Thursday, August 25, 2011

Canada roster for September WCQs

The CSA today released the 19-man roster that will take on St Lucia and Puerto Rico this September in Canada's first matches towards qualification for Brazil 2014.

Stephen Hart will hold a press conference later today to answer questions about the selections and the upcoming matches. For now, here are the players selected and a few of my thoughts thereupon:

# Player Pos. Team League
1 Lars Hirschfeld GK Vålerenga Fotball Norway
2 Nik Ledgerwood D SV Wehen Wiesbaden Germany
3 Mike Klukowski M Manisaspor Turkey
4 Kevin McKenna CB FC Köln Germany
5 André Hainault D Houston Dynamo MLS
6 Julian de Guzman M Toronto FC MLS
7 Terry Dunfield M Toronto FC MLS
8 Will Johnson M Real Salt Lake MLS
9 Tosaint Ricketts M/F Politehnica Timişoara Romania
10 Simeon Jackson F Norwich City England
11 Josh Simpson M Manisaspor Turkey
12 Ante Jazic D Chivas USA MLS
13 Atiba Hutchinson M PSV Eindhoven Netherlands
14 Dwayne De Rosario F DC United MLS
15 Dejan Jakovic D DC United MLS
16 Olivier Occean F Greuther Furth Germany
17 Iain Hume M/F Preston North End England
20 Jaime Peters D Ipswich Town FC England
22 Milan Borjan GK Sivasspor Turkey

  • The biggest surprise inclusions are Atiba Hutchinson and Ante Jazic. Atiba is Canada's best player, but Hart had earlier cast doubt upon his health readiness for these matches. Jazic is 35 years old and last played for Canada in January 2010. He has played only 2 matches for Canada since 2007, but is a solid MLS performer.
  • Possibly the biggest omission is Augsburg's Marcel de Jong. He is the only Canadian getting regular minutes in a big 4 league. Unless there is an injury, the most likely explanation is that he feels he needs to establish himself in the first team.
  • I don't think anybody is excited about Canada's depth at right back, but for now you'd have to think it's Nik Ledgerwood's job to lose. Hart seems to prefer Jaime Peters as a sub, and I can't say I disagree.
  • There is a school of thought that Canada should use these easily winnable matches to work some younger players into the system. Hart must not share that philosophy, or is at least waiting until the later games when advancement has more or less been assured. Backup keeper Milan Borjan is the youngest of the players selected at 23 years old. Peters and Tosaint Ricketts are both 24.
  • This is very much a first choice squad. If Canada advances to the hex, the key players are likely among the 19 selected (with the exception of De Jong).
  • By league/country: MLS (7 players), Turkey, England, Germany (3 each), Netherlands, Romania, Norway (1 each).
I'll update with any pertinent info from Hart's interviews later today.

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