A crucial summer awaits the Canadian men’s national team as they play their first major tournament under new manager Octavio Zambrano. In July, Canada will look to pick up their first win, as well as their first goal, at a CONCACAF Gold Cup since 2011.
But first, Canada will play a preparation friendly at Stade Saputo in Montreal against Curacao on June 13. The roster for that match was released today and includes a trio of Toronto FC players: Raheem Edwards, Tosaint Ricketts and Jonathan Osorio.
Edwards has yet to make an appearance for the senior men’s national team, but his recent play for Toronto FC made him an obvious pick for Zambrano. He has five assists in seven starts and 11 total appearances in his first MLS season.
If he can keep up his recent form, it is possible that he gets a place on the full Gold Cup roster announced next month. Canada doesn’t have much depth at left-back or on the wing, where he could be used as a backup for Junior Hoilett.
Ricketts, meanwhile, enters the match against Curacao as the fifth leading scorer in national team history. Osorio didn’t see much action under former coach Benito Floro but has since returned to the fold.
The friendly will give Zambrano an opportunity to look at his pool of players before he announces his full Gold Cup roster in mid-June. On Thursday, Canada will announce their 40-man consideration list for the tournament.
The roster for the Curacao friendly includes four senior national team debutants in Juan Cordova, Kwame Awuah and Mark-Anthony Kaye, who all impressed during U-23 camp in March, and James Pantemis, a promising young Montreal Impact goalkeeper.
Zambrano’s selection is heavy on full-backs, with Fraser Aird, Awuah, Cordova, Marcel de Jong, Andres Fresenga and Tyler Pasher all getting the call. That makes sense, however, as full-back is where the biggest question mark remains on the Canadian roster. Zambrano will want to get an extended look at his options.
Cordova, in particular, is one to watch considering Canada’s lack of depth at right-back. The 21-year-old Chilean-Canadian was recently transferred to CD Huachipato in the Chilean top division. He was one of the Under-23s’ standout players at the recent Aspire tournament in Qatar.
Scott Arfield will miss the Curacao friendly as it clashes with his wedding, while Atiba Hutchinson remains on an international hiatus with his longer-term future with the national team unknown.
Below is the full roster called into camp:
GK- Milan Borjan | POL / MKS Korona Kielce
GK- Maxime Crépeau | CAN / Impact Montréal FC
GK- James Pantemis | CAN / Impact Montréal FC
CB- Dejan Jaković | USA / New York Cosmos
CB- Manjrekar James | HUN / Vasas Budapest
CB- Wandrille Lefèvre | CAN / Impact Montréal FC
CB/M- Adam Straith | CAN / FC Edmonton
FB- Fraser Aird | Unattached
FB- Kwame Awuah | CAN / New York City FC
FB- Juan Córdova | CHI / CD Huachipato
FB- Marcel de Jong | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
FB- Andrés Fresenga | URU / Cerro Largo FC
FB- Tyler Pasher | USA / Sporting Kansas City
M- Tesho Akindele | USA / FC Dallas
M- Patrice Bernier | CAN / Impact Montréal FC
M- Raheem Edwards | CAN / Toronto FC
M- Kianz Froese | GER / Fortuna Düsseldorf
M- David Junior Hoilett | WAL / Cardiff City FC
M- Will Johnson | USA / Orlando City SC
M- Mark-Anthony Kaye | USA / Louisville City FC
M- Jonathan Osorio | CAN / Toronto FC
M- Samuel Piette | ESP / CD Izarra
M- Russell Teibert | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
F- Marcus Haber | SCO / Dundee FC
M/F- Anthony Jackson-Hamel | CAN / Impact Montréal
F- Cyle Larin | USA / Orlando City SC
F- Tosaint Ricketts | CAN / Toronto FC