Atiba Hutchinson is coming back.
The 77-cap veteran’s international future was left in doubt after he elected to sit out this summer’s Gold Cup, but he will return to the Canada setup for the September friendly against Jamaica at BMO Field.
It’s a huge boost for Octavio Zambrano, who appears to have two of his three midfield positions locked down between Samuel Piette and Scott Arfield but has already tested several options in the No. 8 role during his time in charge.
If Hutchinson is willing to extend his career with Les Rouges, he is undoubtedly the outstanding candidate for that job.
The 34-year-old is a key player for Besiktas and has helped them win back-to-back Super Lig titles in Turkey over the past couple of seasons.
Also bolstering the midfield is Toronto FC playmaker Jay Chapman, who has earned a recall and joins club teammates Jonathan Osorio, Tosaint Ricketts and Raheem Edwards in the squad.
Will Johnson and Tesho Akindele return, too, but the likes of Arfield, Lucas Cavallini and Milan Borjan have been left out - presumably to give other players a chance and save them a long trip for a match in which they may only feature for 45 minutes.
An intriguing pick is Sporting Kansas City centre-back Amer Didic, who was one of the outstanding defenders in the USL last season with the Swope Park Rangers and earned an MLS contract as a result.
Canada’s lack of depth in central defence means he will have an opportunity to immediately compete for a place in the starting lineup.
Zambrano’s men will face Jamaica on September 2. Here is the squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Simon Thomas (FK Bodo/Glimt), Jayson Leutwiler (Blackburn Rovers), James Pantemis (Montreal Impact)
Defenders: Nik Ledgerwood (FC Edmonton), Manjrekar James (Vasas Budapest), Michael Petrasso (QPR), Dejan Jakovic (New York Cosmos), Sam Adekugbe (IFK Goteborg), Amer Didic (Sporting Kansas City), Marcel de Jong (Vancouver Whitecaps)
Midfielders: Samuel Piette (Montreal Impact), Will Johnson (Orlando City), Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City), Alphonso Davies (Vancouver Whitecaps), Atiba Hutchinson (Besiktas), Mark-Anthony Kaye (Louisville City), Raheem Edwards (Toronto FC), Jonathan Osorio (Toronto FC), Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas), David Choiniere (Montreal Impact), Jay Chapman (Toronto FC)
Forwards: Tosaint Ricketts (Toronto FC), Cyle Larin (Orlando City), Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Montreal Impact)