Who would have thought, when Canada began the important rounds of 2018 World Cup qualifying their roster would be without any players from Toronto FC. That was the case today, however, as Benito Floro named his team for the first pair of CONCACAF round 4 World Cup qualifiers.
Canada play against Honduras on November 13 at BC Place in Vancouver, before flying to El Salvador to play a match against their national team on November 17. These are two incredibly crucial matches for the Canadian team, who likely need six points from them in order to have a good chance at advancing.
Jonathan Osorio is the notable omission from the Toronto FC standpoint, as he had a strong season for the club. Ashtone Morgan and Quillan Robert have also been involved in recent camps, but neither really had strong cases to make this team.
In fact, Canadian MLS teams are not very well represented at all, with only four players on the current roster. Wandrille Lefevre joins the side from the Montreal Impact, while a Vancouver Whitecaps trio of Kianz Froese, Sam Adekugbe and Russell Teibert are also included.
While this isn't necessarily the best news for the MLS development system in Canada, the Canadian roster as a whole is a big step in the right direction.
For years, the CSA has been trying to get Canadian players to show up for games, but more important show up when it really matters. As far as national team soccer goes, there is little that matters more than World Cup qualifiers.
This year, however, is completely different as allegiance to the national team seems to be at an all time high as the semi-final round of CONCACAF qualifiers for the Russia 2018 world cup. Canada hasn't gotten past this stage since the 1998 World Cup qualifiers.
The most notable Canadian to commit to them lately is Junior Hoilett, the Queen's Park Rangers winger who Canada has been after since the last round of qualification. Hoilett finally committed to Canada ahead of an October Friendly against Ghana. He played very well in that match, demonstrating why he is so important to the Canadian team.
Joining Hoilett in selecting Canada is Fraser Aird of Glasgow Rangers, who was also eligible to play for Scotland internationally. Aird is also known primarily as a winger but has recent switched to fullback. This is good news for a Canadian team that has struggled to find a right fullback in recent years.
Up front Canada will get the help of Lucas Cavallini, who joins a strong forward group with MLS rookie of the year favourite Cyle Larin and last year's rookie of the year Tesho Akindele.
Here is the full Canadian lineup:
1- GK- Simon Thomas | NOR / Strømmen IF
2- FB- Fraser Aird | SCO / Glasgow Rangers FC
3- FB- Samuel Adekugbe | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
4- CB- André Hainault | GER / 1. FC Magdeburg
5- CB- David Edgar | ENG / Sheffield United
6- M- Julian de Guzman | CAN / Ottawa Fury FC
7- M- Russell Teibert | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
8- M- Will Johnson | USA / Portland Timbers
9- F- Lucas Cavallini | URU / CA Fénix
10- M- David Hoilett | ENG / Queens Park Rangers
11- M- Tosaint Ricketts | TUR / Boluspor FC
12- CB- Dejan Jaković | JPN / Shimizu S-Pulse
13- M- Atiba Hutchinson | TUR / Beşiktaş JK
14- M- Samuel Piette | ESP / Deportivo La Coruña
15- M / CB- Adam Straith | NOR / Fredrikstad FK
16- M- Kianz Froese | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
17- FB / M- Marcel De Jong | USA / Sporting Kansas City
18- GK- Milan Borjan | BUL / PFK Ludogorets Razgrad
19- CB- Wandrille Lefèvre | CAN / Impact Montréal
20- FB- Karl W. Ouimette | USA / New York Red Bulls
21- F- Cyle Larin | USA / Orlando City SC
22- GK- Kenny Stamatopoulos | SWE / AIK Fotbol
23- M- Tesho Akindele | USA / FC Dallas