Saturday, October 02, 2010

Canada roster for Ukraine friendly

Hi kids! I'm back. Canada is playing Ukraine next Friday in Kyiv, and they've called up some players. Here they are:

Player Pos. Team League Caps Goals
Lars Hirschfeld GK Vålerenga Norway 31 0
David Monsalve GK Inter Turku Finland 1 0
David Edgar D Burnley FC England 0 0
Marcel de Jong D Augsburg FC Germany 14 1
Adam Straith D Energie Cottbus Germany 4 0
Dejan Jakovic D DC United MLS 8 0
Nik Ledgerwood M SV Wehen Wiesbaden Germany 5 0
Paul Stalteri D Borussia Moenchengladbach Germany 83 7
Pedro Pacheco M CD Santa Clara Portugal 1 0
Issey Nakajima-Farran M AC Horsens Denmark 22 1
Julian Uccello M FC Crotone Italy 0 0
Atiba Hutchinson M PSV Eindhoven Netherlands 49 2
Jonathan Beaulieu-Bourgault M SC Preußen Münster Germany 2 0
Josh Simpson M Manisaspor Turkey 29 1
Simeon Jackson F Norwich City England 12 1
Marcus Haber F St. Johnstone Scotland 0 0
Olivier Occean F Kickers Offenbach Germany 17 2
Patrice Bernier M FC Nordsjælland Denmark 44 2

322 17

17.89 0.94

Let's face it. Canada will probably lose this match against Ukraine. The U (this will catch on) will be bringing their big guns as they prepare for Euro 2012. Not qualifying, mind you, but the tournament itself, as they are hosts. They will not want to shit the bed.

Ukraine will not want to fill their diapers in this match.

Looking at the far right colums of this list, you'll find a few points of interest. First, there are three players in line to earn their first cap:
  • former U20 captain David Edgar, who knows a thing or two about shitting the bed as host of a tournament, who plays, or more accurately doesn't play, for Burnley of the English Championship
  • the long talked about but seldom heard from Julian Uccello, who plays, very little, for Crotone of Italy's Serie B
  • forward Marcus Haber who after a mostly scoreless early-season loan spell with Vancouver has picked up his mostly non-scoring ways with St Johnstone of Scotland, where he recently bumped the slump with a goal.
Notice a theme here? Lots of guys in this lineup aren't playing much for their clubs. There is also a dearth of international goals with only 17 total from 18 players. 7 of those are from the ageless Paul Stalteri, whose scoring days for the Nats are likely over. If you're looking at guys scoring with their clubs, Olivier Occean is lighting up the 3. Bundesliga (probably the best 3rd division in the world, but still a third division), while Josh Simpson recently scored a hat trick for Manisaspor while lined up as a striker.

I'm not sure whether or not to be surprised at the exclusion of TFC players from this lineup. They are all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs so I doubt Nick Dasovic would have a strong objection to letting them go. At this point, though, I don't want De Rosario in my starting XI, and that's a long way to travel to sit on the bench. I still think there's room for the other Canadians in an 18-man lineup, especially JDG this time around, as there seems to be no natural choice for defensive midfielder. Perhaps Stephen Hart doesn't want the stink of failure to affect the other guys he's called in.

While I'm not hopeful of a result in this match, it sure would be nice. FIFA points and all that.

Speaking of earning FIFA points, Canada could do some good for their ranking if they earn a result in a just-announced February friendly against Greece. The Greeks are a decent side, but their insanely inflated ranking (13th) means any result would be a boon to Canada.


Duane Rollins said...

You say that Canada doesn't have a lot of goals in the line-up then follow that up by saying that you're not sure DeRo, the only Canadian scoring consistently at any level (other than Gerba, I guess) is in your line-up?

J said...

I think you know that I'm no great fan of De Rosario. Still, I can't deny the goal scoring success he's had at the club level. My objections to his inclusion as a regular starter are the following:

1. He hasn't scored for Canada since 2008, and not against a top-100 team since 2007.
2. His style of play, which is generally freelancing, does not work well when a group of players has a short period of time to learn a system. He is too undisciplined and irresponsible to play in midfield internationally.
3. I am of the opinion that his output will tail off dramatically as he continues moving into his mid-30s.

I also contest your claim that he is the only guy scoring regularly. I don't know how far back you want to go, but Occean is having a great year and has scored consistently over the last 5, Friend over the last 3, and Jackson at every level of the lower divisions. I think we are hurting for club-level scorers less now than at any time in recent memory.

joe said...

Don't write yourselves off yet, Canada may come up strong against The U (see it is catching on!). You need some positivity!

J said...

joe, I love it! You were right. The U weren't ready for the boys in red, and even though they fought back, we held on for the draw.

I'll make it my goal to keep a glass half-full outlook for as long as possible.