Three Whitecaps FC players called up to Canadian men's national team training camp
VANCOUVER, BC – The Canadian Soccer Association announced today that Vancouver Whitecaps FC midfielder Russell Teibert and left back Sam Adekugbe have been called up to the Canadian senior men’s national team for an upcoming training camp in Valencia, Spain. Canada's 33-man squad also includes Whitecaps FC Residency defender Jackson Farmer.
The camp, which will be the first under the leadership of head coach Benito Floro, will run from September 1-11. During that time, Canada will play a pair of international friendlies against Mauritania on September 8 and September 10 (both kickoff times set for 8:30 a.m. PT) at the Oliva Nova complex near Valencia.
For Floro the camp will be an important first step in establishing a new tactical plan and relationship with the players.
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"This first camp is important for us as we want to achieve our tactical structure as soon as possible," said Floro. "It will also be important to establish the relationship between the coaches and players."
Floro has opted to call-in a blend of youth and experience for the camp with many regulars from Canada’s FIFA World Cup™ Qualifiers and CONCACAF Gold Cup campaigns returning to the fold; but also with three players, including Adekugbe and Farmer, earning their first call-ups to the Men’s National Team.
"For me, the age of the player is not necessarily important," said Floro. "What is important is the tactical behaviour of the player on the pitch and the level of the player's ability. I have brought in a number of young players because I like the level they are playing at - and if things progress well - we will be able to bring in more youth players in the coming years."
Teibert will join the Canadian national team on September 3 and return to Vancouver following their first friendly on September 9, meaning he will only be unavailable for Whitecaps FC’s September 7 match at FC Dallas.
The 20-year-old winger has made a total of four appearances with the Canadian men’s national team after making his debut in August 2012. Most recently, he played 90 minutes for the Red and White in a 1-0 loss to Martinique July 7 at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The two-time Canadian U-17 Player of the Year also started all four of his appearances with the Canadian men’s U-23 side during their qualifying campaign for the 2012 Men’s Olympic Football Tournament.
A graduate of Whitecaps FC’s Residency program, Teibert has emerged into one of the team’s most consistent performers in his third season in Major League Soccer. The Niagara Falls, Ont. native has started 16 of his 17 appearances and is among the league leaders with eight assists.
Since his two-goal performance May 11 against Los Angeles Galaxy, Teibert has made a career-high 12 straight starts – not taking into account the three matches he missed as a result of a call-up to Canada at last month's Gold Cup.
Adekugbe and Farmer, meanwhile, were both members of Canada’s men’s U-18 national team at the recent 2013 COTIF U-20 Tournament in l’Alcúdia, Spain.
The 18-year-old defenders are coming off two successful seasons with the Whitecaps FC Residency program, in which they made consecutive trips to the United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) Finals Week.
Adekugbe, who signed a Homegrown contract with Whitecaps FC today, August 28, started 55 of his 57 appearances with the U-16s and U-18s respectively, scoring three goals over the period. Born in London, England, the promising young fullback immigrated to Calgary with his family in 2004, at the age of nine, and recently received his permanent residence from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Farmer, who has previously represented Canada at the U-15 level, started all 60 of his USSDA appearances over the last two seasons, scoring a pair of goals. In October 2010, the Edmonton, Alberta, native was Canada’s captain for a friendly against the United States U-15 national team.
Both Adekugbe and Farmer will be with the Canadian national team for the duration of the camp.