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Akinola selected for Canada Men’s National Team camp

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Ayo Akinola impressed in his U.S. Men’s National Team debut earlier this month with his first senior goal, but will now get a new opportunity with another Concacaf-based team.

Canada Men’s National Team head coach John Herdman released his 28-player roster for a January camp, which featured Akinola along with six other MLS-based players. No friendlies have been lined up yet for Canada, but it will serve as a new opportunity for Herdman to get a glimpse at several young, talented players.

“As a step towards FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, the January camp provides our Men’s National Team with an opportunity to re-immerse the group both tactically and culturally towards competitive matches in March,” said Herdman in Wednesday’s press release. “As this is the first time we will be on the pitch with some players in over a year, it will be important to focus on performances as we build towards the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.”

Akinola, who is also eligible for Nigeria as well as the USMNT and Canada, scored nine goals in 15 games in an eye-raising breakout MLS season with Toronto FC. The 20-year-old has mainly featured for the U.S. Youth National Teams in the past, scoring 38 goals in 51 combined appearances between the U-17, U-20, and U-23 teams.

In addition to Akinola, six other MLS players earned their first call-up to January’s camp in Bradenton, Florida. Joel Waterman, Cristián Gutiérrez, Dayne St. Clair, Alistair Johnston, Tajon Buchanan, and Ralph Priso will all be joining Akinola next month at IMG Academy.

Several MLS veterans will also be included in camp with Mark Anthony-Kaye, Samuel Piette, and Jonathan Osorio serving as the headliners.

Canada is currently No. 72 overall in the FIFA Men’s Rankings, which is good for seventh among Concacaf nations.

Comments

  1. He will have to make an interesting choice: Go with the USA who has been the better team historically (and presently)and risk getting little playing time, or with Canada where he has a better chance of being a starter, but on a weaker team. I suppose, in the end, it comes down to his confidence in himself.

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  2. Canada has young, promising forwards. (1)Davies can play forward, just look at the game where Canada beat us. (2) David plays for Lille and scored a lot in Belgium before moving to France. (3) Cavallini scored in Liga MX before coming to the Whitecaps. (4) Tesho Akindele has had a decent MLS career; Canada has used him as a forward. (4) Marcelo Flores of Arsenal’s academy. (5)Theo Corbeanu, who is a promising player for Wolves. So, Akinola is probably looking at being on the edge there too, but overall, it is probably a little less depth than the US has right now.

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  3. While I hate loosing players, I have to agree with Peralta that if he does choose Canada that it won’t be too much of a loss. He’s behind:
    Sargent, Morris, Gioacchini, & Soto.
    He’s in direct competition w/ Novakovich, Dike & Zardes.
    If we win the battle for Balogun he’ll be even deeper down the depth chart. And with the next generation of strikers (Hoppe, etc…) on the horizon his involvement would be limited to “B-Team” appearances only.

    If he goes with Canada he’ll at least make the roster most every window.

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  4. I understand this guy Akinola, to me he’s better off with the Canada National team that USMNT. They’re many guys ahead of him in the USMNT that he doesn’t have any chance to be selected to the USMNT first team.

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