Fans of Canada’s men’s national team have spent years bemoaning “the ones that got away.”
But there’s a chance they’ll soon be celebrating one that didn’t.
A Thursday report in The Scotsman is suggesting that Fraser Aird, a 19-year-old midfielder for Rangers, will be called up to Canada for friendlies next month against Bulgaria and Moldova.
The Canadian Soccer Association declined to comment on the report when contacted by MLSsoccer.com, but Aird is certainly on the CSA’s radar. He was on Canada’s preliminary roster for last year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, though he did not appear on the final roster.
Aird, born in Toronto, joined Rangers’ youth system in 2011 and has become a regular starter for the first team this season as they’ve obliterated the competition in Scotland’s League One. He has appeared for Scotland’s U-17 and U-19 national teams, but not the senior national team.
Under FIFA’s eligibility rules, Aird will remain eligible to represent either Scotland or Canada until he represents a senior national team in official competition (such as a continental championship or World Cup qualifying).
In other words, even if Aird is part of Canada’s set-up for next month’s friendlies, he would not yet be cap-tied to the land of his birth.
Still, it would be an encouraging indication of where his international aspirations lie – and a nice bit of positive news for a fan base that’s encountered its share of heartbreak in the recent past.