Saturday, November 15, 2008

Canada roster for Jamaica qualifier

On Thursday, I predicted Canada's roster for next Wednesday's final qualifying match against Jamaica. Getting 13 names right is pretty good, considering the experimental nature of the team that Dale Mitchell has assembled.

Here's a closer look at the team our fearless leader has cobbled together.

Player Pos. Team League
Asmir Begovic GK Portsmouth England
Lars Hirschfeld GK CFR Cluj Romania
Adrian Cann D Esbjerg fB Denmark
Marcel de Jong D/M Roda JC Netherlands
David Edgar D Newcastle United England
Charles Gbeke F Vancouver Whitecaps USL
Sandro Grande M Impact de Montréal USL
André Hainault D FK SIAD Most Czech Rep.
Kevin Harmse D Toronto FC MLS
Simeon Jackson M Gillingham FC England
Dejan Jakovic D Red Star Belgrade Serbia
Will Johnson M/F Real Salt Lake MLS
Nik Ledgerwood M TSV 1860 München Germany
Issey Nakajima-Farran M FC Nordsjælland Denmark
Andrzej Ornoch M/F Esbjerg fB Denmark
Chris Pozniak D/M Dundee FC Scotland
Paul Stalteri D/M Tottenham Hotspur England
Chris Williams M Charleston Battery USL

This 18-man squad includes players plying their trade in England (4 players); USL-1 (3); Denmark (3); MLS (2 if Will Johnson shows); the Netherlands, Romania, Czech Republic, Germany, Scotland, and Serbia (1 each, though the CSA for some reason insists on listing Red Star Belgrade as a Croatian team).

Will Johnson could be an important player for Wednesday and the future, but his participation depends on Real Salt Lake being eliminated tonight. I'm not sure what the better career outcome is for Johnson, but for selfish reasons I hope the New York Red Bulls prevail tonight.

Looking at caps and goals:

Player Caps Goals
Asmir Begovic 0 0
Lars Hirschfeld 27 0
Adrian Cann 3 0
Marcel de Jong 6 0
David Edgar 0 0
Charles Gbeke 2 0
Sandro Grande 12 1
André Hainault 13 1
Kevin Harmse 8 0
Simeon Jackson 0 0
Dejan Jakovic 1 0
Will Johnson 4 0
Nik Ledgerwood 1 0
Issey Nakajima-Farran 15 1
Andrzej Ornoch 1 0
Chris Pozniak 22 0
Paul Stalteri 73 7
Chris Williams 2 0
Total 190 10
Average 11.06 0.59

Evidently, this is an inexperienced side with an average of 11 caps each, or 7 each if you take Stalteri's 73 out of the equation. His 7 goals also account for most of the goal scoring these players have ever done for Canada; together, they have fewer than Ali Gerba's 11.

The MNT virgins are David Edgar (I expect him to play); Asmir Begovic (likely riding pine); and Simeon Jackson (probable 2nd half sub).

Forgive me for the positions listed beside the players. They are cribbed directly from the CSA's list without any editorializing on my part. For instance, Kevin Harmse is as much M as D, Simeon Jackson more F than M, etc. Let's hope Dale knows this.

Meanwhile, Dale says he wants to stay on. Good heavens! (Ryan Johnson at Sportsnet, on the other hand, is done with Dale. Like dinner!)

Other roster release related bloggage:

New faces aplenty in the squad for Canada Jamaica WCQ Wednesday - Footie Fool

Keepie Uppie author Colin Smith does some nice work with his day job profiling Will Johnson for the National Post. (Check out for links to live streaming video of Real Salt Lake - New York Red Bulls to see if Johnson will be playing for Canada or for the MLS Cup championship next week)

That's it really. There's a bit of spice in the comments section to James Sharman's re-post of the CSA presser, but it appears that most Canadian fans are beyond caring at this point.

We're still awaiting word about a Sportsnet broadcast of the match, but I'll be missing any live action in any case due to a professional engagement.

I haven't been doing this up until now, but in the interests of fairness, I should provide the Jamaican squad as well. It's a 22-man squad (compared to Canada's 18-man group) made up of the following players:

Donovan Ricketts (Village United)
Shawn Sawyers (Portmore United)

Ian Goodison (Tranmere Rovers)
Ricardo Gardner (Bolton Wanderers)
Damion Stewart (Queens Park Rangers)
Claude Davis (Derby County)
Tyrone Marshall (Toronto FC)
Shavar Thomas (Chivas USA)

Rudolph Austin (FC Bran, Norway)
Oneil Thompson (FC Nottenden, Norway)
Demar Phillips (Stoke City)
Jermaine Johnson (Sheffield Wednesday)
Andy Williams (Real Salt Lake)
Wolry Wolfe (Joe Public, TT)
Jamal Campbell-Ryce (Barnsley FC)
Jason Morrison (FC Feerncvaros, Hungary)

Ricardo Fuller (Stoke City)
Luton Shelton (FC Valarenga)
Marlon King (Hull City)
Omar Cummings (Colorado Rapids)
Dane Richards (New York Red Bulls)
Fabian Taylor (FC Nottonden)

I don't know a lot of the players, but judging by club pedigree alone, this is a tougher team than Canada has called together.

Jamaica Gleaner News: Boyz need goals
Jamaica Football Federation: Canada arrive early for World Cup Qualifier against Jamaica

A funny line from the latter:
This matchup, the final in this round of qualifiers is crucial for both teams. While the Canadians have already lost all hope of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, they will still be playing for pride.
A little help for the Jamaican writer: "lost all hope" and "playing for pride" do not make for a match that is "crucial for both teams"


Colin Smith said...

Thanks for the link. Johnson's down in Jamaica now and I really hope Mitchell starts him. If you can find one in Chapters/Indigo, I've got a review of Canada's World Cup qualifying campaign in the new issue of Soccer360. Please tell others about the magazine if you can. We need the support.

J said...

The magazine sounds great. I'll be sure to look for it next time I'm near a newsstand or bookstore.