Dwayne De Rosario

State of Canadian Soccer Pt. 5

Over the past few days — and ahead of the league welcoming its second Canadian franchise, the Vancouver Whitecaps, into the fold — MLSsoccer.com has explored the state of Canadian soccer — where it's been, where it's at and where it's going. Here, MLSsoccer.com contributor Peter Mallett picks his all-time Canadian Best XI team. It's a squad that spans generations that we (at MLSsoccer.com) think would give the world's best — from any place, any time — a run for its money.

Goalkeeper

Craig Forest – Backstopped Canada to their first major international tournament title, the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Had a lengthy 17-year career in England with Ipswich Town and West Ham.

Defenders

Bob Lenarduzzi – The current president of MLS expansion Vancouver Whitecaps had an 11-year playing career with team. He also represented Canada 47 times, leading them to a berth in the 1986 World Cup.

Randy Samuel – Holds the record for most appearances for Canada (82). During a 14-year international career his rugged play made him one of the most feared and respected defenders in CONCACAF.

Bruce Wilson – Captained Canada to their first and only appearance in a World Cup (Mexico 1986). In 1988 he was the only Canadian named to the CONCACAF Team of the Century.

Midfielders

Paul James – Scored a crucial goal for Canada against Costa Rica during their Marching to Mexico 1986 World Cup campaign and represented the national squad 43 times between 1983 and 1993 as a defensive midfielder.

[inline_node:4766]Julian de Guzman – The first ever Canadian-born player in Spanish La Liga is currently Toronto FC’s designated player. Known for his solid defending and brilliant ball skills, he has 44 international caps for Canada.

Dwayne De Rosario – This clutch finisher is currently fourth on Canada’s all-time goal scoring list with 15. Toronto FC’s two-time MLS MVP has been named to the league’s Best XI five times.

Mike Sweeney – A pint-sized but hard-tacking ruthless midfielder who represented Canada more than 61 times during a 14-year international career. His quickness and pace made him a natural fit for both the indoor and outdoor game.

Forwards

Alex Bunbury – His 16 goals in 66 appearances put him third on Canada’s all-time scoring list. This clinical finisher was also voted the Portugal’s Top foreign player of 1994 while with Maritimo.

Dale Mitchell – His 19 career goals remain a Canadian national team record. He also had a lengthy career in the North American Soccer League (1977-1983) and the Major Indoor Soccer League (1984-1987).

Branko Segota – Likely the nation’s most gifted goalscorer, he ranks 13th on the North American Soccer League’s all-time scoring list (73) and also has the second highest goal tally (463) in the history of the Major Indoor Soccer League.

Second Team

(GK) Tino Lettieri; (D) Paul Stalteri; (D) Robert Iarusci; (D) Colin Miller; (M) Wes McLeod; (M) Paul Peschisolido, (M) Lyndon Hooper, (M) Gerry Gray, (M) Randy Ragan, (F) John Catliff; (F) Mike Stojanovic

RELATED: Pt. 1 - Canada's Recent Struggles
RELATED: Pt. 2 - How Academies Will Benefit Canada

RELATED: Pt. 3 - Is Canada Ready For 2014?
RELATED: Pt. 4 - Canada - Five Bright Stars