Wednesday, June 11, 2008

St. VAG-initis

The Canadian squad that will play this Sunday in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, has been practicing in Florida since Sunday. The CSA finally got around to releasing the names of these 20 players (to be cut down to 18 by Wednesday - hey, that's today!) on Tuesday:
1 Greg Sutton | G | Hamilton, ON | CAN / Toronto FC
2 Jim Brennan | D | East York, ON | CAN / Toronto FC
3 Mike Klukowski | D | Oshawa, ON | BEL / Club Brugge KV
4 André Hainault | D | Hudson, QC | CZE / Sparta Praha (on loan from FK SIAD Most)
5 Adrian Serioux | D/M| Scarborough, ON | USA / FC Dallas
6 Julian de Guzman | M | Scarborough, ON | ESP / Deportivo La Coruna
7 Paul Stalteri | D/M | Brampton, ON | ENG / Fulham FC (on loan from Tottenham Hotspur)
8 Marcel de Jong | D/M | Newmarket, ON | NED / Roda JC
9 Tomasz Radzinski | M/F | Toronto, ON | GRE / Skoda Xanthi
10 Ali Gerba | F | Montréal, QC | GER / FC Ingolstadt
11 Richard Hastings | D | Vancouver, BC | SCO / Inverness CT
12 Issey Nakajima-Farran | M | Calgary, AB | DEN / FC Nordsjælland
13 Atiba Hutchinson | M | Brampton, ON | DEN / F.C. København
14 Dwayne De Rosario | M/F | Scarborough, ON | USA / Houston Dynamo
15 Patrice Bernier | M | Brossard, QC | GER / FC Kaiserslautern
16 Rob Friend | F | Kelowna, BC | GER / Borussia Mönchengladbach
17 Ugo Ihemelu | D | USA / Colorado Rapids
19 Adrian Cann | D | Thornhill, ON | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps
18 Pat Onstad | G | Vancouver, BC | USA / Houston Dynamo
22 Joshua Wagenaar | G | Grimsby, ON | unattached
There are a few omissions from the larger group of players that took part in either the Brazil or Panama friendlies, or were originally called: Ante Jazic, Jaime Peters and Tam Nsaliwa didn't get the call back (Tam likely still has eligibility issues) while Lars Hirschfeld is still injured.

The big surprise inclusion in this latest roster is Ugo Ihemelu. It's surprising to bring anybody in for the first time on the eve of WCQ, although admittedly the centre back position is unsettled. But the main reason it's surprising as I thought he was American.

Wikipedia appears to have recently been updates
Ihemelu got his first cap for the United States on January 29, 2006, against Norway. He has now indicated his preference to play for Canada and will likely be first capped on 15 June 2008.
I can't claim to understand the inscrutable FIFA laws as they pertain to the difference between being "capped" and "cap-tied", but I hope our association has done their homework, because it would be a real kick in the dick (I couldn't find a video of Zlatan getting it in the junk from a Greek player to link here) if we lost to some Caribbean tin-pot shit pile because of an ineligible player.

His citizenship issues were discussed a few years ago on the Voyageurs board. An important bit, from an Ugo interview:
“I was born in Nigeria, then my parents moved to Canada. They had lived there before. That’s where they went to university and had my older brother and sister. So we moved back to Canada and lived there a while. I got Canadian citizenship, the whole passport thing. Then we moved to the States. I’ve been here for a while and then I got U.S. citizenship.”

Despite his trifecta of choices, Ihemelu was pleased with the outcome.

“I’m happy to be where I am right now [with the U.S.]. I wouldn’t want it to be any other way.”
So at least his connection to Canada is legit.

Dale Mitchell needs to drop 2 players from those listed above. We can assume that Wagenaar, as the third keeper, will be one, unless Sutton or Onstad has been injured in training. I'd bet that Ihemelu or Adrian Cann will be the other.

Given his position and appearance, I can guarantee Gerry Dobson will call him Adrian Serioux if they're ever on the pitch at the same time for Canada.

The other news is that I can more or less confirm that Canada's match this Sunday will be broadcast live on NBC St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and therefore liveblogged in this space. I gave the stream a dry run this morning and it held out just fine, although we'll see how it goes when hundreds of Canadian supporters jump on board. The broadcast is at 3:00 pm local time. Kingstown time is the same as Toronto time, so we non-eastern-time Canadians should have no trouble doing the math.

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