The 23-man final squad will be confirmed ahead of the start on July 2 of the tournament’s 12-country preliminary round, which will determine the final three entries in the 16-team main peloton that includes Qatar as a guest. After that, line-up changes will only be allowed “in cases of force majeure or injury” up to 24 hours before the first match of the group stage of each team.
Canada will start the Group B game against Martinique on July 10 before facing a preliminary round survivor on July 15 and the United States on July 18. All three games will take place in Kansas City.
Choosing the final roster will be a challenge given the delicate balance between club and country, especially in a busy schedule due to the pandemic. But it seems clear that coach John Herdman will be looking to build as strong a squad as possible to continue Canada’s progress and spend as much time with its players heading into the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying which begins in September.
Full-back Sam Adekugbe is also not on the provisional list, after being transferred from Norwegian Valerenga Fotball to Hatayspor in Turkey.
Canadian No. 1 veteran goalkeeper Milan Borjan is also missing. The Belgrade Red Star goaltender captained Canada in the second round of the World Cup qualifiers against Haiti.
The goaltenders on the list are Maxime Crepeau and Thomas Hasal of Vancouver, James Pantemis of CF Montreal, Jayson Leutwiler of Huddersfield Town and Dayne St. Clair of Minnesota United.
The preliminary roster includes several players that Canada would like to claim for theirs but have yet to sign. These include Toronto FC forward Ayo Akinola, who has already played in a friendly for the United States, and Sheffield United forward Daniel Jebbison, an England Under-20 international.
The list includes Jules Anthony Vilsaint, who plays for Royal Antwerp in Belgium. The 18-year-old forward from Montreal also holds Haitian citizenship.
Midfielders Scott Arfield (Rangers) and Atiba Hutchinson (Besiktas), Canada’s two regular captains in recent years when available, are part of the preliminary roster.
The group stage of the Gold Cup runs from July 10 to 20. The knockout match follows, with the top two teams from each of the four groups advancing to the quarterfinals. The final is set for August 1 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
While MLS hasn’t scheduled games between July 10 and July 16, there are games in the rest of the Gold Cup schedule.
Still, players like Jonathan Osorio of Toronto FC say they are ready and able to participate.
“As far as I know I am available for the Gold Cup,” he said on Friday. “I’ve participated in all the Gold Cups I’ve been available for in my career. It’s an incredible tournament. It’s a tournament that I really enjoy. And I think this is a tournament in which Canada also wants to take a new step.
The preliminary Canadian roster includes eight players from CF Montreal, nine from Toronto FC and 10 from the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Toronto coach Chris Armas says his club understands the needs of the national team, and Canada Soccer returns the favor.
TFC full-back Kemar Lawrence is on Jamaica’s roster while center-back Eriq Zavaleta is on El Salvador’s preliminary roster.
The expanded United States roster includes Jozy Altidore of Toronto FC, but not Akinola. It also includes Djordje Mihailovic and Mason Toye of FC Montreal.
Honduras’ lineup includes CF Montreal striker Romell Quioto.
CONCACAF marks its 60th anniversary in 2021. It also marks the 16th edition of the Gold Cup, which serves as the Confederation Championship. Defending champion Mexico has won the tournament eight times. The United States has six titles while Canada won in 2000.
Canada Gold Cup preliminary roster
Tesho Akindele, Orlando City SC (MLS); Ayo Akinola, Toronto FC (MLS); Scott Arfield, Glasgow Rangers (Scotland); Theo Bair Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS); Michael Baldisimo, Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS); Zorhan Bassong, CF Montreal (MLS); Clément Bayiha, CF Montreal (MLS); Zachary Brault-Guillard, CF Montreal (MLS); Charles-Andreas Brym, alone; Tajon Buchanan, New England Revolution (MLS); Lucas Cavallini, Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS); Jay Chapman, Inter Miami (MLS); Mathieu Choinière, CF Montreal (MLS); Theo Corbeanu, Wolverhampton Wanderers (England); Derek Cornelius, Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS); Maxime Crepeau, Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS); Jonathan David, Lille (France); Alphonso Davies, Bayern Munich (Germany); Caniggia Elva, FC Ingolstadt 04 (Germany); Stephen Eustaquio, FC Pacos de Ferreira (Portugal); Ricardo Ferreira, alone; Marcelo Flores, Arsenal (England); Liam Fraser, Columbus Crew (MLS); Marcus Godinho, FSV Zwickau (Germany); Cristian Gutierrez, Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS); Thomas Hasal, Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS); Doneil Henry, Suwon Samsung Bluewings (South Korea); Junior Hoilett, unattached; Atiba Hutchinson, Besiktas (Turkey); Daniel Jebbison, Sheffield United (England); Alistair Johnston, Nashville SC (MLS); Mark-Anthony Kaye, Los Angeles FC (MLS); Scott Kennedy, SSV Jahn Regensburg (Germany); Cyle Larin, Besiktas (Turkey); Richie Laryea, Toronto FC (MLS); Jayson Leutwiler, Huddersfield Town (England); Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty, Toronto FC (MLS); Liam Millar, Liverpool (England); Kamal Miller, CF Montreal (MLS); Ashtone Morgan, Real Salt Lake (MLS); Jayden Nelson, Toronto FC (MLS); Noble Okello, Toronto FC (MLS); Jonathan Osorio, Toronto FC (MLS); James Pantemis, CF Montreal (MLS); Tyler Pasher, Houston Dynamo (MLS); Harry Paton, Ross County, Scotland; Samuel Piette, CF Montreal (MLS); Ralph Priso, Toronto FC (MLS); Ryan Raposo, Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS); Tosaint Ricketts, Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS); Jacob Shaffelburg, Toronto FC (MLS); Luke Singh, Toronto FC (MLS); Dayne St. Clair, Minnesota United (MLS); Frank Sturing, FC Den Bosch (Netherlands); Russell Teibert, Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS); Kris Twardek, Jagiellonia Bialystok (Poland); Jules Anthony Vilsaint, Royal Anvers (Belgium); Steven Vitoria, Moreirense (Portugal); Joel Waterman, CF Montreal (MLS); David Wotherspoon, St. Johnstone, Scotland.