The Canadian Men's U-18 team are getting ready for a tough test in the COTIF U-20 tournament. The event takes place from 11 to 21 August in l'Alcúdia, Spain and will pit the young Canadian squad against some very strong competition. In the group stage Canada will get the chance to take on Japan, Argentina, Bulgaria, and Belarus.
It will be a tough test for Rob Gale's squad in the tournament which is why he has called in a strong side from all over the World. The 20-man roster is made up of players who are currently at clubs or schools in six different countries. The best news is that the majority of the players in the squad are currently training and playing in professional environments.
The squad is highlighted by former Toronto FC academy players, Dylan Carreiro and Michael Petrasso, who were part of the Canadian U-20 squad that competed in the CONCACAF Championships earlier this year and came up just short of reaching the World Cup after a quarterfinal defeat against the United States. Luca Gasparotto was the other player from the U-20 squad that was eligible for this team but he was left off the roster since he is in the midst of competing for his place at Rangers.
With the U-17 squad being busy preparing for this fall's World Cup Gale had a limited pool of players to work with when naming his squad. All of the players that he included will be eligible for the next U-20 World Cup qualifying cycle and this tournament will be a good start towards preparing for that event.
Toronto FC's academy will be represented by Manuel Aparicio and Dylan Sacramento who are both regulars for Danny Dichio's senior academy team and TFC's reserve squad. Aparicio is also reportedly set to sign for the first team as a home grown player making this a very exciting time for the young midfielder.
For this event Toronto FC is sending the smallest contingent of the three MLS clubs as the Vancouver Whitecaps are sending five players and the Montreal Impact are sending four players. There is also one player for FC Edmonton's development system on the roster.
The players from the Canadian professional teams are joined by players who are currently playing in the United States, England, Scotland, Germany, and Belgium. It makes for a very diverse roster which should give Gale the chance to look at a variety of different players who could feature for the U-20 team or even the senior national team down the road.
CANADA's Men's U-18 Team, 2013 COTIF U-20 Tournament
GK- Joseph Melong | USA / Shattuck-St. Mary's
GK- Nolan Wirth | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
D- Samuel Adekugbe | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
D- Quinton Duncan | USA / University of Tulsa
D- Jackson Farmer | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
D- Enrique Garcea | BEL / Sporting de Charleroi
D- Brandon John | GER / AUE Erzigberge Reserves
D- Kevin Lafond | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal
M- Yacine Ait-Slimane | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal
M- Manuel Aparicio | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
M- Louis Béland-Goyette | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal
M- Dylan Carreiro | ENG / Queens Park Rangers
M- Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal
M- Kianz Gonzales-Froese | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
M- Michael Petrasso | ENG / Queens Park Rangers
M- Mitch Piraux | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
M- Dylan Sacramento | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
F- Calum Ferguson | SCO / Inverness Caledonian Thistle
F- Brody Huitema | USA / Duke University
F- Bruno Zebie | CAN / FC Edmonton Academy