The consensus is that one of the key changes which Canada needs to make in order to compete in CONCACAF is to figure out how to win on the road in not so friendly environments. For a long time, this was something that held even the United States back in regional competition until they finally figured it out. Now, they are easily one of the top two teams in the region (although after the World Cup, don't forget about the Costa Ricans apparently).
That is why the upcoming friendly match against Panama is not only important, it demonstrates a shift in mentality from the CSA and Benito Floro. They are playing matches like this, in Panama, to prepare themselves for incredibly important World Cup fixtures in Central American environments. It is a nice change of pace from all the European friendlies that were convenient in terms of bringing the players together, but hardly relevant to any crucial matches Canada will be playing in the near future.
Today, the roster for the November 18 match was released. It too demonstrates a team moving in the right direction. This is probably the best squad Floro has had at his disposal in his entire tenure and the camp he will have with them will be nothing short of crucial to the team's success going forward.
There are not a ton of changes to this roster compared to the one that defeated Jamaica 3-1 in September, but they have significance. For one, there has long been a belief that Floro had a disagreement with two of the country's most promising young players: Vancouver's Russell Teibert and Toronto FC's Jonathan Osorio. At least in Teibert's case, that seemed to be somewhat true.
But both have drawn back into the lineup. There may never be clarification on why Teibert was left off for so long. Osorio, on the other hand, made it very clear that he had never turned down Canada as some had reported. He had indeed been invited to play but was busy with TFC at the time, as they were making a playoff push.
On top of Osorio, four other Toronto FC players have been called. Many people were surprised when Dwayne De Rosario mentioned at the team's season ending press conference that he expected to be in this squad. But he was correct, evidently. Doneil Henry, who is still listed as a TFC player by Canada, will join him along with Kyle Bekker and Ashtone Morgan.
Montreal Impact defender Maxim Tissot is another play who many have been calling for to enter Canada's setup after an impressive season with his club. This will be his debut in a Canadian camp.
The most glaring absence is FC Dallas forward Tesho Akindele. Whispers had it that Akindele would have attended the game against Jamaica had FC Dallas allowed him to come. But on its website, Canada made it clear that he had declined an invitation to attend this camp. Nice to see Canada standing up for itself for once.
It's hard to fault Akindele here, as rumour has it America came calling. It's easy to say he is the next Teal Bunbury, but in reality he never claimed he would play for Canada. America has been his home for some time now, so if he feels prouder with a little bit of blue in his red and white then so be it. Canadian fans have been insulted so many times that they just lump all those who choose not to play for them together. Some of these people really never did anything wrong.
At any rate, here is the full lineup for the game. Interestingly, Canada is a little thin at the striker position. Had to wonder if they were banking on Tesho showing up. With that being the case, De Rosario might actually feature in this game more than some thought.
GK- Milan Borjan | BUL / Ludogorets Razgrad
GK- Lars Hirschfeld | NOR / Valerenga
GK- Kenny Stamatopoulos | SWE / AIK
D- Nana Attakora | USA / DC United
D- David Edgar | ENG / Birmingham City
D- Doneil Henry | CAN / Toronto FC
D- Nik Ledgerwood | GER / Energie Cottbus
D- Ashtone Morgan | CAN / Toronto FC
D- Karl W. Ouimette | CAN / Impact de Montréal
D- Maxim Tissot | CAN / Impact de Montréal
M- Bryce Alderson | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
M- Kyle Bekker | CAN / Toronto FC
M- Patrice Bernier | CAN / Impact de Montréal
M- Julian de Guzman | unattached / sans club
M- Atiba Hutchinson | TUR / Besiktas
M- Issey Nakajima-Farran | CAN / Impact de Montréal
M- Jonathan Osorio | CAN / Toronto FC
M- Adam Straith | unattached / sans club
M- Daniel Stanese | GER / FC Augsburg II
M- Russell Teibert | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
F- Dwayne De Rosario | CAN / Toronto FC
F- Marcus Haber | ENG / Crewe Alexandra
F- Tosaint Ricketts | ISR / Hapoel Haifa
Who knows, there might even be a late twitter submission like Jordan Hamilton was last time, but for now that's the roster that has been released.