Five Toronto FC prospects will be joining the Canadian Men's Under-18 team when they head to Europe for a training camp that kicks off the next cycle of preparation for the Under-20 World Cup. That event is still more than two years away but it is never too early for Rob Gale to start his preparations.
The squad is set to arrive in Europe today in advance of taking part in a tournament in Slovakia that will include games against the host country, China, and Austria followed by a potential final or third place game depending on how results go for the team. The event runs on a condensed schedule with the team facing a potential of four games in the span of a single week. That kind of busy schedule will mean plenty of squad rotation with all 18 players likely to get a decent number of minutes.
For the squad this will be another key cycle. The Under-20 program has not been a strong point for Canada in recent years including a poor showing in the most recent CONCACAF Championships which saw the team once again on the outside looking in for the World Cup. The team also features Jean-Yves Ballou-Tabla who is the lone member of this squad who took part in the CONCACAF U17 Championships earlier this year.
Gale's team once again has plenty of Toronto content on it with five players connected to Toronto FC being included. Defenders Marcus Godinho and Mateo Restrepo, midfielders Luca Uccello and Patrice Walker, and forward Rahim Thorpe will all travel to Europe with the team.
The absences due to these call-ups could have an impact on what sort of lineup Jason Bent is able to field this weekend as Godinho, Restrepo, and Uccello have all made appearances for his team early in the USL season. While the first two are still officially academy players and only joined the USL team as amateur players, Uccello signed his first contract this winter and has been one of the most promising young players in USL.
GK- Marvis Kreitling | GER / Niendorfer TSV U-19
GK- Dayne St. Clair | CAN / Vaughan SC
D- Eric Davies | USA / FC Dallas Academy
D- Marcus Godinho | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
D- Mackenzie Harrington | USA / Sacramento United
D- Aaron Hidalgo-Mazzei | USA Real Salt Lake - AZ Academy
D- Thomas Meilleur-Giguere | CAN / Académie Impact de Montréal
D- Mateo Restrepo | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
M- Vana Markarian | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
M- Shamit Shome | CAN / FC Edmonton Academy
M- Thomas Shores | CAN / FC Edmonton Academy
M- Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla | CAN / Académie Impact de Montréal
M- Luca Uccello | CAN / Toronto FC II
M- Patrice Walker | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
F- Gloire Amanda | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
F- Aymar Sigue | USA / University of Tulsa
F- Rahim Thorpe | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
F- Dario Zanatta | Unattached / Sans club