Head coach Stephen Hart announced a veteran-laden squad for the upcoming pair of World Cup qualification matches against Panama.Fresh off scoring his 100th regular season goal in Major League Soccer, Dwayne De Rosario will have the opportunity to hit another milestone with his national team as he leads an experienced squad into a pair of crucial World Cup qualifiers against Panama early next month.
De Rosario was named to Canada's 21-man roster, which was announced on Thursday. With his next goal, the 34-year-old will take sole custody of the all-time Canadian national team scoring record, which he currently shares with former head coach Dale Mitchell.
Current boss Stephen Hart isn't too concerned about De Rosario's personal production, but he does hope that the D.C. United man can be involved in a goal or two against the Panamanians, who currently lead Group C of CONCACAF's World Cup qualification tournament with six points to Canada's four. Honduras sits in third with a single point, while fourth place Cuba has yet to earn a point in two rounds of play.
"When you look at players and you look at the international game, it's two different games altogether," Hart told reporters in a teleconference on Thursday. "Dwayne has come with the squad, he has played a different sort of role for us, and all credit to him, he has buckled down and contributed.
"If he sets up the goals or scores the goals, it doesn't really matter to me once the goals come."
Also called in by Hart for the matches are veterans Julian de Guzman, Atiba Hutchinson, Kevin McKenna, Patrice Bernier, Lars Hirschfeld, and Olivier Occean, all of whom have participated in multiple World Cup qualification cycles. On the other end of the scale, 21-year-old Ashtone Morgan is the youngest player in the squad, and he'll be looking to add to the two caps he earned late last year.
Canada hosts Panama at Toronto's BMO Field on Sept. 7 before heading to Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City for the return leg four days later.
FULL CANADA ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1. Lars Hirschfeld (Vålerenga Fotball, Norway), 18. Milan Borjan (Sivasspor, Turkey), 22. Kenny Stamatopoulos (AIK Fotbol, Sweden)
DEFENDERS (7): 3. Ante Jazić (Chivas USA, MLS), 4. Kevin McKenna (FC Köln, Germany), 5. André Hainault (Houston Dynamo, MLS), 11. Marcel de Jong (FC Augsburg, Germany), 12. Dejan Jaković (D.C. United, MLS), 15. David Edgar (Burnley FC, England), 19. Ashtone Morgan (Toronto FC, MLS)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 2. Nik Ledgerwood (Hammarby IF, Sweden), 6. Julian de Guzman (FC Dallas, MLS), 7. Terry Dunfield (Toronto FC, MLS), 8. Will Johnson (Real Salt Lake, MLS), 13. Atiba Hutchinson (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands), 16. Pedro Pacheco (CD Santa Clara, Portugal), 20. Patrice Bernier (Impact Montréal, MLS)
FORWARDS (4): 9. Tosaint Ricketts (Politehnica Timişoara, Romania), 10. Simeon Jackson (Norwich City FC, England), 14. Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United, MLS), 17. Olivier Occean (Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany)