Four Vancouver Whitecaps FC players have been called up to Canada's U-20 national team for the 2011 CONCACAF U-20 Championship that begins tomorrow in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
Whitecaps FC winger Russell Teibert joins the Whitecaps FC Residency trio of defender Derrick Bassi, midfielder Ben Fisk, and striker Coulton Jackson in a 20-player squad that was selected by head coach Valerio Gazzola. The quartet join Omar Salgado in earning call-ups to their country's U-20 national team, with the Whitecaps FC striker called into the United States U-20 side for Guatemala 2011.
The Canadians have been drawn in Group C at this year's CONCACAF U-20 Championship. They face Guadeloupe on Monday before facing reigning CONCACAF U-20 champions Costa Rica on Friday. The top two teams from each of the four groups will advance to the all-important quarterfinals, with the four winners not only advancing to the championship semifinals, but earning qualification to the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia.
"We are ready to challenge for a FIFA U-20 World Cup spot," Gazzola told CanadaSoccer.com. "The players are upbeat and ready to play."
Canada's U-20 squad also includes two former members of Whitecaps FC Residency. Goalkeeper Julien Latendresse-Lévesque is in his second season on loan at German outfit FC Energie Cottbus, while midfielder Ethan Gage recently completed a move to English League Championship side Reading FC.