Fresh off of a clean sheet against Liverpool in the Champions League, Red Star Belgrade goalkeeper Milan Borjan and outgoing Vancouver Whitecaps star Alphonso Davies are among those who have been called into international duty by John Herdman.
Canada Soccer announced its 23-man squad for November 18's CONCACAF Nations League qualifying match against St. Kitts & Nevis on Thursday."We are really looking forward to this challenge as St. Kitts and Nevis have performed well in Concacaf Nations League thus far,” Herdman said in a release. “Given our history in this venue, we know it is a tough place to get a result, but we are clear on our approach and the players will be ready."
Canada, winners of two of their first four qualifiers, have never scored a goal at Warner Park Football Field in Bassterre.
While the squad is filled with veterans like Besiktas midfielder Atiba Hutchinson and Ottawa Fury defender David Edgar, four teenagers have been called into the squad.
Along with Davies, Barca's Ballou Tabla, Liam Fraser of Liverpool U-23 and Lyon's Zachary Brault-Guillard have been named to the roster.
Toronto FC star Jonathan Osorio misses out after undergoing sports hernia surgery.
Herdman expects the temperature and the rigours of a long plane ride to be a factor.
“It’s a big game for sure and we will have a few things to manage in St. Kitts and Nevis from heat to pitches to jet lag, but nothing that this group can’t handle,” Herdman said. “It’s actually that to which we are looking forward: a good test of our team spirit. This game will create some valuable learnings for the team as a whole as many of our players haven’t ventured this deep into the Caribbean for games. We need these uncomfortable experiences now to ensure we have a level of readiness for even tougher matches that we will encounter in the coming years.”
Canada currently sits third out of the 34 nations in the qualifiers. The top 10 will earn spots in the 2019 Gold Cup and the top six teams will be granted passage into the CONCACAF Nations League Group A alongside the already qualified United States, Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago.
GK - Simon Thomas (Kongsvinger, NOR), Milan Borjan (Red Star Belgrade, SRB) and Maxime Crepeau (Ottawa Fury, USL)
DF - Zachary Brault-Guillard (Lyon, LIG1), Manjrekar James (FC Fredericia, DEN), Derek Cornelius (Javor Ivanjica, SRB), David Edgar (Ottawa Fury, USL), Samuel Adekugbe (Valerenga, NOR), Doneil Henry (Vancouver Whitecaps, MLS) and Marcus Godinho (Hearts, SPL)
MF - Samuel Piette (Montreal Impact, MLS), Russell Tiebert (Vancouver Whitecaps, MLS), David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone, SPL), Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City, EPL), Atiba Hutchinson (Besiktas, TUR), Liam Miller (Liverpool, EPL2), Alphonso Davies (Vancouver Whitecaps, MLS), Liam Fraser (Toronto FC, MLS), Ballou Tabla (Barcelona B, ESP2) and Jay Chapman (Toronto FC, MLS)
FW - Cyle Larin (Besiktas, TUR), Jonathan David (Gent, BEL) and Lucas Cavallini (Puebla, LMX)