", to borrow a magnificent phrase from the comments section of the article linked above (thanks to the Sporting Pacifist).

The other way of looking at it though is that with the top countries occupied with Hex games and probably bringing weaker squads with them to rest their better players and placate their clubs, this might be a chance for Canada to do well, make some noise, get some results. Follow that line of thinking and you'd want to go with the best squad possible, the future be damned, let's chase silverware. You'd hope Miller wouldn't let his interim status affect his decisions, but in his shoes, knowing you probably won't be the one in charge when that next qualifying cycle begins, wouldn't you want to go for it?

In the end, after a delay, reportedly due to reluctance from players currently without a deal wary of injuries costing them a new contract, this is what was announced. Unsurprisingly enough and probably for the best, it's a little from Column A, a little from Column B. Youngsters like Kevin Aleman, Simon Thomas, Samuel Piette, Russell Teibert and randy Edwini-Bonsu get their chance and will hopefully make it on to the pitch at some point, though Lucas Cavallini didn't get the call.

There's also a healthy dose of what would be considered a first team, many of those who played in last year's qualifiers reuniting for the first time since that infamous afternoon in Honduras. Of those not picked, Atiba Hutchinson is one of the players currently without a contract so it makes sense he may not want to risk playing, but Dwayne de Rosario is probably the most surprising omission given his usual readiness to play for Canada and the fact that DC isn't exactly competing for anything right now.

As for the 4 TFC players in the preliminary squad, well all 4 of them are going. Yes, Kyle Bekker and Ashtone Morgan, who can't even get near TFC's first team to save their lives right now will be there, oh Canada. Players will begin arriving in camp tomorrow, but hopefully TFC's players will be allowed to play on Saturday before reporting.

One last note, check out this stat from the official release.

Simeon Jackson is the leading scorer on the team with 6 international goals.

Yikes, anyway, we'll have more analysis later, for now here's the squad:

GK- Milan Borjan | TUR / Sivasspor
GK- Lars Hirschfeld | NOR / Vålerenga Fotball
GK- Simon Thomas | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
D- Marcel de Jong | GER / FC Augsburg
D- David Edgar | ENG / Burnley FC
D- Doneil Henry | CAN / Toronto FC
D- Ashtone Morgan | CAN / Toronto FC
D- Adam Straith | Unattached / sans club
D/M- Nik Ledgerwood | SWE / Hammarby Fotboll
M- Keven Aleman | ESP / Real Valladolid
M- Kyle Bekker | CAN / Toronto FC
M - Julian de Guzman | Unattached / sans club
M- Will Johnson | USA / Portland Timbers
M- Issey Nakajima-Farran | CYP / Alki Larnaca
M- Jonathan Osorio | CAN / Toronto FC
M- Pedro Pacheco | POR / C.D. Santa Clara
M- Samuel Piette | GER / Fortuna Düsseldorf
M- Russell Teibert | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
M/F- Randy Edwini-Bonsu | Unattached / sans club
F- Marcus Haber | ENG / Stevenage FC
F- Simeon Jackson | Unattached / sans club
F- Tosaint Ricketts | NOR / Sandnes Ulf