Monday, March 17, 2008

Canada - Estonia roster info

These are exciting and busy times for Canadian soccer. The Olympic qualifying tournament has featured an exciting series of games. The next important match is Thursday in Nashville, a clash with the Americans that will send the winner to the Olympics.

All of this excitement has distracted me from the upcoming Estonia friendly, now just over a week away. The roster hasn't officially been announced yet, but has been making the rounds on the soccer boards.

Let's have a look-see:
GKLars Hirschfeld29CFR ClujRomania
GKKenny Stamatopoulos28Tromso ILNorway
DMike Klukowski26Club BruggeBelgium
DAndre Hainault21Sparta PrahaCzech Rep.
DRichard Hastings30Inverness CTScotland
DKevin McKenna28FC KölnGermany
DPaul Stalteri30Fulham (on loan)England
DMarcel de Jong21Roda JCNetherlands
DJosh Simpson24KaiserslauternGermany
MDaniel Imhof30VfL BochumGermany
MAtiba Hutchinson25FC KøbenhavnDenmark
MJulian De Guzman26Deportivo la CoruñaSpain
MIssey Nakajima-Farran23FC NordsjællandDenmark
MPatrice Bernier28KaiserslauternGermany
MDwayne De Rosario29Houston DynamoMLS
FTomasz Radzinski34Skoda XanthiGreece
FRob Friend27Borussia MonchengladbachGermany
FAli Gerba25FC IngolstadtGermany
FIain Hume24Leicester CityEngland

Now that is as close to a first-choice lineup we've seen in a long time. I can't think of any players I'd include in a starting 11 that aren't among the 19 listed. Tam Nsaliwa might fit the bill, but he first needs to get his citizenship situation sorted. You might want to quibble about whether Jim Brennan should be there or Olivier Occean deserves a place ahead of Gerba or Hume, but those are depth players in this group.

As usual, here are the caps and goals in this group:
Lars Hirschfeld210
Kenny Stamatopoulos50
Mike Klukowski100
Andre Hainault90
Richard Hastings441
Kevin McKenna379
Paul Stalteri627
Marcel de Jong10
Josh Simpson170
Daniel Imhof340
Atiba Hutchinson312
Julian De Guzman282
Issey Nakajima-Farran90
Patrice Bernier270
Dwayne De Rosario4513
Tomasz Radzinski369
Rob Friend141
Ali Gerba145
Iain Hume222

I don't have much further to say for now, other than state how pleased I am with this group. It looks like Mitchell and the CSA are starting to focus on the players who will play key roles in World Cup qualifying.

Andre Hainault will surely have some interesting stories to tell. He'll have a game on the weekend for the U23 side, either for 1st or 3rd place. Then he'll jet to Estonia to play on Wednesday. Since his loan deal to Sparta Prague, he will have spent nearly as much time with Canadian sides as with his own, and certainly had more time on the pitch wearing the Maple Leaf.

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