Saturday, January 19, 2008

Roster roundup

News is flying fast and furious out of the CSA offices these days. Player of the year announcements, friendly news, women's stuff, and now finally they've put out the roster for the men's team camp which is to start next week. And on a Saturday, no less!

Here's a look at the 19 players called up:
Pos Name Age Club League
GK Pat Onstad 40 Houston Dynamo MLS
M Martin Nash 32 Vancouver Whitecaps USL
GK Greg Sutton 30 Toronto FC MLS
D Marco Reda 30 unattached
F Charles Gbeke 29 Impact de Montreal USL
M/F Dwayne De Rosario 29 Houston Dynamo MLS
D/M Adrian Serioux 28 FC Dallas MLS
D Adrian Cann 27 Vancouver Whitecaps USL
F Rob Friend 27 Borussia Monchengladbach Germany
M Antonio Ribeiro 27 Impact de Montreal USL
D/M Chris Pozniak 27 San Jose Earthquakes MLS
D/M Chris Williams 26 unattached
F Dave Simpson 25 Sparta Praha Czech Rep.
M Issey Nakajima-Farran 23 FC Nordsjaelland Denmark
D/M Kevin Harmse 23 Los Angeles Galaxy MLS
D/M Dejan Jakovic 22 U of Alabama-Birmingham NCAA
GK Josh Wagenaar 22 unattached*
M Tyler Rosenlund 21 unattached
D Paris Nakajima-Farran 18 Naestved BK Denmark

* - Wagenaar's status is officially 'unattached' but he is likely to be with Toronto FC shortly.

Obviously, we had bad info the other day that Stephen Ademolu would be called, but we were right about Paris Nakajima-Farran.

Dejan Jakovic, who we're sure you've never heard of.

A few general thoughts about the roster:
  • This is a real mixed bag, with invitees ranging from Canada's top players (De Rosario, Friend) to relative unknowns (Paris, Jakovic)
  • 3 keepers on the roster is more than usual, although that is likely more for the purposes of the camp than the friendly with St. Lucia
  • If part of the idea was to take a look at potential U-23 players, Dale Mitchell would have been wise to call more than 4 eligible players (Paris, Wagenaar, Jakovic and Rosenlund).
  • Hopefully for the unattached guys (Rosenlund, Williams, Reda, potentially Jakovic) this is a chance to get noticed and sign with a decent side.
  • We're glad to see Serioux again, excited that Onstad is still interested in being part of the picture, a bit confused that Nash is back, and rather shocked that Friend was called when the rest of the German contingent (Bernier, Simpson, Imhof, and others) stayed in Europe.
This is a fringe group, so the experience factor is pretty minimal. Some more details:

Name Caps
Pat Onstad 51
Dwayne De Rosario 45
Martin Nash 37
Chris Pozniak 20
Rob Friend 13
Adrian Serioux 10
Greg Sutton 10
Issey Nakajima-Farran 8
Marco Reda 6
Kevin Harmse 5
Antonio Ribeiro 1
Chris Williams 1
Josh Wagenaar 1
Adrian Cann 0
Charles Gbeke 0
Dave Simpson 0
Dejan Jakovic 0
Paris Nakajima-Farran 0
Tyler Rosenlund 0
Total 208

The only players in the mix to score for Canada are De Rosario (12), Nash (2), Friend (1), and Reda (1), but surely this total of 16 will swell a bit with the St. Lucia friendly.

As mentioned above, it's a strange mix, and we are interested to see how it plays out. A lot of players who could provide depth for WCQ (Harmse, Pozniak, Sutton, Serioux, Issey), some (very) fringe guys and the youngsters for the U-23 group, will have a chance to show something, but we won't learn a lot about the players that will be lining up against St. Vincent and the Grenadines in June, and for the other important matches later in the year. The Estonia friendly will likely provide us with a clearer picture of what our A lineup under Mitchell will look like.

Issey and Paris Nakajima-Farran could be the first brother act to suit up for Canada since the Lenarduzzis, but it's not the one that we'd really get excited about. Some promising-ish news on the Jonathan De Guzman front:
The father of Jonathan de Guzman, one of Canada's most talented soccer players, says the chaos in the Canadian Soccer Association continues to discourage his son from playing for Canada's national team.

"If the CSA wasn't in such a horrible state, he would've played for Canada by now. I don't know that for a fact, but it's just a strong feeling I have," Bobby de Guzman told Tom Harrington of CBC News.
Now, that doesn't sound all that great. But keep in mind two things: 1) Bobby de Guzman is a bit of a blowhard, and 2) This indicates that Jonathan hasn't ruled out Canada, which previously seemed to be the case.

The CSA situation isn't likely to resolve itself quickly, but we're hopeful.

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