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Canada name strong squad for Japan friendly, face “tricky preparations”

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Canada announced the squad Thursday for the upcoming international friendly against Japan to be held at Denka Big Swan Stadium in Niigata, Japan Friday, October 13.

“I am excited about this roster as there is a good mix of experience and young talent that will allow us to compete against a very good opponent,” said Mauro Biello, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team interim coach. “This is an opportunity to bring our group together and build on our cohesion and tactical discipline.

“Japan will be a great test for us as we prepare for the Concacaf Nations League Quarter-final in November.”

Canada Soccer has been rocked recently with a number of issues. There’s an ongoing labour dispute between the association and the men’s and women’s teams. John Herdman unexpectedly resigned as the men’s head coach to join club side Toronto FC in August. The men’s team failed to line-up any opposition during the September international window. And the women’s team suffered a poor performance at the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

And Biello admits this friendly held in Asia isn’t ideal logistically.

“For this trip, getting players in with the travel, it’s been a little bit tricky in terms of preparation,” said Biello during a virtual media availability Thursday.

But the interim coach will be hoping the single game will serve as adequate preparation for the 2023/2024 Concacaf Nations League matches in November which will also serves as the qualifier for Concacaf teams participating in the CONMEBOL Copa America 2024.

Canada’s squad

Goalkeepers: Milan Borjan of Red Slovan Bratislava, Maxime Crépeau from Los Angeles FC, and Dayne St. Clair from Minnesota United FC.

Defenders: Moïse Bombito from Colorado Rapids, Derek Cornelius from Malmö FF, Steven Vitória from GD Chaves, Kamal Miller from Inter Miami CF, Samuel Adekugbe from Vancouver Whitecaps FC, de Fougerolles from Fulham FC U18, Alistair Johnston from Celtic FC, Richie Laryea from Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and Alphonso Davies from FC Bayern Munich.

Midfielders: Mathieu Choinière from CF Montréal, Stephen Eustáquio from FC Porto,  Ismaël Koné from Watford FC, Jonathan Osorio from Toronto FC, Harry Paton from Motherwell FC and Samuel Piette from CF Montréal

Forward: Charles-Andreas Brym from Sparta Rotterdam, Jonathan David from Lille OSC, Junior Hoilett from Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Cyle Larin from RCD Mallorca, Liam Millar from Preston North End FC.


About Author

Photographer and Writer | Stuart Gradon is soccer journalist and web communications professional. He covers Cavalry FC of the Canadian Premier League and Canada's national teams. He has also worked on assignment at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 and FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010.

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