Monday, August 20, 2007

Canada - Iceland Roster Info, Part 2

Finding a replacement for the Lars Hirschfeld and his sliced thumb wasn't the only roster shuffling that Dale Mitchell was forced into. It turns out that Atiba Hutchinson (FC Copenhagen) and Rob Friend (Borussia Moenchengladbach) were also unable to answer the call. Says the CSA:
Canada’s men’s national team has brought in three new players for their international friendly with Iceland on 22 August. The three new players - Pat Onstad, David Edgar and Rhian Dodds - are replacing injured players that will not make the trip to Reykjavik.

Goaltender Lars Hirschfeld (thumb), midfielder Atiba Hutchinson (sick) and forward Rob Friend (back) are all unavailable for the 22 August match, Canada’s first since the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States.
With the addition of Onstad (Houston Dynamo, MLS), Dodds (Kilmarnock FC, Scotland) and Edgar (Newcastle, England), and the loss of one player each from Norway, Germany and Denmark, the battle for Canadian MNT supremacy sees the following adjustments: England - 4 players, Germany - 3, Scotland - 2, Norway - 1, Denmark - 1, Sweden - 1, Spain - 1, Belgium - 1, Czech Republic - 1, USA - 1, unattached - 1.

Edgar and Dodds are potential debutants, with Edgar being the second call-up (after Begovic) from Mitchell's U-20 squad this summer. This will reduce the experience factor, although that is somewhat offset by Onstad's experience advantage over Hirschfeld (50 caps to 19). The new list:
Player Caps
Stalteri, Paul 59
Onstad, Pat 50
Hastings, Richard 43
Radzinski, Tomasz 33
Imhof, Daniel 32
Bernier, Patrice 24
De Guzman, Julian 23
Hume, Iain 19
Gerba, Ali 12
Occean, Olivier 12
Klukowski, Mike 8
Hainault, Andre 7
Nakajima-Farran, Issey 6
Begovic, Asmir 0
Dodds, Rhian 0
Edgar, David 0
Ledgerwood, Nik 0
Average 19.29

This lineup also loses 4 goals with the deletions of Friend (1 goal) and Hutchinson (3).

Player Caps
Radzinski, Tomasz 9
Stalteri, Paul 7
Gerba, Ali 5
De Guzman, Julian 2
Hume, Iain 2
Hastings, Richard 1
Occean, Olivier 1
Begovic, Asmir 0
Bernier, Patrice 0
Dodds, Rhian 0
Edgar, David 0
Hainault, Andre 0
Imhof, Daniel 0
Klukowski, Mike 0
Ledgerwood, Nik 0
Nakajima-Farran, Issey 0
Onstad, Pat 0
Total 27

Pat Onstad, at age 39, is flying from Houston for the match, a pretty major commitment, so in all likelihood he will be slated in to start. I imagine that Mitchell will also like to see if the Gold Cup defensive contingent will be able to continue their strong play from the tournament, with Klukowski coming in for Ante Jazic.

Hutchinson's absence leaves a huge hole in midfield, but if Mitchell favours the 4-5-1 of Stephen Hart's side, with attacking wide players, the following group would make sense: Hume, De Guzman, Imhof, Bernier, Radzinski. Occean and Gerba are both useful targets at forward, and I expect both to see some time there, with Ali G starting.

Meaning the lineup could look a little something like this:
(R - L)

Stalteri - Hainault - Hastings - Klukowski
Hume - Bernier - Imhof (d-mid) - De Guzman - Radzinski

Again, the match is this Wednesday, so it won't be long before we find out.

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