Thursday, August 30, 2012

Canada roster for Panama WCQs

The names, then some notes:

# Player Pos. Team League Age Caps Gls
1 Lars Hirschfeld GK VĂ¥lerenga Norway 33 41 0
18 Milan Borjan GK Sivasspor Turkey 24 9 0
22 Kenny Stamatopoulos GK AIK Stockholm Sweden 33 8 0
3 Ante Jazic D Chivas USA MLS 36 33 1
4 Kevin McKenna D 1. FC Koeln Germany 32 59 11
5 Andre Hainault D Houston Dynamo MLS 26 28 2
11 Marcel de Jong D FC Augsburg Germany 25 19 1
12 Dejan Jakovic D DC United MLS 27 12 0
15 David Edgar D Burnley FC England 25 11 0
19 Ashtone Morgan D Toronto FC MLS 21 2 0
2 Nik Ledgerwood M Hammarby Sweden 27 19 0
6 Julian de Guzman M FC Dallas MLS 31 57 4
7 Terry Dunfield M Toronto FC MLS 30 10 1
8 Will Johnson M Real Salt Lake MLS 25 28 2
13 Atiba Hutchinson M PSV Eindhoven Netherlands 29 58 4
14 Dwayne De Rosario M DC United MLS 34 68 19
16 Pedro Pacheco M CD Santa Clara Portugal 28 7 0
20 Patrice Bernier M Montreal Impact MLS 32 47 2
9 Tosaint Ricketts F Politehnica Timisoara Romania 25 14 4
10 Simeon Jackson F Norwich FC England 25 29 6
17 Olivier Occean F Eintracht Frankfurt Germany 30 26 6

Goals 63

Avg age 30.05

Avg caps 27.86

By now, we have a good idea of Stephen Hart's players are. The non-committed excepted (Hoilett, de Guzman the younger) these represent, by and large, the best Canadian players available.


  • There is little turnover between June's squad and this one: Joining are Terry Dunfield, Marcel de Jong and Patrice Bernier.  Exiting are Mike Klukowski, Issey Nakajima-Farran, 17-year old Sam Piette and Iain Hume.
  • A changing of the guard appears underway at a few positions: Hume has been made largely redundant by the emergence of Tosaint Ricketts, while Ante Jazic's indian summer and the continued development of Ashtone Morgan have pushed Klukowski out of the squad.  The latter may be re-born as a late-career centre half, his current position at APOEL, when Kevin McKenna hangs up the cleats.
  • Stephen Hart will have the option to re-unite the successful defensive grouping of Jazic, McKenna, Andre Hainault and David Edgar, although the inclusion of de Jong in the team may instigate some changes.  Says Hart, of de Jong: "Marcel gives us a different dimension down the left. He can play a number of positions, adds variety"
  • De Jong's versatility may indeed come into play because what the squad lacks, apart from him, are players with the ability to attack from the wing. Ricketts, Dwayne De Rosario and Simeon Jackson have played there in the past, but all are natural strikers. Patrice Bernier can play on the right, and may need to in order to get in the XI from a squad with 7 central midfielders.
  • De Rosario scored his 100th MLS goal yesterday and will have an opportunity to reach another milestone next month.  His next goal for Canada will be his 20th which would place him atop the all-tie national team scoring table.
  • Neither Milan Borjan nor Kenny Stamatopoulos are earning regular minutes for their club sides so expect Lars Hirschfeld to be the starter.
  • Tosaint Ricketts is listed with Politehnica Timisoara. I suppose this is technically true until his contract situation is resolved, but he has been training with his new club in Germany.  By this designation, the squad is comprised of 21 players from 10 countries and 9 leagues: MLS (9 players), Germany (3), England, Sweden (2 each), Norway, Turkey, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania (1 each).
If you're so inclined, you can also take a look at the Panama squad Canada will be facing, which was also released today.


Anonymous said...

I appreciate Hume's commitment to country when called but like you I think he's been eclipsed by younger prospects.

Hart's a pretty conservative coach: he's built a team that tactically is hard to break down and at it's best off the counter and attacking set pieces. The biggest problem with this squad is if they fall behind in a match, especially early, and the other team bunkers down: in the GC 09 QF vs Honduras we generated virtually jack offensively, and though without De Ro or Radz there we had Simpson and Gerba supported by the usual gang (Hutch, De Guzman, Bernier, and Johnson) and I haven't seen anything since then to change my opinion.

The Bernier thing is interesting and he could start in place of Ledgerwood. Regardless of his current form, with the MNT when I have expected good things from him he has had a tendency to underwhelm or (at worst) sh*t the bed with his effort. Even this year, when he had a string of games with the Impact I was expecting some good things from him vs TFC and he was very disppointing, coughing the ball up directly resulting in one of the goals. That's why I have never been that sold on him as a starter in a big match, but to each his own opinion.


jonathan said...

Agreed with all of the above. As is generally the case with teams that don't have a lot of depth, what Hart chooses to do with the players he has selected will ultimately be more crucial than the selections he has made.

The toughest nut for him to crack will be finding enough (any!) goals in this squad.