Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Confirmed call-ups for USA, Denmark friendlies

For the middle of winter, it's sure been an eventful week in Canadian football.  The Impact announced the hiring of the Swiss Marco Schaellibaum as the replacement for the hastily deposed Jesse Marsch.  Toronto FC sacked Paul Mariner as manager to create room for current QPR defender and former New Zealand international Ryan Nelsen, who may not join the team until June, but then again maybe much sooner.

Of more direct importance to the writer of this blog, the CSA tapped recently named FC Edmonton boss Colin Miller to take the reins of the men's national team on an interim basis, including the upcoming friendlies against USA and Denmark.

This is Miller's second stint as caretaker boss. He also guided the team for a few friendlies in 2003 and 2004 in the interregnum after Holger Osieck and before Frank Yallop.  One would assume with Miller's recent Edmonton appointment that he has no illusions of being in the running for the full-time national team job.  

A recent interview with Gavin Day at MLSsoccer reveals a man who seems to know what is expected of him:
“I'm not a babysitter,” he said. “I'll come in there and put demands on players. It'll be hopefully two performances that will get us over that massive hump of not qualifying for [CONCACAF’s] final six.”
As for the team that will take on USA and Denmark:
“You'll find it's a younger squad,” he said. Not that it hasn't been easy trying to get players released from their clubs as you can imagine. It's not ideal but it is a young squad.”
He wasn't kidding about the younger squad.  As per usual, the squad announcement must wait until all players have been confirmed.  For the time being, the following young (and certainly not prominent) names have been confirmed for the matches, which are less than 3 weeks away:

DNana AttakoraHaka2330source
MKyle BekkerBoston College2200source
MBryce AldersonVancouver Whitecaps1800source
M/FDwayne De RosarioDC United347120source
MRussell TeibertVancouver Whitecaps2010source
DAndres Fresengaunattached2000source
GKRoberto StilloGenoa2100source
MPhilippe DaviesRichmond Kickers2200source
MJonathan Bealieu-Bourgaultunattached2470source

Nana Attakora is under contract to a recently relegated Finnish team, Kyle Bekker is garnering interest ahead of the upcoming MLS SuperDraft, and Bryce Alderson mostly does not play for the Whitecaps (at least the senior side).  By way of contrast, the USA team Canada will be facing includes MLS goal record man Chris Wondolowski.

update 2013-01-10 11am: Dwayne De Rosario has been given the green light to return to action and will be joining the team for the January friendlies.  He will have a chance to add to his national team goals record in two completely meaningless matches.

update 2013-01-10 10pm: I've added Russell Teibert to the list. No reported source, twitter or otherwise, yet, but it came by way of a twitter DM from a user that has steered me right before. And with Alderson being selected it's hard to imagine Teibert, who appeared for Canada against T&T in Florida last August, being left off the team.

update 2013-01-15 4pm: Gerry Dobson chimes in with the following tweet:
I suspect these are names that have in fact been chosen.  If he had used the phrase "the likes of" to suggest we should merely expect players "like" Bekker, Fresenga, and Teibert, that is pretty sloppy.  We already have Bekker and Teibert on the list.

Right back Andres Fresenga, previously playing in Uruguay and rumoured to be getting a shot with the Whitecaps, goes on the list.

update 2013-01-16 3pm: We have a goalkeeper. Genoa backup Roberto Stillo confirmed in a radio interview Monday that he had been selected to the squad.  The 21-year old Mississauga native has represented Canada at the youth levels.

update 2013-01-17 10pm: The latest additions are two Quebec players, midfielders Philippe Davies and Jonathan Beaulieu-Bourgault. "Confirmed" might be putting it a bit strongly; news of their inclusion comes via a post from a well-connected Voyageurs poster (his past activity indicates he has a personal relationship with Olivier Occean and is familiar with the Quebec soccer scene).

With 7 caps and 3 starts for the senior national, one-time backup keeper and currently unemployed Jonathan Beaulieu-Bourgault is both the second oldest and second most experienced player so far selected. This is a sobering thought.

More updates when they become available.

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