Canada's future: 5 players to look out for
The Canadian men’s national team has struggled to find success on the international stage recently, but with each new World Cup cycle comes another opportunity to return to the big dance. In order to achieve success in the future, though, they’ll need an influx of fresh faces. We take a look at five such players to look out for in the coming years.
A talented striker who has spent time with SC Paderborn and FC St. Pauli in Germany while currently playing for English Premier League club Blackburn Rovers.
He’s yet to bag a Premier League goal for the Rovers, but he has scored in the Carling Cup and played a vital role in Blackburn’s quarterfinal upset over Chelsea last year, earning a penalty in extratime and later potting the deciding strike in a shootout.
He’s played eight matches so far this season and at only 20 years of age, the best appears yet to come from the Ottawa, Ontario, native.
Hoilett is also eligible to play for Jamaica through his family roots, but Canadian fans hope that they won’t have their hearts broken again (see: Bunbury, Teal) and that he’ll ultimately choose to suit up for his home and native land.
A strong 6-foot-4 defender whose professional career got off to a flying start. On New Year’s day of 2007 he made his home debut for Newcastle United against Manchester United at only 19 years of age. That alone would have been quite the accomplishment, but this was no quiet game for Edgar.
Trailing 2-1 with 15 minutes to play, and after keeping Cristiano Ronaldo quiet throughout the match, Edgar blasted a 30 yard strike past Edwin Van der Sar to give his club a 2-2 draw.
The native of Kitchener, Ontario, has since moved to Burnley FC, but has had trouble finding a consistent place in the first team lineup. While he was called into Canada’s October camp for a friendly against the Ukraine, he has yet to make his debut for the Canadian men’s national team. However, if the 23 year old can regain the form that he exhibited at Newcastle, there’s no question that he’s capable of anchoring the Canadian back line for years to come.
Vancouver’s first ever homegrown player signing, Davies has made a rapid ascension up the Whitecaps FC ladder the past year. After spending two years in the Residency program, Davies was given a shot to step up to the first team last season. His consistent play on the right wing earned him 26 starts, and eventually an MLS contract.
The 19-year-old native of Longueuil, Quebec, has played for both the U-17 and U-20 national teams, and if he can continue to demonstrate his ability to deliver pinpoint crosses, he just may find himself on the men’s national team.
Like Davies, Lindsay is a Canadian MLS homegrown player signing. Only recently graduating from the Toronto FC Academy, Lindsay is still a very raw prospect.
However, the promise that the 18 year old winger showed in his brief time playing in MLS cannot be ignored. The youngster assisted on three goals in only four league matches down the stretch and showed poise on the ball beyond his years.
The Brampton, Ontario, native was recently called into camp with the U-20 national team, and while it’s still early to gauge his true potential, he’s definitely a player to keep an eye on for the future.
Another product of Vancouver Whitecaps FC who spent time with dutch club FC Groningen, Haber is a speedy 6-foot-3 striker who loves to run at defenders.
The Vancouver native turned his USL Rookie of the Year performance in 2009 into a move across the pond to Premier League club West Bromwich Albion. However, the 21 year old has so far been unable to break into the first team lineup and has gone on loan spells to League One outfit Exeter City FC and, more recently, Scottish club St. Johnstone FC.
Unlike the others on the list, Haber has earned his first cap for the national team, coming on for 16 minutes against Ukraine in October. A season-ending ACL injury has set back his progress this year, but expect to see Haber making an impact for the Red and White in the not so distant future.