The Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) announced today that Vancouver Whitecaps FC midfielders Bryce Alderson and Russell Teibert have been called up to Canada’s U-23 Olympic team for an eight-day training camp ahead of the 2012 CONCACAF men’s Olympic qualifying tournament. The training camp will take place in Sunrise, Florida, from next Tuesday, March 13, to Tuesday, March 20.
Alderson (pictured) and Teibert are part of a 23-player squad that former Whitecaps FC head coach Tony Fonseca and his U-23 Olympic team coaching staff will choose a 20-player roster from for the Olympic qualifying tournament that takes place in the United States from Thursday, March 22, to Monday, April 2. Canada have been drawn in Group A of the Olympic qualifying tournament and will play all three matches at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee. They first face El Salvador on March 22 before taking on hosts United States on Saturday, March 24. They wrap up their group schedule versus Cuba on Monday, March 26. Canada will need to finish in the top two in Group A in order to make the all-important semifinals on Saturday, March 31. The semifinal winners will qualify for this summer’s Men's Olympic Football Tournament in London, England.
This is Teibert’s second call-up to Canada’s U-23 squad after participating in a two-week training camp with the squad in early 2011. Alderson, meanwhile, makes the jump to the U-23 Olympic level after captaining Canada at last year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico and participating in a 10-day training camp with Canada’s U-20 national team last December. Fonseca’s squad also includes four former members of Whitecaps FC. Goalkeeper Simon Thomas currently plays with English League One outfit Huddersfield Town FC, while midfielder Philippe Davies was part of Vancouver’s inaugural Major League Soccer squad in 2011. Striker Marcus Haber played for the ‘Caps at the North American second division level in 2009 and 2010 before joining his current club in Scottish Premier League side St. Johnstone FC. Haber is the lone returning player from Canada’s last Olympic qualifying campaign in 2008. Fellow forward Kyle Porter appeared for the ‘Caps during the 2010 United States Soccer Federation Division-2 Professional League season before joining North American Soccer League side FC Edmonton last year.
Canada have previously appeared in two Men's Olympic Football Tournaments. They were hosts at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal before finishing fifth at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, California. Canada won the men’s soccer gold medal at the St. Louis Olympics in 1904.