Perhaps Russell Teibert had a lot of pent up energy. Perhaps it was just the thrill of his first senior cap.
Whatever the underlying cause, the youngster was one of the standout performers on Wednesday night, as Canada beat Trinidad & Tobago 2-0 in a friendly.
After coming on, Teibert made himself very busy and was played in on goal twice in a matter of minutes, missing both chances. But a short memory is good in an attacker, and Teibert put the misses behind him and kept finding space in the final third.
It paid off when Will Johnson earned the penalty for Canada’s second goal after he was played in on a ball by Teibert.
“He’s been the sharpest guy in camp by far, so it’s been awesome to see the young guys coming through. I thought he did really well,” said Johnson of Teibert. “He was bright. He wanted the ball and got himself in some great spots, and on another night, he could have had one or two.”
Coming into camp, Teibert had gotten his first minutes of the season in Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s 2-1 win over Johnson and his Real Salt Lake opponents last Saturday.
Though they were opponents on Saturday, Johnson and Teibert were a formidable duo in that Canadian midfield. Given the relative brevity of this national team camp, he’s certainly impressed both his colleagues on the field and the boss as well.
“He got into good positions. He played without fear for his debut game,” said head coach Stephen Hart. “I like that. I like that lot. It was almost like he had a point to prove.”
It may yet be too soon for Teibert to be included in the Canadian squad when it really matters next month, but he’s certainly laid the groundwork for the future. And if he can replicate the form he showed in the Canadian jersey with his club, that future could come sooner than expected.