MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps

Timbers' Johnson headlines Canada Gold Cup roster

WillJohnsonCanadaSoccer1 (CanadianPress)


Seven players in Major League Soccer, including first-place Portland Timbers star Will Johnson, were called into the Canadian National Team ahead of the Gold Cup next month.

Toronto FC lead all clubs with four call-ups, losing Ashtone Morgan, Doneil Henry, Kyle Bekker, and Jonathan Osorio to the Canada squad that will meet in Oxnard, California for a ten-day training camp starting on Wednesday. The Vancouver Whitecaps Russell Teibert and goalkeeper Simon Thomas round out the MLS contingent.

Overall, interim head coach Colin Miller went with a much younger squad than the one that failed to exit the group stage in the 2011 Gold Cup. Established veterans like D.C. United’s Dwayne De Rosario, the Montreal Impact’s Patrice Bernier, and PSV Eindhoven midfielder Atiba Hutchinson were all left off the current 22-man squad. Meanwhile, ten of the 22 players were born in 1990 or later.

Though he is currently without a club, former TFC and FC Dallas midfielder Julien de Guzman was included on the team. Canada’s first Gold Cup match is July 7 against Martinique at the Rose Bowl, in Pasadena, California.

What do you make of the roster? Surprised that DeRo and Bernier were left off? How do you see Will Johnson performing for his country?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Jacknut

    Given DeRo’s current form, I can’t imagine him anywhere near a Canada roster.


    • Josh D

      Agreed. And at his age, this is a perfect time for Canada to move beyond him. He won’t be there for 2018 qualifiers. Sadly, I just don’t see many players Canada can rely on like they have DeRo. I just hope he gets a proper sending off from Canada in a friendly.


      • beto

        +1, should be one of their all time bests – deserves a proper send off.. but for competition purposes Canada is really between generations.


  • Eric

    The roster seems to be built in mind with not actually winning the tournament but using it to start developing the core of young players who are going to have to lead the team through qualification next world cup. It’s a much more long term approach for Canada.


    • beto

      yup, they have been doing that for a while now at all of the Senior Friendlies, U23 & U20 games.

      McKenna, Friend, Salteri, DeRo, J.DeGuzman, Bernier, Atiba, etc where all part of the past generation and everyone that wears a Canada jersey for now on is in the running for 2018 qualification. They still look very week but hopefully a few players emerge over the next few years and start to put together their core group.


    • burnsbabe

      Agreed. It’s almost blasphemy to break up Will and Chara. It’s an important stretch of games too. Makes me somewhat nervous but we’ve figured it out before.


      • Brian

        I wouldn’t call it an important stretch. Portland is playing @Columbus, vsLA, @Philly, @San Jose in July. The Galaxy game at home is important but they could lose Gonzalez and Donovan for that game as well.


    • Hogatroge

      That’s the price you pay for being a good MLS squad, Portland. Other squads have been dealing with it much longer than 4 seasons.


  • dan

    As an American I want to see Canada succeed more. The more the teams in CONCACRAP get better the better the USA is for it.


    • Guest

      The U.S. needs to improve the quality of their training and coaching, then they will improve. It’s nice to see the region improve but upgrading the coaching and understanding of the game is key.


  • Josh D

    Not sure what’s up with de Guzman. He’s STILL without a club? He either needs to drop his salary requirements or retire.


    • JCC

      Yeah I was actually surprised he wasn’t called up. He finished the season with 7 goals down in Uruguay. Tied for 5th in the league.


  • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain

    no mention of whether Jakovic is on the roster or off? Nice reporting… last I checked DC United has several Canadians… 4 I believe…


    • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain

      They did not call up Porter, which surprises me a little. He has been quite decent for DC United. Jakovic hasn’t been playing, so that is more understandable.


  • SBI Troll

    Canada? Their stay in the Gold Cup will last as long as the short lived SBI feature “Canada’s Corner” a few years ago.


    • TD

      Mexico, Panama, Canada, Martinique. This is a decent group, but if Canada can pull 3 points out of its first two games, then they are going to be in the mix on the last day of group play. Doesn’t seem insurmountable.


  • Red I

    The decision to leave Hutchinson was not out of wanting to play a younger squad. He’s clearly one of the best, if not the best, Canadian soccer player right now… he’s out of contract and probably declined an invite (as did Andre Hainault) as he looks to be healthy, not risk injury before signing a contract. You have to tip your hat to players like De Guzman who show up even when out of contract.

    Lucas Cavallini declined as well… guess he’s preparing for next season, or whatever


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