It looks like Canada will have their own January camp after all.
The Canadian Soccer Association announced on Friday that it will convene a men’s national team training camp from Jan. 12 to 22 in Sunrise, Fla. – and the emphasis is, clearly and unequivocally, on the program’s future.
A strong majority of the squad is 21 years old or younger, and will be eligible to be part of the Under-23 team that will attempt to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games.
In fact, three players (Elias Roubos, Kianz Froese and new Toronto FC signing Jordan Hamilton) were part of Canada’s squad at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup last October.
“In this camp, we can only call the North American players, as well as European players out of season like [Lars] Hirschfeld, [Kenny] Stamatopoulos and Adam Straith,” head coach Benito Floro said in a news release. “At the same time, I filled out the roster with young players.”
All five Canadian pro teams – including Ottawa Fury FC, which begin NASL play this year – are represented on the 23-player roster. Fourteen of the 23 are part of an MLS club or academy, while Cyle Larin – a highly touted freshman midfielder at the University of Connecticut – also made the cut.
“My thought is always the same in every camp,” Floro said in the release. "[It’s] to teach and train players to improve our capacity defensively and offensively around the complete system of play."
A CSA official told MLSsoccer.com that, at this point, there are no confirmed friendly matches to coincide with this camp.
COMPLETE CANADA NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS: Lars Hirschfeld (Valerenga/Norway); Kenny Stamatopoulos (AIK/Sweden); Maxime Crepeau (Montreal Impact)
DEFENDERS: Ashtone Morgan (Toronto FC); Luca Gasparotto (Glasgow Rangers/Scotland); Nana Attakora (D.C. United); Doneil Henry (Toronto FC); Jackson Farmer (Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency); Karl Ouimette (Montreal Impact); Andres Fresenga (Ottawa Fury FC); Sam Adekugbe (Vancouver Whitecaps FC); Elias Roubos (Toronto FC Academy)
MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Bekker (Toronto FC); Kianz Froese (Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency); Manuel Aparicio (Toronto FC); Adam Straith (Wehen Weisbaden/Germany); Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé (Montreal Impact Academy); Ben Fisk (Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23); Jonathan Osorio (Toronto FC)