While the “will he or won’t he?” saga of Fraser Aird hasn’t yet come to its conclusion, an announcement on Monday makes it appear more likely that he will – choose Canada for his international career, that is.
The Canadian Soccer Association on Monday unveiled the roster of an ongoing training camp for its Under-20 national team, and Aird is part of the 23-man roster, currently training in Sunrise, Fla., from this past Sunday through May 18.
Toronto-born Aird (above), recently named Young Player of the Year for storied Scottish club Rangers FC, has represented Scotland’s youth teams in the past several years but was reportedly set to join the Canadian system imminently.
Aird appeared to throw cold water on those reports on April 30, tweeting “Just to make things clear, I have not made a final decision on what country I would like to play for yet.” But accepting the call from Canada U-20 head coach Robert Gale appears to provide some more clarity about his intentions – though, of course, nothing short of playing for the senior national team in an official game would cap-tie him, or any other player.
Other familiar Canadian exports include Michael Petrasso and Dylan Carreiro of Queens Park Rangers. The pair, both of whom formerly played for the Toronto FC Academy, have featured regularly for QPR’s U-21 side this season, while Petrasso has been a standout during loan spells to Oldham Athletic and Coventry City, earning himself a new three-year deal with QPR in the process.
“It is great that these young lads are getting valuable first-team experience and our overseas lads like Fraser, Michael and Dylan are able to bring their experiences to the group,” Gale said in a news release. “It promises to be a great camp and there is a healthy competition for places across the board and a great energy amongst the boys.”
Also included are a trio of Vancouver Whitecaps Residency players – Marco Bustos, Jackson Farmer and Kianz Froese – who were in the squad for last week's Canadian Championship semifinal first leg at Toronto FC, and Montreal Impact Academy player Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé, who has previously gotten a look with the senior national team under head coach Benito Floro.
COMPLETE CANADA U-20 CAMP ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS: Daniel Milton (Blackpool FC/England); Nolan Wirth (Vancouver Whitecaps Residency)
DEFENDERS: Cedric Blank Saint-Cyr (Karlsruher U-19/Germany); Alex Comsia (RC Strasbourg/France); Jackson Farmer (Vancouver Whitecaps Residency); Quinton Duncan (University of Tulsa); Enrique Garcea (University of Winnipeg); Austin Giftopoulos (Crossfire Premier)
MIDFIELDERS: Fraser Aird (Rangers/Scotland); Kwame Amuah (University of Connecticut); Louis Beland-Goyete (Académie Impact de Montréal); Marco Bustos (Vancouver Whitecaps Residency); Sebastian Cabrera (Union Espanola/Chile); Dylan Carreiro (Queens Park Rangers/England); Kianz Froese (Vancouver Whitecaps Residency); Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé (Académie Impact de Montréal); Christopher Nanco (Syracuse University); Michael Petrasso (Queens Park Rangers/England); Mitch Piraux (Vancouver Whitecaps Residency)
FORWARDS: Adam Bouchard (Defensor Sporting Club/Uruguay); Brody Huitema (Duke University); Cyle Larin (University of Connecticut); Charles Joly (Académie Impact de Montréal)