Canadian Soccer Association announced today that six members of Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency have been called up to Canada's U-17 national team in advance of this month’s FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico.
Residency defenders Adam Polakiewicz and Daniel Stanese join midfielders Bryce Alderson, Wesley Cain, Yassin Essa, and Matteo Pasquotti on head coach Sean Fleming's 23-player squad that will travel to Pachuca, Mexico, for final preparations on Wednesday. As part of their build-up for Mexico 2011, Canada will play two international friendlies versus Ecuador on Saturday and Australia next Monday.
Five of the six selected Residency players took part in Canada's successful qualification for their first U-17 World Cup since 1995 when they led their country to a runners-up finish at the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Joining that quintet is speedy attacker Essa, who impressed Fleming during recent U-17 national team training camps.
Fleming's 23-player roster is also comprised mainly of players from the academy set-ups of three Canadian professional clubs. Along with the six members of Whitecaps FC Residency, eight members of Toronto FC Academy are in the squad, as are three members of the Montreal Impact Academy. In all, 17 of the 23 players that have been selected are involved in academies at professional clubs in Canada.
Mexico 2011 will mark Canada's fifth participation in a FIFA U-17 World Cup. Drawn in Group C, Canada will face Uruguay on Sunday, June 19, before taking on England on Wednesday, June 22. Fleming's squad complete their group-stage campaign versus Rwanda on Saturday, June 25. All three of Canada's group matches will be played in Pachuca, Mexico. Should Canada advance from the group stage, they will play in the Round of 16 on either on Wednesday, June 29, or Thursday, June 30. The quarterfinals are set for Sunday, July 3, and Monday, July 4, while the semifinals will take place on Thursday, July 7. The third-place match and the final will take place Mexico City's world-famous Estadio Azteca on Sunday, July 10.
The 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup begins Saturday, June 18, in seven cities across Mexico. Final rosters for all 24 competing teams will be announced next Monday.