Canada Soccer have announced their roster for the 2017 CONCACAF Men's Under-20 Championship. Coach Rob Gale has selected 20 players for the international competition that runs 17 February to 5 March in San José, Costa Rica.
The 12-nation CONCACAF Men's Under-20 Championship equally serves as the qualification route for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017. Only four CONCACAF nations will qualify for the biennial event, which runs this 20 May to 11 June.
Canada will kick off against Honduras on 17 February in San José, Costa Rica. Canada will also face Mexico (20 February) as well as Antigua & Barbuda (23 February) in a difficult group that will advance only two nations to the second round.
"These are the tests you want for your players (because) you want to expose them to tough matches so they can learn as they develop towards the Men's National Team," said Rob Gale, Canada Soccer's Men's National U-20 Team Coach. "At this level, there are no easy games, so it is vital that we get our moments right and they get the performances we need on the day."
From the six nations that advance into the second round, four qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017, while the top two play for the CONCACAF Men's Under-20 Championship trophy on 5 March.
Canada's 20-man squad features players currently attached to clubs in 10 different countries, including Canadian clubs Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Toronto FC, and Impact Montréal FC. Players from those three Canadian clubs are: Vancouver's Kadin Chung and Thomas Hasal; Toronto's Dante Campbell, Aidan Daniels, Liam Fraser, Shaan Hundal, and Luca Uccello; and Montréal's Thomas Meilleur-Giguère.
Eight players are attached to clubs from six countries in Europe: Liam Millar (Liverpool), Kosovar Sadiki (Stoke City), and Kris Twardek (Millwall) in England; Zachary Brault-Guillard (Olympique Lyonnais) in France; Gabriel Boakye (Energie Cottbus) in Germany; Emmanuel Zambazis (Iraklis 1908) in Greece; Tristan Borges (sc Heerenveen) in Netherlands; and Dario Zanatta (Heart of Midlothian) in Scotland.
Also featured in the squad, Diego Gutierrez (CD Palestino) arrives from Chile while Kamal Miller (Syracuse), Aymar Sigue (Penn State), and Dayne St. Clair (Maryland) all arrive from universities in USA.
Alongside their time with clubs, all 20 players have experience in Canada Soccer's Men's EXCEL Program. By the time Canada faces Honduras on the opening day, this group will have accumulated more than 1,400 days in national youth camps. Six of those players will have accumulated more than 100 camp days in the program: Boakye, Borges, Campbell, Chung, Meilleur-Giguère, and Uccello.
Fourteen of the 20 players will be making their debut in a CONCACAF youth tournament, while six players participated at the 2015 CONCACAF Men's Under-17 Championship in Honduras. Those six players are Boakye, Borges, Campbell, Chung, Daniels, and Sadiki.
All 20 players also have international experience playing in CONCACAF away from home at the U-20 level, with everyone have playing an international match away in Central America.
Outside the group of 20 players, Canada's three standby players (in case of injury) are Matthew Constant, Marcus Godinho, and Dayonn Harris. Unavailable for selection through injury were David Choinière, Philip Di Bennardo, James Pantemis, and Shamit Shome.
Canada Soccer's Men's EXCEL Program channels our nation's exceptional players into the best soccer environments. The Canada Soccer Pathway works in collaboration with our provincial and territorial partners as well as the professional clubs and academies. For Canada's elite players, the program emphasizes player development on the pathway to representing Canada's Men's National Team in international soccer.
1- GK- Dayne St. Clair | USA / University of Maryland
2- FB- Zachary Brault-Guillard | FRA / Olympique Lyonnais
3- FB- Gabriel Boakye | GER / Energie Cottbus U-19
4- CB- Kosovar Sadiki | ENG / Stoke City U-23
5- CB- Thomas Meilleur-Giguère | CAN / Impact Montréal FC
6- M- Liam Fraser | CAN / Toronto FC II
7- M- Diego Gutiérrez | CHI / CD Palestino
8- F- Luca Uccello | CAN / Toronto FC II
9- F- Dario Zanatta | SCO / Heart of Midlothian FC
10- M- Tristan Borges | NED / sc Heerenveen
11- W- Kris Twardek | ENG / Millwall FC
12- F- Shaan Hundal | CAN / Toronto FC II
13- M- Dante Campbell | CAN / Toronto FC II
14- M- Aidan Daniels | CAN / Toronto FC II
15- CB / FB- Kamal Miller | USA / Syracuse University
16- CM- Emmanuel Zambazis | GRE / Iraklis 1908 FC
17- F- Aymar Sigue | USA / Penn State University
18- GK- Thomas Hasal | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-18 Residency
19- F- Liam Millar | ENG / Liverpool FC U-18
20- FB / RW- Kadin Chung | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2