Alistair Johnston – Canada

Canada men’s national team head coach John Herdman has named a 24-man roster for their upcoming Concacaf First Round World Cup qualifiers in early June, with the group including 10 players currently competing in MLS.

As Group B winds down, Canada’s set to face Aruba in Florida on June 5 before heading to Chicago for a decisive match against Suriname on June 8. The Group B winner will advance to the Second Round and face the Group E winner in a head-to-head series on June 12 and June 15.

From there, one team will book a spot in Concacaf’s new octagonal format that determines which North American sides advance to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. In short, there’s plenty of work for Canada still to do.

“It’s great to be back together and continue to build on our momentum as every match counts on the road to Qatar 2022,” Herdman said in a release. “We have an opportunity to build on our solid start, after we put ourselves in a good position with goals difference in the first two matches so that we can control our destiny in the games to come.”

Some MLS highlights include fullbacks Richie Laryea (Toronto FC) and Alistair Johnston (Nashville SC), as well as midfielders Mark-Anthony Kaye (LAFC), Jonathan Osorio (Toronto FC) and Samuel Piette (CF Montréal). Vancouver Whitecaps FC striker Lucas Cavallini is another player of note.

New England Revolution forward Tajon Buchanan and goalkeepers James Pantemis (CF Montréal) and Dayne St. Clair (Minnesota United FC) could earn their senior-team debuts.

Several overseas players have MLS roots, with left back/forward Alphonso Davies a product of Vancouver’s academy before joining Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich. Besiktas forward Cyle Larin was the 2015 MLS Rookie of the Year while at Orlando City SC.

Canada roster for World Cup Qualifying

GOALKEEPERS (3)

  • Milan Borjan – Red Star Belgrade
  • James Pantemis – CF Montréal
  • Dayne St. Clair – Minnesota United FC

DEFENDERS (8)

  • Samuel Adekugbe – Valerenga
  • Alphonso Davies – Bayern Munich
  • Doneil Henry – Suwon Samsung Bluewings
  • Alistair Johnston – Nashville SC
  • Scott Kennedy – SSV Jahn Regensburg
  • Richie Laryea – Toronto FC
  • Frank Sturing – FC Den Bosch
  • Steven Vitoria – Moreirense FC

MIDFIELDERS (6)

  • Stephen Eustaquio – FC Pacos de Ferreira
  • Liam Fraser – Columbus Crew
  • Mark-Anthony Kaye – LAFC
  • Jonathan Osorio – Toronto FC
  • Samuel Piette – CF Montréal
  • David Wotherspoon – St. Johnstone

FORWARDS (7)

  • Tajon Buchanan – New England Revolution
  • Lucas Cavallini – Vancouver Whitecaps FC
  • Theo Corbeanu – Wolverhampton Wanderers
  • Jonathan David – Lille
  • David Junior Hoilett – Cardiff City
  • Cyle Larin – Besiktas
  • Liam Millar – Charlton Athletic