Later this month, the Canadian U-21 team will be headed to France to compete in the prestigious Toulon Tournament. The youth tournament has featured some big names over the years including Alan Shearer, Rui Costa, Thierry Henry and Toronto FC’s own Sebastian Giovinco, who was the 2008 tournament MVP.
This will be a chance for these young Canadian players to compete against some of the best players in their age group across the globe. This year’s tournament features teams from France, England, Mexico and Portugal. It is the first time Canada has participated.
Today, Canada Soccer announced their roster for the tournament, an exciting group that features a number of players already well established within national team circles. Canada will kick off their tournament on May 28 and play in a tough group C that includes Turkey, Japan and Portugal.
Canada’s roster is headlined by Liverpool U-23 striker Liam Millar, who made his senior national team debut to much aplomb in a friendly against New Zealand in March. Millar is joined by Kris Twardek of Millwall, James Pantemis of the Montreal Impact and Derek Cornelius in terms of players who have already received senior national team call-ups.
In terms of promising young prospects, 18-year-old Jonathan David is coming off a great debut campaign with KAA Gent II in Belgium and is a dynamic striker who has continually impressed for Canada’s youth teams.
The camp also sees the Noah Verhoeven and Alessandro Busti join the fold. Verhoeven has impressed with the USL’s Fresno FC (on loan from the Vancouver Whitecaps) this season, but previously played for the United States U-18 and U-20 sides. Busti, meanwhile, is a 17-year-old Juventus academy goalkeeper who has spent time with the Italian youth national team.
Finally, Toronto FC will be well represented as TFC II standouts Aidan Daniels, Julian Dunn and Noble Okello will all make the trip. It could be a chance for some of these young Canadians to put themselves in the shop window for European clubs.
Here is the full Canadian roster:
1- GK- James Pantemis | CAN / Impact de Montréal
2- FB- Jake Ruby | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
3- FB- Daniel Kinumbe | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal
4- CB- Kosovar Sadiki | CRO / NK Lokomotiva Zagreb
5- CB- Derek Cornelius | SRB / FK Javor Ivanjica
6- M- Matthew Roberts | ENG / Swansea U-18
7- W- Kris Twardek | ENG / Millwall FC
8- M- Mathieu Choinière | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal
9- F- Jonathan David | BEL / KAA Gent II
10- M- Aidan Daniels | CAN / Toronto FC II
11- F- Liam Millar | ENG / Liverpool FC U-23
12- CB- Julian Dunn | CAN / Toronto FC II
13- FB- Clément Bayiha | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal
14- CM- David Norman | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
15- M- Noah Verhoeven | USA / Fresno FC
16- M- Noble Okello | CAN / Toronto FC II
17- F- Theo Bair | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
18- GK- Alessandro Busti | ITA / Juventus Primavera
19- FB- Émile Legault | FRA / AJ Auxerre
20- CM- Shamit Shome | CAN / Impact de Montréal