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Hutchinson leads Canada squad for upcoming European friendlies

The Canadian Press

5/16/2014 2:01:21 PM

OTTAWA -- Atiba Hutchinson and Julian de Guzman will lead a Canadian team mixed with veterans and young players in two international friendlies this month.

The 24-player Canadian squad announced Friday plays No. 73 Bulgaria on May 23 in Ritzing, then faces 99th-ranked Moldova in Mauer, Austria, on May 27. Canada holds the No. 110 position on the latest FIFA rankings list.

The squad, which opens camp Sunday in Thaya, Austria, is comprised of mostly European-based players, plus a handful of promising young players such as Samuel Piette, a midfielder playing for Fortuna Dusseldorf, defender Daniel Stanese (FC Augusburg II), and forwards Caleb Clarke (FC Augsburg II), and Cyle Larin (University of Connecticut).

The Canadian team is focused on developing younger players one year out from the next CONCACAF Gold Cup and the resumption of World Cup qualifying.

It's Canada's second camp of the year. In January, a squad composed mostly of younger players gathered in Sunrise, Fla., for camp and defeated the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League in a friendly.