Six MLS players named to Canada roster for crucial World Cup qualifiers

Cyle Larin - Canada - Ball near head

Six MLS players have been called to the Canadian national team for their crucial World Cup qualifiers at Honduras and against El Salvador next month.  

Vancouver Whitecaps’ Marcel De Jong and David Edgar, Orlando City’s Cyle Larin, FC Dallas’ Tesho Akindele, Toronto FC’s Tosaint Ricketts and Montreal Impact’s Maxime Crepeau have been named to Benito Floro’s 23-man roster for the final two games of the semifinal round of CONCACAF qualifying.

Canada are currently in third-place in Group A, tied with Honduras on four points but trailing Los Catrachos by three goals in goal difference. El Salvador are last in the group with two points through four matche, while Mexico have already clinched the top spot and will go through with the runner-up to the Hexagonal round of qualifying.

Canada, who haven’t advanced to the Hex since the 1998 World Cup cycle, will likely need at least a draw against Honduras in San Pedro Sula on Sept. 2 to have a shot at advancing.

A win or a draw there would put Canada in solid position heading into the semifinal round finale on Sept. 6, as Canada would then likely advance to the Hex with a win or even a draw against El Salvador in Vancouver if Mexico can hold serve at home in their finale against Honduras.

A loss in Honduras wouldn’t eliminate the Canadians, but it would make their road to the Hex much, much tougher. A defeat in San Pedro Sula would put them three points behind the Central American nation and at least four behind them in the goal difference tiebreaker. Canada would then need to beat El Salvador, have Mexico top Honduras and make up the goal difference on Los Catrachos on Sept. 6 to have a shot at advancing.

Notable names that weren’t named to the roster include Toronto FC midfielders Will Johnson, who only recently returned from injury, and Jonathan Osorio, who has struggled to earn call-ups under Floro.

Canada was eliminated from the last round of World Cup qualifying in Honduras, falling 8-1 in San Pedro Sula in the Group C finale when a draw would have put them in the Hex. 

Complete Canada roster for World Cup qualifiers at Honduras, vs. El Salvador:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Milan Borjan (Ludogorets Razgrad/BUL), Maxime Crepeau (Montreal Impact), Kenny Stamatopoulos (AIK Fotbol/SWE)

DEFENDERS (10): Marcel de Jong (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), David Edgar (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Andre Hainault (1. FC Magdeburg/GER), Doneil Henry (West Ham United/ENG), Dejan Jakovic (Shimizu S-Pulse/JPN), Manjrekar James (Vasas Budapest/HUN), Nik Ledgerwood (FC Edmonton), Karl W. Ouimette (Jacksonville Armada), Adam Straith (Fredrikstad FK/NOR), Steven Vitória (Lechia Gdansk/POL)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas), Scott Arfield (Burnley FC/ENG), Jamar Dixon (Ottawa Fury FC), David Junior Hoilett (unattached), Atiba Hutchinson (Besiktas JK/TUR), Simeon Jackson (Walsall FC, ENG), Samuel Piette (CD Izarra/ESP)

FORWARDS (3): Marcus Haber (unattached), Cyle Larin (Orlando City SC) Tosaint Ricketts (Toronto FC)