The Canadian men’s national team have added a significant piece to their attacking depth as England Youth international Ike Ugbo has committed to Les Rouges.
Ugbo was born in London, England to Nigerian parents and played youth soccer at Brampton East SC and Woodbridge Strikers. He then returned to England where he joined Chelsea’s U-10 team. He broke through to the professional scene in 2015, but never got a chance to feature for Chelsea’s first team.
Ugbo was loaned out to numerous lower league teams in England, including Barnsley, MK Dons, and Scunthorpe United before heading to Roda JC in the Netherlands, then to Cercle Brugge in Belgium’s first division, the Jupiler Pro League in 2020.
He made 34 total appearances for Cercle Brugge and scored 17 goals. That campaign earned him a permanent transfer to one of the bigger clubs in Belgium, KRC Genk.
When it comes to international play, Ugbo never represented the English men’s national team - he only played for their U-17 and U-20 sides.
Ugbo joins a young and energetic national team and will play amongst the best players that Canada has to offer, including Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David and Tajon Buchanan.
“This is great news for Canada Men’s Soccer Team program and the country as he’s another young, top-level player with his best football years ahead of him,” said John Herdman, Head Coach of the Canadian Men’s National team in a press release.
Ugbo is also the latest player to switch allegiances to represent Canada at the international level. Other names such as Stephen Eustáquio, Theo Corbeanu and David Wotherspoon made the switch within the past three years.
For the upcoming round of the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers, Canada will play in Edmonton, Alberta against Costa Rica on November 12, and against Mexico on November 16.