TORONTO - Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Russell Teibert rejoins the Canada fold after a year's absence for a soccer friendly against Panama on Nov. 18 in Panama City. But rising FC Dallas star Tesho Akindele declined his invitation.
Teibert is one of 12 MLS players in coach Benito Floro's 23-man squad. The players will assemble Sunday at a camp in Orlando, Fla., before heading to Panama on Nov. 16 in advance of the game at Estadio Rommel Fernandez.
Panama is ranked 56th in the world, compared to No. 122 for Canada.
"It's another important game for us because we need to continue improving our tactical play and we are going to play against a very good team that has an experienced coach (Hernan Dario Gomez)," Floro said in a statement. "It's a very good, organized team on the pitch with a good tactical sense both in attack and defence."
The Canadian Soccer Association said Akindele initially agreed to join the Canadian camp but then withdrew. The organization did not say why. Dallas plays at Seattle on Monday in the return leg of their Eastern Conference semifinal.
Floro spoke to the Dallas coach Oscar Pareja in September, with the two agreeing to let the player stay with his MLS club to continue getting playing time with the knowledge that the Canadian staff was following his progress, a CSA spokesman said.
Akindele was born in Calgary to a Canadian mother and Nigerian father and lived in Canada — with stops in Toronto and Winnipeg — until he was eight. His father, a financial analyst who also has Canadian citizenship, moved the family to Colorado for work.
The 22-year-old Akindele, who scored seven goals during the MLS regular season, is reportedly in the process of obtaining his U.S. citizenship although spokesmen for FC Dallas and U.S. Soccer were not sure whether he had got it already.
Teibert, 21, was last summoned a year by Floro for games against the Czech Republic and Slovenia. He came on in the 60th minute on Nov. 15 against the Czechs, winning his seventh cap.
The Canadian men lost 1-0 to third-ranked Colombia last time out. Canada ended a 16-game winless streak in September with a 3-1 win over Jamaica in Toronto.
Floro's team tied Bulgaria and Moldova earlier in 2014.
The Canadian coach said the game in Panama will challenge his players.
"We are going to play away in their stadium against another good team but it's good for us because we need to test our level in these situations," said Floro. "We need to focus on continuing improving our pressing and to increase our attack because in the last game (against Colombia), our attack was not as good as we can do."
Floro's squad includes veterans Atiba Hutchinson, Julian de Guzman, Dwayne De Rosario, Lars Hirschfeld and Patrice Bernier.
But there is also plenty of youth in Bryce Alderson, Kyle Bekker, Ashtone Morgan, Karl W. Ouimette, Jonathan Osorio and Maxim Tissot.
It's the first senior call-up for Tissot, a defender with the Montreal Impact.
Gatekeepers: Milan Borjan, Ludogorets Razgrad (Bulgaria); Lars Hirschfeld, Valerenga (Norway); Kenny Stamatopoulos, AIK (Sweden).
Defenders: Nana Attakora, D.C. United (MLS); David Edgar, Birmingham City (England); Doneil Henry, Toronto FC (MLS); Nik Ledgerwood, Energie Cottbus (Germany); Ashtone Morgan, Toronto FC (MLS); Karl W. Ouimette, Montreal Impact (MLS); Maxim Tissot, Montreal Impact.
Midfielders: Bryce Alderson, Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS); Kyle Bekker, Toronto FC (MLS); Patrice Bernier, Montreal Impact (MLS); Julian de Guzman, unattached; Atiba Hutchinson, Besiktas (Turkey); Issey Nakajima-Farran, Montreal Impact (MLS); Jonathan Osorio, Toronto FC (MLS); Adam Straith, unattached; Daniel Stanese, FC Augsburg II (Germany); Russell Teibert, Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS).
Forwards: Dwayne De Rosario, Toronto FC (MLS); Marcus Haber, Crewe Alexandra (England); Tosaint Ricketts, Hapoel Haifa (Israel).
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