Canada Soccer have successfully kicked off a busy 2021 international season with the Men’s National Team camp presented by Allstate in Bradenton, Florida. The 16-day preparatory camp featured 28 Canadian players in a closed setting at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL, USA as Canada Soccer prepares for both FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying in March 2021.
“We liked what we saw from all our players and it was a good opportunity to see how the younger players are tracking to the Men’s National Team,”
“We wanted to assess our wider group of players as there will be plenty of opportunities for our players to represent Canada in 2021, from FIFA World Cup Qualifiers to Olympic Qualifiers to the Concacaf Gold Cup,” said John Herdman, Canada Soccer Head Coach. “As a step towards FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, the January camp provides our Men’s National Team with an opportunity to re-immerse the group both tactically and culturally towards competitive matches in March.”
The camp featured two Canada Red v Canada White intra-squad matches spaced six days apart, with one side featuring predominantly the more experienced players and the other side featuring many of the younger players new to the National Team Program. More than half the players in the squad (including eight of the nine debutants) were born 1997 or later, which also makes them eligible for the Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying in March.
First-time call ups were Tajon Buchanan, Cristián Gutiérrez, Belal Halbouni, Alistair Johnston, Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty, Ralph Priso, Dayne St. Clair, Frank Sturing and Joel Waterman.
Ahead of a busy 2021 international calendar, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team are scheduled to face Aruba, Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Suriname in an initial round of four matches in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Qualifiers in March and June. Also in March, Canada Soccer’s Men’s U-23 National Team will complete in the Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying in Guadalajara, Mexico. In July, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team are scheduled to compete in the Concacaf Gold Cup with group stage matches against Martinique, USA and a yet-to-be determined third opponent.
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