Teen phenom Davies gains Canadian citizenship

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The 16-year-old passed his citizenship test and took the oath Monday, paving the way for an international career with Octavio Zambrano's side

It shouldn't be too long before we see Alphonso Davies suit up for Canada's national team, following the teenager's confirmation as a Canadian citizen on Monday.

“I am overwhelmed and I am glad I can make my parents proud by becoming a Canadian citizen,” Davies told CanadaSoccer.com. “It has been a long journey becoming a Canadian citizen.”

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Born in Liberia, the 16-year-old had been involved with Canada's youth program since 2014 but was unable to don the Maple Leaf in official competition due to his citizenship status. Despite being a permanent resident, Davies was named the Canadian U-17 player of the year in 2016 following a breakout season that saw the youngster debut in Major League Soccer at the age of 15.

He quickly became an integral part of Carl Robinson's Vancouver Whitecaps squad, and he's made 19 regular-season appearances since his MLS debut in July. Davies has also added appearances in the Canadian Championship and CONCACAF Champions League for the 'Caps, and his play caught the eye of new Canada coach Octavio Zambrano.

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“He’s just a kid in reality, but he plays like a man — there’s no doubt,” Zambrano told Goal following a Canadian Championship match in Montreal last week. “When he steps on the field, and I’ve seen him now enough times to say that even though he may be a kid at heart, when he’s on the field he makes his presence felt immediately, and he did it tonight. And I expect that type of performance in the national team. I like guys that are protagonists. When they come in they put their stamp on the field and he does it every time I see him.”

Davies will jump right into his senior international career, as he has been added to Canada's roster ahead of a June 13 friendly with Curacao. In addition, Davies has been named to Canada's 40-man provisional squad for this summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup.

“I am really excited to be called into Canada Soccer’s men’s national team,” Davies said. “Canada Soccer worked extremely hard to get me where I am right now and I am very grateful. I am really glad they took their time and put the effort in me in helping me get my citizenship.”

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