MLS prospects shine as Canada U-23s crush Guyana 5-1 on Caribbean tour

Jordan Hamilton, Toronto FC

A crop of youngsters fighting for spots on the Canadian national team got some valuable experience on Sunday – not to mention a comfortable victory.

Canada’s Under-23 team traveled to Guyana for a friendly against that nation’s senior team and emerged with a 5-1 win. The Canadian squad will conclude its 10-day training camp with a second friendly, in Grenada on Wednesday.

Time for experimentation

The game, which fell outside the FIFA international calendar, was a chance for some players on the national-team fringes to step up and impress manager Michael Findlay (normally an assistant coach with the senior team). The team seemed hungry and full of attacking energy under Findlay, who also helmed the senior team for a friendly against Ghana last October.

Newfound goalscorers

Canada got first-ever international goals from a pair of attackers currently with MLS-affiliated USL sides – Richie Laryea (Orlando City B) and Raheem Edwards (Toronto FC II). Jordan Hamilton, Edwards’ teammate at Toronto FC II, got his latest goal in a Canadian jersey, while goals also came from a pair of former Vancouver Whitecaps currently plying their trade in Europe: Caleb Clarke (SpVgg Unterhaching) and Ben Fisk (Deportivo la Coruna B).

Future looking bright

The match commentators, a local crew from Guyana, made multiple remarks about the professionalism of the Canadian players. In probably-related news, 16 of 17 players on the Canadian matchday roster are current or past members of an MLS club or academy, with a majority of them currently connected one of Canada’s three MLS clubs. (Toronto FC II’s Chris Mannella was slated to be part of the team, but withdrew due to injury.)