Photo: Toronto's Doneil Henry likely to lead the Canada U20 backline.
Canada’s Men’s U-20 team has announced its 23-player roster for a training camp in Mexico City, Mexico which will run from 11 to 16 February ahead of the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Puebla, Mexico which will take place from 18 February to 2 March.
The four highest-placing teams at the CONCACAF Championship will qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 in June.
“It will be a difficult tournament,” said U-20 Head Coach Nick Dasovic.
“Our goal for now is to make it to the quarter-final match which will give us a one-off chance to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in June.
“Whether we enter the match as a first or second seed from our group, we will deal with that.”
To qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, Canada will need to finish in either first or second place in Group B that also includes Cuba and Nicaragua. If the Canadians are successful in qualifying for the knock-out stages they will feature in a quarter-final match-up against a team from Group A with a spot at Turkey 2013 on the line.
Dasovic stated that his team will be buoyed by an increased number of players playing in professional environments both at home and abroad, but also cautioned that in the same way that Canada has improved its player development structure in recent years – the same can be said about many of the competing nations.
“The strength of the squad is helped by the professional club academies in Canada and by the fact that we have a number of players on the squad that play in Europe,” said Dasovic.
“But at the same time, we need to realize that as we get better – all of our competition is getting better as well."
Canada will begin the tournament on 18 February with a clash against Cuba, before taking on Nicaragua on 22 February.
Should Canada qualify for the knock-out stages, the all-important quarter-final match would take place on 26 February.
All matches at the competition will be played at either the Estadio Cuauhtemoc or the Estadio Olimpico de C.U. in Puebla.
All tournament matches will be streamed live on CONCACAF.com. On-site coverage of the CONCACAF Championship will also be provided on CanadaSoccerTV.
Canada will need to trim its roster down to 20 players ahead of the CONCACAF Championship.
1- GK- Ricky Gomes | POR / Sport Clube de Mirandela
2- FB- Jon Dollery | ENG / Crawley Town FC
3- FB- Marco Lapenna | GER / FC Erzgebirge Aue
4- CB- Doneil Henry | CAN / Toronto FC
5- CB- Daniel Stanese | GER / FC Nürnberg Reserve
6- M- Samuel Piette | GER / Fortuna Düsseldorf
7- M- Ben Fisk | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23
8- M - Bryce Alderson | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
9- F- Caleb Clarke | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
10- M- Keven Aleman | ESP / Real Valladolid
11- M- Michael Petrasso | ENG / Queens Park Rangers
12- M- Dylan Carreiro | ENG / Queens Park Rangers
13- M- Alessandro Riggi | ESP / Celta de Vigo
14- F- Yassin Essa | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
15- CB- Manjrekar James | HUN / PMFC-MATIAS
16- M- Mauro Eustáquio | POR / Sporting Clube de Pombal
17- F- Anthony Jackson-Hamel | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal
18- GK- Maxime Crépeau | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal
19- FB- Jordan Murrell | USA / Syracuse University
20- M- Zakaria Messoudi | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal
21- M- Ben McKendry | USA / University of New Mexico
22- F- Stefan Vukovic | Unattached / sans club
23- FB- Allan Zebie | CAN / Edmonton FC Reserve