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:
|1||Lars Hirschfeld||GK||Vålerenga Fotball||Norway|
|2||Nik Ledgerwood||D||SV Wehen Wiesbaden||Germany|
|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|
|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|
- 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).