Octavio Zambrano - Canada Soccer

French Guiana vs. Canada
2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup - Group A, Matchday 1
Red Bull Arena - Harrison, N.J.
Friday, July 7 – 7 pm ET
WATCH: FS2 and UDN in USA; TSN5 in Canada

A Canadian national team that hopes to use the 2017 Gold Cup to make a statement to the rest of the region about its new generation of players, faces a tricky test in its Group A opener. 


Although the Canadians enter as favorites against French Guiana – and this is a must-win match for Canada with even tougher matches against Costa Rica and Honduras on tap – the Gold Cup debutants recently showed at the Caribbean Cup that they are not to be taken lightly.  


French Guiana


They may be making their Gold Cup debut at Red Bull Arena, but don't underestimate just how much damage this French Guiana could potentially wreak in the Gold Cup. With 12 players based with clubs on the French mainland and the inclusion of now 37-year-old former Chelsea star Florent Malouda, the French territory has already made clear its aspirations: 


"We want to go to at least the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup, so that is our aim now,” head coach Jair Karam recently told the Jamaica Observer.


It's worth noting that French Guiana nearly qualified for the 2015 edition of the Gold Cup after a two-leg playoff against Honduras (French Guiana narrowly lost 4-3 on aggregate) and they compiled a 5W-2L-1D record in the recently concluded Caribbean Cup, where they finished in third place, only falling to Jamaica in the semis on a penalty-kick shootout.


FRENCH GUIANA 23-PLAYER SQUAD

Goalkeepers (3): Donovan Leon (Stade Brestois 29 / FRA), Simon Lugier (US Saint-Malo / FRA), Jean-Banuel Petit-Homme (US Matoury)


Defenders (7): Inrick Baal (CSC de Cayenne), Jean-David Legrand (Stade Bordelais / FRA), Gregory Lescot (FC Chartres / FRA), Kevin Rimane (Paris Saint-Germain / FRA), Hugues Rosime (US Matoury), Anthony Soubervie (FC Chambly / FRA), Marvin Torvic (US Matoury)


Midfielders (6): Loic Baal (ASM Belfort / FRA), Ludovic Baal (Stade Rennais / FRA), Marc Edwige (CSC de Cayenne), Cedric Fabien (Tarbes Pyrenees Football / FRA), Miguel Haabo (AS Etoile Matoury), Florent Malouda (Delhi Dynamos / IND)


Forwards (7): Arnold Abelinto (JA Drancy / FRA), Roy Contout (Renaissance de Berkane / MAR), Schaquille Dutard (Guingamp / FRA), Rhudy Evens (US Matoury), Jules Haabo (AS Etoile Matoury), Sloan Privat (Guingamp / FRA), Mickael Solvi (US Matoury)


Manager: Jair Karam (French Guiana)



Canada


How soon will recently appointed Canada manager Octavio Zambrano wait before unleashing his young up-and-comers on Gold Cup opposition?


With the supremely talented Cyle Larin missing the group stage in the fallout from his DUI arrest, Canada's best attacking talents come in the person of explosive 16-year-old Alphonso Davies (Vancouver Whitecaps), speedy 21-year-old Raheem Edwards (Toronto FC) and powerful 23-year-old forward Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Montreal Impact), who has five goals in limited MLS action since mid-April.


CANADA 23-PLAYER SQUAD

Goalkeepers (3):Maxime Crepeau (Montreal Impact / MLS), Milan Borjan (MKS Korona Kielce / POL), Jayson Leutwiler (Shrewsbury Town FC / ENG)


Defenders (6): Manjrekar James (Vasas Budapest / HUN), Steven Vitoria (Lechia Gdansk / POL), Dejan Jakovic (New York Cosmos / NASL), Samuel Adekugbe (Brighton Hove & Albion / ENG), Adam Straith (FC Edmonton / NASL), Marcel de Jong (Vancouver Whitecaps / MLS)


Midfielders (13): Fraser Aird (unattached), Samuel Piette (CD Izarra / ESP), Russell Teibert (Vancouver Whitecaps / MLS), Scott Arfield (Burnley FC / ENG), Tosaint Ricketts (Toronto FC / MLS), David Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City FC / WAL), Alphonso Davies (Vancouver Whitecaps / MLS), Jonathan Osorio (Toronto FC / MLS), Mark-Anthony Kaye (Louisville City FC / USL), Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Montreal Impact / MLS), Patrice Bernier (Montreal Impact / MLS), Raheem Edwards (Toronto FC), MIchael Petrasso (Queens Park Rangers / ENG)


Forwards (1): Lucas Cavallini (CA Penarol / URU)


Manager: Octavio Zambrano (Ecuador)