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Canada names roster for Japan, Belarus friendlies

Technical Director Tony Fonseca will serve as interim head coach for a pair of matches in Qatar. He named 21 mostly European-based players to his squad.

Canada has announced its 21-man roster for a pair of friendlies to be played later this month, and the squad has taken on a decidedly European flavor.

Canadian Soccer Association technical director Tony Fonseca will assume the reins as interim head coach for matches versus Japan and Belarus on Mar. 22 and 26, respectively. Both games will take place in Qatar.

Fonseca, who was a long-time assistant coach under former bench boss Stephen Hart, has called an almost exclusive European-based roster for the matches. With the current MLS season having recently gotten underway -- and with the previous Canadian camp being more focused on younger, North American-based players -- the temporary coach said that it was a good time to look at the other side of the pond.

“This camp represents an opportunity to reintegrate our European-based players as we take on two very difficult opponents in Japan and Belarus,” Fonseca told CanadaSoccer.com.

“These two matches will be an important platform for our continued preparations for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup and beyond.”

Of the 21 players invited to camp, 17 are currently with European teams. Four MLS-based players -- Toronto FC duo Kyle Bekker and Ashtone Morgan, Portland Timbers captain Will Johnson, and D.C. United defender Dejan Jakovic -- round out the roster.

The squad will include two newcomers to the senior international level, as Maccabi Tel Aviv goalkeeper Tomer Chencinski and Hungarian-based midfielder Stefan Cebara look to make their respective debuts.

FULL CANADA ROSTER

GOALKEEPERS (2): Milan Borjan (Sivasspor/TUR), Tomer Chencinski (Maccabi Tel Aviv/ISR)

DEFENDERS (7): David Edgar (Burnley FC/ENG), André Hainault (Ross County FC/SCO), Dejan Jaković (D.C. United/USA), Adam Straith (FC Energie Cottbus/GER), Marcel de Jong (FC Augsburg/GER), Ashtone Morgan (Toronto FC/CAN)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Samuel Piette (Fortuna Düsseldorf/GER), Julian de Guzman (SSV Jahn Regensburg/GER), Atiba Hutchinson (PSV Eindhoven/NED), Will Johnson (Real Salt Lake/USA), Nik Ledgerwood (Hammarby Fotboll/SWE), Pedro Pacheco (CD Santa Clara/POR), Issey Nakajima-Farran (AEK Larnaca FC/CYP),

FORWARDS (5): Stefan Cebara (Zalaegerszegi TE/HUN), Randy Edwini-Bonsu (Eintracht Braunschweig/GER), Marcus Haber (Stevenage FC/ENG), Simeon Jackson (Norwich City FC/ENG), Tosaint Ricketts (Sandnes Ulf/NOR)

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