Play. Inspire. Unite.
Canada Soccer have announced their squad for the 2018 Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship, the qualification tournament to next year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019. The Canadian squad features 20 promising prospects that will compete in Florida starting Friday 2 November, all with an eye towards their international development on the path to Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team and future FIFA World Cups.
Fans can follow Canada’s matches live on Concacafgo.com as well as across Canada Soccer’s digital channels on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The opening match is 2 November against Dominica at the IMG Center in Bradenton, FL, USA.
“This is an opportunity for our young players to show their talent and grow into the Canadian jersey, so it is a chance for us to see more players and see how they cope at the international level,” said Andrew Olivieri, Canada Soccer’s Men's EXCEL U-20 Program Director. “There is also an opportunity for some returning players to take on a bigger leadership role and play an important part in this U-20 cycle.”
All 20 players have experience in Canada Soccer’s Men’s EXCEL Program, benefitting from more than 1,100 cumulative days from the U-15 to U-21 age category. Twelve of the 20 players have participated in a previous Concacaf youth competition while 10 of them helped Canada finish in sixth place at the prestigious Festival international Espoirs Provence Toulon tournament this past summer.
“There is great momentum in our game, especially coming out of the Toulon tournament,” said Olivieri. “There are a number of young players that have already progressed into the Men’s National Team, so this competition provides others with another opportunity to gain valuable experience, especially in playing multiple matches in a short window against different types of opponents.”
For the first time, the Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship features 34 nations divided into six groups. From the first stage of round-robin play in early November, the six group winners will advance to the qualification stage. After the second stage of round-robin play, which will feature two groups of three teams with four teams ultimately qualifying for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019. The two group winners will play for the Concacaf title on 21 November.
In the group phase, Canada will play five matches in nine days: Dominica on 2 November; Guadeloupe on 4 November; Panama on 6 November; St. Kitts & Nevis on 8 November; and Martinique on 10 November. All matches will be played at the IMG Center in Bradenton, FL, USA.
Two players, goalkeeper Alessandro Busti and midfielder Mathieu Choinière, have already earned their first call ups to the Men’s National Team under Head Coach John Herdman. Busti recently became Canada’s youngest goalkeeper at age 18, posting a 5:0 clean sheet in his 16 October debut in Concacaf Nations League Qualifying in Toronto.
Alongside the 20-player squad, Olivieri has invited five training players to a pre-competition camp in Florida. The five players will train with Canada through 30 October before the team departs for Bradenton.
MEN’S EXCEL PROGRAM
Canada Soccer’s Men’s EXCEL Program channels our nation’s exceptional players into the best soccer environments. The Canada Soccer Pathway works in collaboration with our provincial and territory partners as well as the professional clubs and academies. For Canada’s elite players, the program emphasizes player development on the pathway to representing Canada’s Men’s National Team.
FIFA TOURNAMENTS & CONCACAF CHAMPIONSHIPS
Canada Soccer's Men's National Youth Teams have won two CONCACAF titles: both the 1986 and 1996 CONCACAF Men's Youth Championships. Canada have qualified for eight editions of the FIFA U-20 World Cup and six editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
1- GK- Alessandro Busti | ITA / Juventus FC U-23
2- FB- Émile Legault | Unattached
3- FB- Daniel Kinumbe | CAN / Ottawa Fury FC
4- M / FB- Michael Baldisimo | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
5- CB- Julian Dunn | CAN / Toronto FC II
6- CM / CB- Yohan Le Bourhis | CAN / Académie Impact de Montréal
7- M- Clément Bayiha | CAN / Ottawa Fury FC
8- M- Noble Okello | CAN / Toronto FC II
9- F- Theo Bair | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
10- M- Mathieu Choinière | CAN / Impact de Montréal
11- M- Noah Verhoeven | USA / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Academy
12- CM / CB- Dante Campbell | CAN / Toronto FC II
13- FB- Terique Mohammed | CAN / Toronto FC II
14- CM- Benson Fazili | LTV / FK Metta
15- F- José Hernández | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Academy
16- CB- Antonio Rocco Romeo | CAN / Toronto FC II
17- F- Adonijah Reid | USA / FC Dallas
18- GK- Thomas Hasal | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Academy
19- F- Jordan Perruzza | CAN / Toronto FC II
20- M- Steffen Yeates | USA / University of Connecticut
CANADA CAMP in FLORIDA
GK- Axel Desjardins | ITA / Spezia Calcio
FB- Justin Yarde | USA / SI Montverde Academy
M- Calin Calaidjoglu | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal
M- Mohamed Omar | CAN / Toronto FC II
W- Jacob Shaffelburg | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
CANADA A-Z (CONCACAF SQUAD)
Name | Age | City where they grew up | Active start/first club
Bair, Theo | 1999 | Ottawa, ON, CAN | Ottawa Royals
Baldisimo, Michael | 2000 | Burnaby, BC, CAN | Wesburn SA
Bayiha, Clément | 1999 | Ste-Thérèse, QC, CAN | Bain de Bretagne
Busti, Alessandro | 2000 | Toronto, ON, CAN | Lascaris
Campbell, Dante | 1999 | Brampton, ON, CAN | Brampton East SC
Choinière, Mathieu | 1999 | St-Alexandre, QC, CAN | AS Haut-Richelieu
Dunn, Julian | 2000 | Richmond Hill, ON, CAN | Vaughan SC
Fazili, Benson | 2000 | Ottawa, ON, CAN | Gloucester Hornets
Hasal, Thomas | 1999 | Saskatoon, SK, CAN | Ottawa
Hernández, José | 2000 | Edmonton, AB, CAN | Edmonton Internazionale
Kinumbe, Daniel | 1999 | Sherbrooke, QC, CAN | CS Sherbrooke
Le Bourhis, Yohan | 2000 | Montréal, QC, CAN | Mont-Royal Outremont
Legault, Émile | 2000 | Saint-Lambert, QC, CAN | CS Saint-Lambert
Mohammed, Terique | 2000 | Scarborough, ON, CAN | Scarborough Blizzards
Okello, Noble | 2000 | Toronto, ON, CAN | North York Hearts Azzurri
Perruzza, Jordan | 2001 | Vaughan, ON, CAN | Vaughan SC
Reid, Adonijah | 1999 | Brampton, ON, CAN | Caledon SC
Romeo, Antonio Rocco | 2000 | Richmond Hill, ON, CAN | Bolton Wanderers SC
Verhoeven, Noah | 1999 | Surrey, BC, CAN | Surrey United SC
Yeates, Steffen | 2000 | Vaughan, ON, CAN | Vaughan SC