In the second part of our two part 'Caps for Canada Year in Review, we take a look at the men's side of call-ups for the Blue and White this year.
While much attention was given to the senior men's national team and their efforts to get to the hexagonal phase of World Cup qualifying, the younger age groups were putting in work to ensure that we can look forward to a bright future for Canadian men's soccer.
Of note, Russell Teibert earned his first call-up to the senior men's national team, while a parade of 'Caps Residency products littered U-20, U-18, U-17 and U-15 rosters.
On the men’s side there were a total of 25 current male players who were called up to Canadian national teams in 2012. That number increases to 27 player call-ups when you factor in that Teibert (U-23 and senior MNT) and Bryce Alderson (U-23 and U-20) were each called up to two seperate national squads.
Breaking it down:
- 1 to the senior men's national team
- 2 to the men's U-23 Olympic team
- 7 to the men's U-20 team
- 6 to the men's U-18 team
- 6 to the men's U-17 team
- 5 to the boys' U-15 team
CANADA MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM (1)
Promising 'Caps first team youngster Russell Teibert (pictured below right) was one of four new faces in head coach Stephen Hart’s 18-man squad for Canada’s international friendly with Trinidad & Tobago in Florida in in August.
The teenager played 28 minutes in the 2-0 victory after coming on for Patrice Bernier in the 62nd minute, impressing those who saw him play. Expect additional call-ups for the ‘Caps youngster in the not-so-distant future.
CANADA MEN’S U-23 OLYMPIC SQUAD (2)
In early March, Whitecaps FC midfielders Bryce Alderson and Russell Teibert were called up to Canada’s U-23 Olympic team for an eight-day training camp from March 13 in Sunrise, Florida, ahead of the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament.
The pair made the final 20-player roster and played important roles for the team during the qualifying tournament in Nashville, Tennessee from March 22 to April 2.
In addition to Alderson and Teibert, fellow Whitecaps FC Residency graduates Philippe Davies and Randy Edwini-Bonsu were also on the squad, as well as former ‘Caps men’s team striker Marcus Haber.
CANADA MEN’S UNDER 20 TEAM (7)
Six Whitecaps FC players, including five from the Residency program were called up by U-20 national team coach Nick Dasovic for a nine-day training camp in Mexico at the start of July.
Among the 20 players were Under-18 Whitecaps FC Residency graduates Callum Irving (goalkeeper, University of Kentucky), defender Daniel Stanese (Florida Gulf Coast), midfielders Ben McKendry (University of
Homegrown players Alderson and striker Caleb Clarke (pictured left) were then called up for an eight-day camp with the U-20 team in Florida in early September. The side played two exhibition matches against Trinidad and Tobago during the camp, with Clarke creating headlines thanks to his three goals in the two matches.
At the start of October, Clarke, Alderson and Fisk were chosen for a 10-day camp in Spain which began on October 7. The camp included the four-team Marbella Cup, which resulted in a stunning 2-1 win over USA and defeats to Azerbaijan and Scotland.
This month, Alderson, Clarke, Essa, Fisk, Stanese, and Irving were called up for a 10-day camp in the United States and Costa Rica from November 20-30. Notably, Clarke scored two goals in a 2-0 win over Costa Rica, with one assisted by Fisk. Essa and Fisk also scored in an exhibition match against local competition, with Clarke setting up Fisk’s goal.
CANADA UNDER-18 MEN’S TEAM (6)
The U-18 team played the United States twice, on November 21 and 23, during an eight-day training camp in California in November.
Included in head coach Rob Gale’s squad were six Whitecaps FC Residency players: goalkeeper Nolan Wirth; defenders Sam Adekugbe, Quinton Duncan, and Jackson Farmer; as well as strikers Sebastian Cabrera and Brody Huitema.
The six 'Caps players selected for this project will be eligible to play at the CONCACAF and FIFA U-20 levels until 2015.
CANADA UNDER-17 MEN’S TEAM (6)
Four players from Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s Residency program earned call-ups to the U-17 national team in mid-April.
Goalkeeper Marco Carducci, defenders Alex Comsia and Jordan Haynes (pictured below) as well as midfielder Marco Bustos took part in a training camp under head coach Sean Fleming in Verona, Italy before playing in the eight-team Torneo della Nazioni tournament in Trieste from April 25-29.
On September 24, six players from Whitecaps FC’s Residency program were selected to represent the under-17 national team that took part in the AGS Cup in Spain.
Carducci, Comsia, Bustos and Haynes were joined by U-18 Residency midfielder Kianz Froese and striker Matthew Chow.
This month, Carducci, Froese, Comsia, Haynes and Bustos were called up once again to the U-17 team for a 10-day camp in the United States and Panama. During this November camp, Canada played the United States in Florida on November 18 before flying to Panama on November 21 to tackle the Panamanian U-18s on November 23 and 25.
The team is preparing for next year's CONCACAF Men's Under-17 Championship in April next year, with four CONCACAF teams to qualify for the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in October-November.
CANADA UNDER-15 BOYS' TEAM (5)
The fruits of Whitecaps FC’s Residency program were there for all to see when five players were selected to participate in an eight-team tournament in Mexico in June.
The Residency squad had more representatives in the U-15 side than any other Canadian club.