Benito Floro selects 23 players.
Canada Canada Soccer has announced a 23-player Men’s National Team squad for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Qualifiers in Vancouver and Mexico. Head coach Benito Floro will have this group of players for both the official matches on Friday 25 March at BC Place at Tuesday 29 March at Estadio Azteca.
The Canadian team will be in camp starting 21 March in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Friday night home match has already surpassed 46,000 tickets sold, with #CanadaRED support continuing to swell in the week before the home match. This will mark the largest attendance for a FIFA World Cup™ Qualifiers match ever hosted in Canada.
As part of the lead up to the match, there will be a fan rally with the Voyageurs supporters group on Thursday 24 March, the eve of the match. On Friday starting two hours before kick off (17.00 local), there will be a Canada Soccer Fan Fest outside BC Place at the Terry Fox Plaza.
“Such a big crowd is very important for Canadian soccer,” said Floro. “We had great support for our last match (in November) and it was a very nice experience for everyone, so we must continue that with the upcoming match against Mexico. Everyone wants Canada to play well and hopefully we can get a result for our supporters.”
For the upcoming series against Mexico, both matches will be broadcast live on TSN2, with the Friday match broadcast at 22.00 ET / 19.00 PT and the Tuesday match broadcast at 22.30 ET / 19.30 PT.
Head coach Benito Floro has called an experience squad, with recent Canadian Players of the Year Atiba Hutchinson, Will Johnson, and Julian de Guzman all included in the squad. The 23 players were called from professional clubs on three continents.
Julian de Guzman has the most experience, with a Canadian record 85 international appearances to his credit. Before the home match on Friday, Canada Soccer will honour their star through a special pre-match presentation in recognition of his record number of appearances set last November.
Among the younger players on the squad are 22-year old Doneil Henry, 21-year old Samuel Piette, and 20-year old Cyle Larin. Henry (15 appearances) is one of just four players yet to make his official debut in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, with the others Simon Thomas (two appearances), Steven Vitória (one appearance), and debutant Scott Arfield.
From the list of attackers, Larin has recently scored in back-to-back weeks with Orlando City SC, while Junior Hoilett has scored a pair of goals for Queens Park Rangers in recent weeks. As for title races, Hutchinson currently has Beşiktaş JK at the top of the Turkish Süper Lig standings with just over two months to go.
SUPPORT #CANADARED, BE CANADA’S 12th MAN
The Canada-Mexico match promises an unforgettable atmosphere. With the lower bowl already full, upper bowl seating is available to fans starting as low as $15 in the recently opened end zone seats (plus applicable fees). The popular ‘Me+3’ offer will remain available in select sections, available directly via Tickmaster.ca by selecting the ‘Me+3’ offer.
Group discounts will continue to be offered, with groups of 10 or more eligible to receive discounts of up to 30% off regularly priced sections. Group tickets will be processed on a first come, first served basis, for complete information and to submit a request for tickets visit the group ticket section on CanadaSoccer.com/tickets.
Canadian Supporters have been allocated a number of dedicated sections in the west end of BC Place. Fans wishing to sit in the Canadian supporter sections are encouraged to visit the Voyageurs website for more information and to purchase tickets through thevoyageurs.org. Please note that persistent standing will be permitted in these sections.
Visiting Supporters will be accommodated in dedicated sections in the northeast corner of BC Place. Fans wishing to sit in these sections should select “Mexican supporters” from the drop-down menu on the Ticketmaster event page or identify as visiting supporters through the group ticket sales process.
Complete ticket information is available at CanadaSoccer.com/tickets.
ROAD TO THE 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP RUSSIA
The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ is the biggest single-sport event in the world. From 209 member associations from around the world, 32 finalists will qualify for the 32-day event that is played in 11 cities from 14 June to 15 July 2018.
Canada are amongst the 12 CONCACAF nations in the hunt for a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. The remaining nations have been split into three groups for the continent’s 2015-2016 semi-final stage. The top-two nations in each group will advance to the final round in 2017, from which three nations qualify for Russia 2018 and the fourth team advances to an intercontinental playoff.
