A very young squad of players has been called up by Benito Floro for Canada's first training camp of the year.
Of the 23 players summoned by Floro into the camp, 12 are age-eligible for Canada's next U23 squad that will attempt to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Veteran goalkeepers Lars Hirschfeld and Kenny Stamatopoulos will be relied on to provide experience for a roster of players that includes five current members of MLS youth squads, plus another plying his trade in the NCAA.
“In this camp we can only call the North American players, as well as European players out of season like Hirschfeld, Stamatopoulos, and Adam Straith,” Floro said in a statement. “At the same time I filled out the roster with young players.”
Among the newcomers to the team are University of Connecticut standout Cyle Larin, recent Toronto FC homegrown signing Jordan Hamilton, and Glasgow Rangers teenager Luca Gasparotto.
They join a training camp that also includes MLS veterans Doneil Henry, Ashtone Morgan and Nana Attakora, all of whom are still in their early 20s.
“My thought is always the same in every camp. [It’s] to teach and train players to improve our capacity defensively and offensively around the complete system of play,” Floro said. “[I want to] take advantage of the qualities of the Canadian footballer, who have good physical and technical qualities but need to be more competitive, this means to make hard presses and develop very good combined attack.”
Canada will convene in Florida on Jan. 12 and train under Floro and his staff for 10 days. No games have been announced at this time.
FULL CANADA ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (3): Lars Hirschfeld (Valerenga), Kenny Stamatopoulos (A.I.K.), Maxime Crépeau (Impact de Montréal)
DEFENDERS (9): Ashtone Morgan (Toronto FC), Luca Gasparotto (Rangers FC), Nana Attakora (D.C. United), Doneil Henry (Toronto FC), Jackson Farmer (Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency), Karl Ouimette (Impact de Montréal), Andres Fresenga (Ottawa Fury FC), Samuel Adekugbe (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Elias Roubos (Toronto FC Academy)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Kyle Bekker (Toronto FC), Kianz Froese (Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency), Manuel Aparicio (Toronto FC), Adam Straith (Wehen Wiesbaden), Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé (Académie Impact de Montréal), Ben Fisk (Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23), Jonathan Osorio (Toronto FC)
FORWARDS (4): Kyle Porter (D.C. United), Frank Jonke (FC Edmonton), Jordan Hamilton (Toronto FC), Cyle Larin (University of Connecticut)