The CanMNT Concacaf Nations League is starting on March 25. The roster was therefore revealed to the public on Thursday. There were some notable stories as well as notable absentees and new players in the team.
CanMNT CNL Roster Revealed Contains “Four Toronto FC Players”
Your squad for two crucial @CNationsLeague matches!
— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) March 16, 2023
Notable Stories: Toronto FC Had the Most Players on the List
Toronto FC has the most players of the CanMNT of any team with four players. Mainstays of the team like Jonathan Osorio, Richie Laryea, and Mark-Anthony Kaye were no surprises to make the roster. All three players played big roles in Canada’s qualification for the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 36 years. Some notable moments included Osorio’s goal against Mexico at Estadio Azteca.
The other player that made it is Ayo Akinola. Akinola has not been a regular with the team since his injury in the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup. He has not had the season that he had in 2020-21 for TFC, but can still provide that speed and power that he was known for in the 2020-21 MLS seasons. It was unfortunate that he got an injury against the USMNT back in the last Gold Cup, but hopefully, this sparks something for the young player.
Uncapped Players Joining the Team
— Alexandre Gangué-Ruzic (@AlexGangueRuzic) March 16, 2023
There are three new players coming to the CanMNT. One player is Victor Loturi, who plays for Ross County in the Scottish Premiership. The Canadian midfielder from Calgary previously played for his hometown Cavalry FC club from 2021-22, scoring two goals in 37 games.
This is what CanMNT John Herdman said about the Canadian Premier League and what it means for Canada Soccer: (source: Bennedict Rhodes of the Canadian Premier League)
When Loturi went from Cavalry FC to Ross County, his now former coach, Tommy Wheeldon Jr., had this to say about him (Mitchell Tierney, Digital Content Producer):
“I’m delighted for him, because he’s a player that I’ve known for a long time and he just loves the game,” said Wheeldon Jr. “He is a very talented player, he’s got a really good high football IQ; [he’s] athletic off the charts, he can run for days.”
Other new players to join the team include Tom McGill, goalkeeper of Brighton & Hove Albion, and defender, Dominick Zator, of Korona Kiece. Zator is another player who played in the CPL with both Cavalry FC and York United FC. He played with the Calgary-based CPL team from 2019-20, scoring two goals in 37 games while also two goals in 53 appearances for York United FC.
The last player to mention is McGill, the player was born in Belleville, Ontario, but moved to England at the age of 14. He has been part of the England under-17 team, playing for them six times.
Injuries and Absences with the Team
Lucas Cavallini, Samuel Piette, and Junior Hoilett will not be with the team in these two games (source: The Canadian Press). All three players played a big role in Canada’s qualification for the FIFA World Cup. Examples of this include Piette playing well against Honduras on the road in FIFA World Cup qualifying.
— Nashville SC (@NashvilleSC) March 13, 2023
A mild surprise not to make the team is Jacob Shaffelburg. Shaffelburg is having a good start with his new team, Nashville SC, scoring two goals in three games for the club so far. This is what Nashville SC head coach, Gary Smith, said about the Nova Scotian-born winger:
— Drake Hills (@LiveLifeDrake) February 26, 2023
CanMNT CNL Roster Overview: Team Overview
In many of the previous CanMNT roster reveals, it was CF Montreal that had the most players on the team. However, since many of those players left Montreal in the off-season, TFC is the team with the most players represented on the team.
Another story that is coming out is the growth of the CPL and its impact on the Canadian men’s national team. It has been gradual, but it has been growing. Expect more players who currently play or played in the CPL to make the national team.
Canada has two games remaining in their group. The first game will be in Curaçao on March 25 at 9:00 p.m. ET at Ergilio Hato Stadium, while the second game will be against Honduras on March 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET at BMO Field. Both games will be shown live on OneSoccer and Telus.
For Canada, winning both games should be the priority. There is a lot of pressure to perform, especially with Canada losing against Honduras last year and these are the first two games for Canada since their first-ever FIFA World Cup appearance in 36 years last year.
Photo Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports on November 27, 2022, of the CanMNT’s Headshot.
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