Canada Soccer on Friday announced their final roster for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil which kicks off later this month, and all but one member of the 21-player squad hails from an MLS academy or affiliated youth program.
Toronto FC’s academy is well represented with eight players, including Jayden Nelson (pictured above) one of the stars of this year’s Generation adidas Cup.
Meanwhile the Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps systems each send six players. Goalkeeper Marc Kouadio of the Montverde Academy in Florida is the sole representative from outside Canada’s three MLS clubs.
“It’s been a big year for our Men’s EXCEL Program with semifinal finishes at both the Concacaf Men’s Under-17 Championship and Concacaf Boys’ Under-15 Championship,” said Andrew Olivieri, the U-17s’ head coach and U-14 to U-17 Program Director of Canada Soccer’s Men’s EXCEL initiative, which aims to identify and nurture future national-team talent across the country. “What an exciting time to not only be in Brazil, but also to play Brazil in the opening match.”
Drawn into Group A, Canada will open against Brazil on Oct. 26, then face Angola on Oct. 29 and New Zealand on Nov. 1. All three of Canada’s group matches will be played at Estadio Walmir Campelo Bezerra in Brasilia, and will be broadcast live in Canada on TSN and RDS. Should they advance to the tournament’s knockout phase, the Round of 16 opens on Nov. 5 and the action peaks with the final on Nov. 17 in Brasilia.
Canada qualified for the U-17 World Cup by virtue of their run to the semifinals of the 2019 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, as they outlasted Costa Rica in a penalty-kick shootout in the quarterfinals before falling to the United States in the semis. The US, Haiti and Concacaf champions Mexico will also represent the region in Brazil.
Canada U-17 World Cup roster
|GK||Benjamin Collins||Montreal Impact|
|GK||Eleias Himaras||Toronto FC|
|GK||Marc Kouadio||Montverde Academy|
|D||Emiliano Brienza||Vancouver Whitecaps FC|
|D||Nathan Demian||Vancouver Whitecaps FC|
|D||Gianfranco Facchineri||Vancouver Whitecaps FC|
|D||Keesean Ferdinand||Montreal Impact|
|D||Kobe Franklin||Toronto FC|
|D||Rohan Goulbourne||Toronto FC|
|D||Deylen Vellios||Vancouver Whitecaps FC|
|M||Julian Altobelli||Toronto FC|
|M||Tomas Giraldo||Montreal Impact|
|M||Deandre Kerr||Toronto FC|
|M||Damiano Pecile||Vancouver Whitecaps FC|
|M||Ralph Priso-Mbongue||Toronto FC|
|M||Sean Rea||Montreal Impact|
|F||Matt Catavolo||Montreal Impact|
|F||Kamron Habibullah||Vancouver Whitecaps FC|
|F||Mouhamadou Kane||Montreal Impact|
|F||Jayden Nelson||Toronto FC|
|F||Jacen Russell-Rowe||Toronto FC|