The Bayern Munich left-back highlights a 12-player squad returning to Canada’s 23-man roster for the North and Central America and Caribbean Teams Championship, which kicks off on July 10. This will be the third Gold Cup appearance for Davies, who has already made a name for himself in the tournament. He won the Golden Shoe as the top scorer (with three goals) and was named the best young player of the 2017 edition.
Davies’ inclusion underscores his commitment to the Canadian cause as he will miss the start of Bayern’s training camp to compete in the Gold Cup.
He and his teammates will also get some valuable top-level games ahead of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying finals, which head coach John Herdman says is essential for a team that lacks the experience of playing. Game.
“We’ve only played six games in two years as a group, and a lot of those games haven’t been against CONCACAF’s best opponents,” Herdman said Thursday after the team’s announcement. “So for me to bring together a group of players who can gain these experiences and continue with that mentality and continue to build on the foundation of these last six games, that’s really my goal for this tournament. “
While Canada can count on Davies’ pace and energy in the Gold Cup, it will miss the punch of another of its stars based in Europe.
David to rest and recover
Jonathan David, a remarkable striker of French champion Lille, is entrusted with the Gold Cup for the next Ligue 1 season, as well as the last round of the World Cup qualifiers. David was the 2019 Gold Cup Golden Boot with six goals.
Herdman said David, 21, suffered from a groin injury and was taking anti-inflammatories during games for Canada in the second leg of World Cup qualifying. He said the forward is expected to be back when Canada enter the third qualifying leg in September.
“It’s still not where he wants it to be, and given that he has a huge year ahead of him, looking to retain the championship and enter the Champions League, obviously qualifying Canada for the world, he kind of made that decision for him to step back and push through the recovery, ”Herdman said.
David’s 15 goals in 16 games for the senior men’s team will be difficult to replace. However, Cyle Larin, who has scored 15 goals in 37 appearances for the national team and just finished a 24-goal season with Turkish champion Besiktas, is among 12 players with Gold Cup experience on the roster.
TFC forward Ayo Akinola among 11 Gold Cup debutants
The 11 players making their Gold Cup debut for Canada include Toronto FC forward Ayo Akinola, whose inclusion in the squad comes a day after he officially changed his international affiliation to Canada from the United States. .
Akinola, 20, was born in Detroit but moved to Canada at the age of one. He made his debut for the senior U.S. team in December, scoring in a 6-0 win over El Salvador, but was not tied as the game was a friendly.
Akinola turned heads at the MLS is Back tournament last year with five goals in her first two games. He finished the 2020 season with nine goals in 15 games.
“I am really looking forward to working with him,” Herdman said. “I’ve built a relationship with him over the past two years off the pitch, I’ve been spending time with him at camp recently, and you know he’s talented. We have seen it.
“This MLS tournament is Back, and where he was last year, really showed him to be one of the best forwards in MLS. ”
Midfielders Scott Arfield and Atiba Hutchinson and goalkeeper Milan Borjan were also left out of Canada’s roster.
Arfield, who plays for the Rangers in Scotland, and Hutchinson, an 85-caps veteran who is a teammate with Larin on Besiktas, both served as captain for Canada. Both were on the preliminary roster of 60 players.
Herdman said the players who chose not to play in the Gold Cup did not make the decision easily.
“For a man, every man wanted to be a part of this Gold Cup, which says a lot about the current situation in this country,” Herdman said.
Toronto FC full-back Kemar Lawrence, a member of Jamaica’s Gold Cup squad, says he’s impressed with the Canadian squad.
“It’s a really talented group of guys,” he told reporters on Thursday. “A very good team. A good workout. I’m looking for them to be in the semi-finals, at least, to be honest. Maybe I am the one evaluating them well, but I see them playing good football and I’m just looking for them to be in the semi-finals ΓÇª I don’t see them going that far.
“Maybe if they meet us,” he added with a comparison.
Canada, ranked 70th in the world, will open the Gold Cup Group B match against unranked Martinique on July 10 before facing a preliminary round survivor on July 15 and the Americans ranked 20th on July 18. All three games will take place in Kansas City.
Canada reached the quarterfinals of the tournament in 2019 before taking a 2-0 lead and losing 3-2 to Haiti.
TFC full-back / winger Richie Laryea and midfielder Jonathan Osorio are part of the Canadian squad along with Akinola.
Fourteen of Canada’s 23 players have 10 or fewer selections at the senior level. Akinola, Houston Dynamo forward Tyler Pasher and Scottish Ross County midfielder Harry Paton have yet to win a selection.
Canada – Ayo Akinola, Toronto FC (MLS); Tajon Buchanan, New England Revolution (MLS); Lucas Cavallini, Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS); Theo Corbeanu, Wolverhampton Wanderers (England); Maxime Crepeau, Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS); Alphonso Davies, Bayern Munich (Germany); Stephen Eustaquio, FC Pacos de Ferreira (Portugal); Liam Fraser, Columbus Crew (MLS); Doneil Henry, Suwon Samsung Bluewings (South Korea); Junior Hoilett, unattached; 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); Kamal Miller, CF Montreal (MLS); Jonathan Osorio, Toronto FC (MLS); Tyler Pasher, Houston Dynamo (MLS); Harry Paton, Ross County, Scotland; Samuel Piette, CF Montreal (MLS); Dayne St. Clair, Minnesota United (MLS); Steven Vitoria, Moreirense (Portugal).