Canada announces roster for World Cup qualifier against Mexico

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The Canadian Soccer Federation has announced the 23-player roster for the Men’s National Team that will face Mexico next Friday at BC Place as part of the Russia 2018 World Cup Qualifier.

The list included seasoned international players such as Julian De Guzman, Iain Hume and Will Johnson. There is, however, a new face on the Canadian team. Scott Arfield is the newest addition to a series of players who have recently chosen to represent Canada in the Men’s National Team program.

Born in Scotland, Arfield recently gained Canadian Citizenship through his Toronto-born father. Other recent additions to the team include Junior Hoillet, Adam Straith, and Steven Vitoria.

“It is great to see guys finally commit to the national team and put one the red jersey” said experienced Canadian midfielder Julian De Guzman via a conference call. “It is something that Canada has been missing for a long time. It definitely strengthens the team going forward.”

Spaniard coach Benito Floro has chosen what is arguably the best Canadian team possible.

“This is the best (national) team that I have ever been a part of” said De Guzman. “Benito has assembled a very talented group of players tactically.”

The Reds will have to put forward their best effort as the Mexican team is not holding any punches.

The Mexican Federation released its roster yesterday and it includes their top talent, including Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Andres Guardado, and Hector Moreno. The last two played in the Champions League with Dutch side PSV Eindhoven just this week.

When asked about facing players of this caliber, De Guzman showed a quiet confidence.

“This is a great time to prove our worth. The confidence that we have coming to this camp, looking at the names that we have on our side, there is no fear, it is a different feel than when we have played them in the past. We are definitely confident that we can step to the challenge ahead of us.”

With over 46,000 tickets sold for the match on Friday, this will be the most attended soccer game for the Men’s National Team in Canadian soccer history.

“It is of great importance for the future of Canadian soccer” De Guzman said, highlighting the importance of this match. “Hearing these astronomical numbers for a Men’s National Team game gives us goosebumps. To have that kind of support for a home game is amazing. It is very motivating for ourselves.”

Regardless of the result, one thing is certain. Canadian soccer history will be made next Friday at BC Place.

Here is Canada’s full roster:

CANADA
1- GK- Simon Thomas | NOR / FK Bodø/Glimt
2- FB- Nik Ledgerwood | CAN / FC Edmonton
3- CB- Manjrekar James | HUN / Diósgyöri VTK
4- CB- Dejan Jaković | JPN / Shimizu S-Pulse
5- CB / M- David Edgar | ENG / Sheffield United
6- M- Julian de Guzman | CAN / Ottawa Fury FC
7- W- Iain Hume | ESP / SD Ponferradina
8- M- Will Johnson | CAN / Toronto FC
9- F- Marcus Haber | ENG / Crewe Alexandra
10- W- David Junior Hoilett | ENG / Queens Park Rangers
11- W- Tosaint Ricketts | Unattached
12- CB- Doneil Henry | ENG / West Ham United
13- M- Atiba Hutchinson | TUR / Beşiktaş JK
14- M- Samuel Piette | ESP / Deportivo La Coruña
15- CB / M- Adam Straith | NOR / Fredrikstad FK
16- M- Scott Arfield | ENG / Burnley FC
17- FB- Marcel De Jong | CAN / Ottawa Fury FC
18- GK- Milan Borjan | BUL / PFK Ludogorets Razgrad
19- CB- Steven Vitória | POR / Benfica
20- FB / CB- Karl W. Ouimette | USA / New York Red Bulls
21- F- Cyle Larin | USA / Orlando City SC
22- GK- Kenny Stamatopoulos | SWE / AIK Fotbol
23- W- Tesho Akindele | USA / FC Dallas

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Jorge Mendoza I grew up in Mexico, therefore, soccer has been my life for over three decades. I have watched all kinds of football from Champions League matches to second division Peruvian games. (Yes, really). I created, produce and host the From the Backline podcast with my buddy Mark. We chat all about the Whitecaps, MLS and soccer. When I am not podcasting or writing about soccer I can probably be found watching TV & movies or eating cookies.
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