Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies in Canada squad to face Bermuda
Canada have announced their squad ahead of facing Bermuda in the opening World Cup qualifier, with a number of stellar names included
Despite challenging Covid-19 regulations imposed by Fifa, coach John Herdman previously stated his intent to call on Canada’s best players for the group B encounter at the Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida, tomorrow — and it appears he has to a large extent done just that.
The squad features a mix of established players and promising youngsters from across Europe, with Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies the most notable inclusion.
Canada’s 2020 Player of the Year is set to return to the national team for the first time after an incredible year of personal and club achievements.
Playing a crucial role for Bayern Munich, Davies captured an historic six trophies in 2020 including the Uefa Champions League, Club World Cup, Bundesliga, German Cup, Uefa Super Cup and German Super Cup.
Individually, Davies was recognised for his outstanding play as he was named co-winner of the 2020 Lou Marsh Memorial Trophy as Canada’s outstanding athlete, the Lionel Conacher Award as the Canadian Press Male Athlete of the Year, and the Postmedia Canadian Male Athlete of the Year Award.
Meanwhile, veteran midfielder and six-times Canada player of the year Atiba Hutchison will return to action and look to build on his 84 international appearances.
Hutchison is joined by Besiktas team-mate Cyle Larin, with the duo combining to push their club to top of the first division in Turkey.
Goalkeeper Milan Borjan, of Red Star Belgrade in Serbia, midfielder Sam Piette, of Montreal in Major League Soccer, and forward Junior Hoilett, of Cardiff City, are among the veterans who will bring previous World Cup qualifying experience to the squad.
In total, the players named in Canada’s squad have made 343 appearances for their country. Returning members of the squad include goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau (Vancouver Whitecaps); defenders Steven Vitória (Moreirense), Kamal Miller (Montreal), Richie Laryea (Toronto FC), and Samuel Adekugbe (Valerenga); midfielders, Mark-Anthony Kaye (Los Angeles FC), Stephen Eustáquio (Paços de Ferreira), David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) and Jayden Nelson (Toronto FC); and forwards Liam Millar (Charlton Athletic) and Lucas Cavallini (Vancouver Whitecaps).
Defender Ricardo Ferreira has been called up after his change of national associations in February, and will be joined by 18-year old Theo Corbeanu, of Woverhampton Wanderers, in participating in their first squad call-up.
Including Ferreira and Corbeanu, there are seven players in Canada’s squad who will be looking to make their first international appearances.
Other potential debutants are Dayne St Clair, of Minnesota United, Frank Sturing, of Den Bosch, Joel Waterman, of Montreal, Alistair Johnston, of Nashville SC, and Cristian Gutierrez, of Vancouver Whitecaps, all of whom participated in Canada’s training camp in Florida in January.
“The squad selection shows the commitment of the players, how they feel about these games, representing Canada and how important the games are for the country,” Herdman said. “Having been apart for so long, we’re focused on being able to connect and ensuring we get the tactical clarity over the short window we have leading into the start of qualifying. It’s about the off-field connection and getting the guys comfortable being together again.
“It is an opportunity for this group of men to do something special for their country that hasn’t been done for a long time.
“Our players do not need much motivation, they’re just really excited to play for their country again, and every time we’re together we remind them that this team can change football in this nation.”
Milan Borjan (Red Star Belgrade), Maxime Crépeau (Vancouver Whitecaps), Dayne St Clair (Minnesota United), Ricardo Ferreira (Farense), Frank Sturing (Den Bosch), Steven Vitória (Moreirense), Joel Waterman (CF Montreal), Samuel Adekugbe (Vålerenga), Cristián Gutierrez (Vancouver Whitecaps), Alistair Johnston (Nashville), Richie Laryea (Toronto FC), Kamal Miller (CF Montreal), Theo Corbeanu (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Stephen Eustáquio (Paços Ferreira), Atiba Hutchinson (Besiktas), Mark-Anthony Kaye (Los Angeles FC), Jayden Nelson (Toronto FC), Samuel Piette (CF Montreal), David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone), Lucas Cavallini (Vancouver Whitecaps), Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich), Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City), Cyle Larin (Besiktas), Liam Millar (Charlton Athletic).