In CONCACAF Round 4, Canada will play six matches, with both a home and away encounter against Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico. Matches will be played over three international windows, with Canada gaining a valuable four points after the first two matches with a victory over Honduras (1:0) at home on 15 November 2015 and a draw in El Salvador (0:0) on 17 November 2015.
Following the home and away matches with Mexico on 25 and 29 March, 2016, Canada then faces Honduras away and El Salvador at home again in September 2016.
Detailed roster via CanadaSoccer.com
1- GK- Simon Thomas | NOR / FK Bodø/Glimt
2- FB- Nik Ledgerwood | CAN / FC Edmonton
3- CB- Manjrekar James | HUN / Diósgyöri VTK
4- CB- Dejan Jaković | JPN / Shimizu S-Pulse
5- CB / M- David Edgar | ENG / Sheffield United
6- M- Julian de Guzman | CAN / Ottawa Fury FC
7- W- Iain Hume | ESP / SD Ponferradina
8- M- Will Johnson | CAN / Toronto FC
9- F- Marcus Haber | ENG / Crewe Alexandra
10- W- David Junior Hoilett | ENG / Queens Park Rangers
11- W- Tosaint Ricketts | Unattached
12- CB- Doneil Henry | ENG / West Ham United
13- M- Atiba Hutchinson | TUR / Beşiktaş JK
14- M- Samuel Piette | ESP / Deportivo La Coruña
15- CB / M- Adam Straith | NOR / Fredrikstad FK
16- M- Scott Arfield | ENG / Burnley FC
17- FB- Marcel De Jong | CAN / Ottawa Fury FC
18- GK- Milan Borjan | BUL / PFK Ludogorets Razgrad
19- CB- Steven Vitória | POR / Benfica
20- FB / CB- Karl W. Ouimette | USA / New York Red Bulls
21- F- Cyle Larin | USA / Orlando City SC
22- GK- Kenny Stamatopoulos | SWE / AIK Fotbol
23- W- Tesho Akindele | USA / FC Dallas
Name, Age, City in which they were raised, Active start/first club
Akindele, Tesho | 23 | Thornton, CO, USA | Mississauga
Arfield, Scott | 27 | Livingston, SCO |
Borjan, Milan | 28 | Hamilton, ON, CAN | Radnicki JP
de Guzman, Julian | 35 | Scarborough, ON, CAN | Wexford SC
De Jong, Marcel | 29 | Valkenswaard, NED | De Valk
Edgar, David | 28 | Kitchener, ON, CAN | Kitchener Minor SA
Haber, Marcus | 27 | Vancouver, BC, CAN | Dunbar SA
Henry, Doneil | 22 | Brampton, ON, CAN | Ontario Youth Soccer
Hoilett, David Junior | 25 | Brampton, ON, CAN | Mississauga SC
Hume, Iain | 32 | Brampton, ON, CAN | Rexdale SC
Hutchinson, Atiba | 33 | Brampton, ON, CAN | Brampton YSC
Jaković, Dejan | 30 | Etobicoke, ON, CAN | Kingsview
James, Manjrekar | 22 | North York, ON, CAN | North York Azzuri
Johnson, Will | 29 | Toronto, ON, CAN & Chicago, IL, USA |
Larin, Cyle | 20 | Brampton, ON, CAN | Brampton Youth SC
Ledgerwood, Nik | 31 | Lethbridge, AB, CAN | Lethbridge Cosmos
Ouimette, Karl W. | 23 | Terrebonne, QC, CAN | CS Terrebonne
Piette, Samuel | 21 | Le Gardeur, QC, CAN | Lionceaux de le Gardeur
Ricketts, Tosaint | 28 | Edmonton, AB, CAN | Edmonton Juventus
Stamatopoulos, Kenny | 36 | Markham, ON, CAN | Markham SC (Lightning)
Straith, Adam | 25 | Victoria, BC, CAN | Bays United SC
Thomas, Simon | 25 | Victoria, BC, CAN | Bays United SC
Vitória, Steven | 29 | Mississauga, ON, CAN | Sudbury Lions
Canada Soccer outlines return to soccer guidelines. The return to soccer guidelines provide member organizations with a five-step process, including a checklist of weighted questions known as the Return to Soccer Assessment Tool.