TFC, Whitecaps talents shine as Canada U-23s cap Caribbean tour with win

Raheem Edwards - Toronto FC II, Canada U-23s - receiving a ball

Canada’s Under-23 side ended their Caribbean tour on a high note Wednesday, posting a 3-0 win over Grenada’s senior side in a friendly in St. George’s, Grenada.

Raheem Edwards (Toronto FC II, pictured above), Ben McKendry (Vancouver Whitecaps) and Caleb Clarke (SpVgg Unterhaching/Germany) got the goals for Canada. For Edwards and Clarke, it was their second goals in as many games (both scored in Canada’s 5-1 win over Guyana on Sunday), while McKendry’s tally was his first in Canadian colors since scoring for the U-20 team back in 2013.

The team’s Caribbean-based training camp and friendlies fell outside the FIFA international window, meaning the Canadian roster was primarily made up of players pushing to break through with their senior teams.

Perhaps the biggest breakthrough performer was Edwards, a speedy 20-year-old who added three assists to his two goals in the pair of friendlies. He’s the leading scorer for TFC-II in USL play (four goals in seven games) and could soon be on the radar of Toronto FC’s senior side, who’ll be searching for attacking depth in light of an injury to Jozy Altidore.

On the other end of the field, a pair of homegrown youngsters split the goalkeeping duties. Twenty-two-year-old Maxime Crepeau (Montreal Impact) wore the gloves against Guyana, while 19-year-old Marco Carducci (Vancouver Whitecaps) made his Canadian U-23 debut and kept the clean sheet against Grenada.

As for Clarke, Canadian fans will be hoping this Caribbean tour will spark a goal-scoring resurgence for the 22-year-old Whitecaps Residency product, who enjoyed success during his previous stint playing in Germany (FC Augsburg II, 2013-14).

Michael Findlay, an assistant coach to Benito Floro with the Canadian senior squad, managed the team during this camp. He’ll surely have plenty of input on whether any of these youngsters will be with Floro’s side during their next two games, a pair of friendlies in Austria next month (vs. Azerbaijan, June 3, and vs. Uzbekistan, June 7).