Interim coach Colin Miller of the Canadian Men’s National Team has summoned in a young squad ahead of their friendly matches with the United States and Denmark. The team is really a bunch of question marks as the Canadians are trying to rebuild after Honduras dismantled the team 8-1 in October. Their dreams of making the 2014 World Cup ended that day and left a horrible taste in their mouth. Miller, the head coach at FC Edmonton in the NASL, replaces Stephen Hart. He knows that it is time to rebuild and has a great weapon for motivation.
The 8-1 loss — and it’s been well-documented — was a disastrous result for Canada, but also a freak result. This is an entirely different squad, with a view to looking towards the future. And we want to be as positive now as we can.
The new coach will still rely on veterans Dwayne De Rosario and Tosaint Rickerts up front, but has infused youth throughout the lineup. Kyle Bekker was named to the squad after being drafted by Toronto FC yesterday. De Rosario and keeper Lars Hirschfeld account for 60% of the total senior caps played by the entire squad. Nik Ledgerwood joined DeRo, Hirschfield, and Rickerts as the only players from the failed World Cup quest.
As the Vancouver Sun reports, Eight played for Canada’s under-23 team at the CONCACAF championship last year. Several are currently without clubs. One, former Vancouver Whitecaps defender Mason Trafford, is taking part in his first national team camp at any age level.
The camp begins tomorrow in Arizona and runs through January 30th following the match with the U.S. in Houston. Canada will face Denmark on January 26th in Tuscon. Miller definitely gave his young team a couple of good tests as they look to start a new era in Canadian soccer. The full squad is below.
Goalkeepers: Lars Hirschfeld, Valerenga (Norway); Roberto Stillo, Genoa (Italy); Simon Thomas (unattached).
Defenders: Ashtone Morgan, Toronto FC; Nana Attakora, FC Haka (Finland); Dejan Jakovic, D.C. United; Doneil Henry, Toronto FC; Mason Trafford, IFK Mariehamn (Finland); Andres Fresenga, Racing Club de Montevideo (Uruguay).
Midfielders: Nik Ledgerwood, Hammarby (Sweden), Philippe Davies, Richmond Kickers; Terry Dunfield, Toronto FC; Kyle Bekker, Toronto FC; Russell Teibert, Vancouver Whitecaps; Jonathan Beaulieu-Bourgault (unattached); Emmanuel Gomez, Club Atletico Griffa (Argentina); Matt Stinson, Toronto FC; Evan James (unattached).
Midfielder-forward: Dwayne De Rosario, D.C. United.
Forwards: Tosaint Ricketts, Sandnes Ulf (Norway); Frank Jonke, FF Jaro (Finland), Kyle Porter, FC Edmonton