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Canada name six MLSers to Olympic qualifying roster

TORONTO — Six MLSers made the final cut as Canada on Tuesday revealed their roster for Olympic qualifying, which begins this week in Nashville, Tenn.

Canadian Under-23 head coach Tony Fonseca cut his squad down to 20 players for the tournament, after holding a pre-tournament camp in Florida with 24 hopefuls.

Toronto FC duo Doneil Henry and Matt Stinson join Vancouver Whitecaps duo Russell Teibert (above) and Bryce Alderson, as well as Seattle forward Babayele Sodade and Montreal Impact midfielder Evan James as the six Canadians currently plying their trade in MLS.

Additionally, former TFC and San Jose defender Nana Attakora and former Whitecaps Homegrown player Philippe Davies made Fonseca's roster.

At 18 years of age, Alderson and Samuel Piette of FC Metz are the youngest players on the squad. Also highlighting the roster are European-based attackers Marcus Haber and Randy Edwini-Bonsu, both of whom missed most of the camp while still playing with their clubs St. Johnstone and Eintracht Braunschweig, respectively.

Canada kick off their Olympic qualification campaign against El Salvador on Thursday at Nashville's LP Field, followed by matches against the United States on Saturday and vs. Cuba on March 26. The top two teams from each group move on to the crucial semifinal round, the winners of which will determine CONCACAF’s two representatives in London this summer.

CANADIAN OLYMPIC QUALIFYING ROSTER

GOALKEEPERS (2): Adam Janssen (NSC Minnesota Stars), Michal Misiewicz (FC Edmonton)

DEFENDERS (6): Andrés Fresenga (Racing Club de Montevideo, Uruguay), Nana Attakora (unattached), Doneil Henry (Toronto FC), Matt Stinson (Toronto FC), Drew Beckie (University of Denver), Philippe Davies (unattached)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Russell Teibert (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Kyle Bekker (Boston College), Bryce Alderson (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Samuel Piette (FC Metz, France), Shaun Saiko (FC Edmonton), Sherif El-Masri (Court Young Lions, Singapore), Evan James (Montreal Impact)

FORWARDS (5): Marcus Haber (St. Johnstone FC, Scotland), Babayele Sodade (Seattle Sounders FC), Lucas Cavallini (Club Nacional, Uruguay), Carl Haworth (unattached), Randy Edwini-Bonsu (Eintracht Braunschweig, Germany)