Kambere earns Olympic team call-up


CSA & Whitecaps FC

Canada’s U-23 Olympic men’s team head coach Nick Dasovic has named his provisional roster for the next month’s CONCACAF Olympic qualification tournament in the United States.

With three weeks remaining before Canada embarks on its qualification campaign for the Beijing Olympics next August, the former Vancouver Whitecaps defender has identified 30 players ahead of the team’s training camp in Oxnard, California, on March 1.

Included in the provisional squad is Whitecaps defender Diaz Kambere. The Ugandan-born youngster made 16 appearances in his second season with the club in 2007, with 10 of those appearances coming as a starter. Kambere’s progress into the Whitecaps first team has been impressive, with the 22-year-old first joining the club’s reserve team in 2005. Prior to becoming a professional, the Surrey, BC, native was a standout player with both the Trinity Western University Spartans and the Langara College Falcons.

Kambere will hope to impress during the team’s California training camp, with Dasovic needing to select a final 20-man squad for the qualification tournament by March 10. "I am looking forward to getting the team together, so we can finally start our preparations," Dasovic told CanadaSoccer.com. "The CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament is a difficult one, but I feel confident in the players that we have selected to represent our country. I can't wait to get the tournament started."

Canada face a difficult qualification campaign for Beijing 2008. Dasovic’s squad will play Mexico (March 12), Haiti (March 14) and Guatemala (March 16) in Group B of the CONCACAF U-23 Championship in Carson, California. The top two nations from Group B will then advance to crossover semifinal games with the top two sides from Group A – which will consist of the United States, Cuba, Honduras and Panama - in Nashville, Tennessee on March 20. The two semifinal winners will not only advance to the March 23 final in Nashville, but also claim the two CONCACAF places in the men’s Olympic Football Tournament in Beijing. Canada last appeared in the men’s Olympic Football Tournament in 1984 in Los Angeles.

Canadian U-23 Olympic team – provisional squad

(Whitecaps & BC players and staff in bold)

G - Joshua Wagenaar - Grimsby, ON - Unattached
G - Asmir Begovic - Edmonton, AB – Portsmouth (England)
G - Roberto Giacomi - Toronto, ON - Unattached
D - Nana Attakora-Gyan - Orangeville, ON - Toronto FC
D - Matthew Britner - Halifax, NS - Brown University
D - David Edgar - Kitchener, ON - Newcastle United (England)
D - André Hainault - Hudson, QC - Sparta Prague/FK SIAD Most (Czech Republic)
D - Tyler Hemming - London, ON - Toronto FC
D - Diaz Kambere - Surrey, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC
D - Nikolas Ledgerwood - Lethbridge, AB - 1860 Munich (Germany)
D - Paris Nakajima-Farran - Calgary, AB - Næstved BK (Denmark)
D - Kennedy Owusu-Ansah - Toronto, ON - Hertha Berlin (Germany)
D - Brad Peetoom - Abbotsford, BC - University of Syracuse
D - Graham Ramalho - Calgary, AB - FC Groningen (Netherlands)
D - Alex Suprenant - St-Alexandre, QC – Montreal Impact
M - Keegan Ayre - Coquitlam, BC - Berwick Rangers/Hibernian (Scotland)
M - Brandon Bonifacio - Vancouver, BC - SC Cambuur-Leeuwarden (Netherlands)
M - Jonathan Beaulieu-Bourgault - Île Bizard, QC - St. Pauli (Germany)
M - Ryan Gyaki - Calgary, AB - Hansa Rostock (Germany)
M - Dejan Jakovic - Etobicoke, ON - University of Alabama Birmingham
M - Jacob Lensky - Vancouver, BC - Feyenoord (Netherlands)
M - Cristian Nunez - Montréal, QC – Montreal Impact
M - Andrzej Ornoch - Scarborough, ON - Esbjerg fB (Denmark)
M - Tyler Rosenlund - Port Coquitlam, BC - Unattached
M/F - Will Johnson - Toronto, ON - De Graafschap/SC Heerenveen (Netherlands)
M/F - Kyle Hall - Toronto, ON - Syracuse University
F/D - Marcus Haber - Vancouver, BC - FC Groningen (Netherlands)
F - Frank Jonke - Pickering, ON - University of Louisville
F - Andrea Lombardo - Toronto, ON - Toronto FC
F - Tosaint Ricketts - Edmonton, AB - University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

Head Coach: Nick Dasovic - Burnaby, BC
Assistant Coach: Tony Fonseca - Vancouver, BC
Assistant Coach: Mark Watson - Vancouver, BC
Equipment manager/Goalkeeper coach: Kevin Muldoon - Oakville, ON
Doctor: Dr. Michael Campbell - Abbotsford, BC
National teams administrator: Dave Nutt - Ottawa, ON