This afternoon, men's national team coach Benito Floro announced his squad for Canada's upcoming friendly against Jamaica. The match will be at BMO Field (or in this instance more akin to the national soccer stadium that we all love, the last chance to see that or BMO Field unhindered by the construction that will be starting soon.) on September 9th. Looking at the squad there aren't a lot of surprises on the list. Floro has gone for a fairly veteran laden team for this match while including a good mix of youth from both MLS and International clubs; with three unattached players getting the call.
The unattached players include former TFC midfielder Julian De Guzman, keeper Milan Borjan (18 caps) and defender Adam Straith (12 caps). While none are strangers to suiting up Canada De Guzman is the veteran of this trio as Borjan and Straith are still fairly young players with the misfortune of not being able to catch on with a club.
What does stand out on the list is the number of Toronto FC and Montreal Impact players; and the lack of Vancouver Whitecaps (Or Edmonton FC players). TFC has five players called - which may be a bit of a shock given that they're in the midst of a playoff push, are heavily hit by injuries to the defence at the moment and have 2 games to play during the time the camp will run. Word is that it would have been six but that Jonathan Osorio declined Floro's offer (or TFC negotiated his release). It will be interesting to see if Ashtone Morgan and Doneil Henry remain with the club this weekend and next, or if they'll join the camp as soon as possible. For the Impact, only Patrice Bernier can be said to be a potential issue for the club, but as their season is all but over, it is unlikely that the club put up any fuss over releasing the players.
Qualifying for the next World Cup cycle doesn't start until next year so some of these faces may be getting last looks during the fall friendlies (expect one in October and November). But out of the available players for a game on home soil, given the lateness of the MLS season and the distance the Europe based players (some of them just starting out with new teams) will have to fly, this is a pretty solid lineup. Will they win against Jamaica? Who knows - I'd settle for scoring goals in a hard fought draw given that is not something they've managed much these past few years. Also it would be great to see if Atiba Hutchinson can continue his good run of form in club play and bring it to the national team (he's not scored for Canada in four years). This is also a chance for little used midfielder Dwayne De Rosario to get some minutes and keep his name in the public eye as his current stint at TFC hasn't given him much opportunity.
Unfortunately the team is missing some expected faces in Will Johnson (he and his wife are expecting their next child next month) and Josh Simpson who had been one of Canada's strongest players in recent years but is still recovering from a broken leg suffered last May while playing for BSC Young Boys. Expect both to be back with the team next season. Below is the list of all the players that have been called up - let us know in the comments your thoughts and whether you'll be attending the game!
GK- Kenny Stamatopoulos | SWE / AIK
GK- Milan Borjan | unattached / sans club
GK- Quillan Roberts | CAN / Toronto FC
D- Nik Ledgerwood | GER / Energie Cottbus
D- Andre Hainault | GER / VfR Aalen
D- Doneil Henry | CAN / Toronto FC
D- Dejan Jakovic | JPN / Shimizu S-Pulse
D- Adam Straith | unattached / sans club
D- Karl W. Ouimette | CAN / Impact de Montréal
D- Jeremy Gagnon-Laparé | CAN / Impact de Montréal
D- David Edgar | ENG / Birmingham City FC
M- Ashtone Morgan | CAN / Toronto FC
M- Julian de Guzman | unattached / sans club
M- Pedro Pacheco | POR / Santa Clara
M- Kyle Bekker | CAN / Toronto FC
M- Atiba Hutchinson | TUR / Besiktas
M- Marcel de Jong | GER / Augsburg
M- Issey Nakajima-Farran | CAN / Impact de Montréal
M- Patrice Bernier | CAN / Impact de Montréal
F-Tosaint Ricketts | ISR / Hapoel Haifa
F- Simeon Jackson | ENG / Coventry City
F- Marcus Haber | ENG / Crewe Alexandra
F- Randy Edwini-Bonsu | GER / Stuttgarter Kickers
F- Dwayne De Rosario | CAN / Toronto FC