They may be good enough to be on the Canadian national team, but will they be good enough to earn a contract in MLS?
Following Canada’s first training camp of 2013, which concluded with Tuesday's 0-0 draw with the United States, Andres Fresenga, Evan James (above) and Simon Thomas have joined Vancouver Whitecaps FC on trial in Arizona. Whitecaps FC on Wednesday confirmed that all three players have arrived and will train with the squad in Casa Grande.
Thomas picked up a shutout in his first national team start against the US and also played the second half of Canada’s 4-0 loss to Denmark last Saturday, giving up one goal.
When asked about his MLS trial after Tuesday’s game, Thomas instead chose to focus on his national team performance.
Highlights: USA 0, Canada 0
“I’m just over the moon with it,” he told reporters. "I’ll sort out my club very soon and I’m looking forward to getting some first-team football on a regular basis.”
Breaking into the 'Caps starting lineup would seem to be a tall order with Joe Cannon and Brad Knighton the goalkeeping incumbents in Vancouver. But it is a chance for Thomas to return to where it all started.
Born in nearby Victoria, Thomas joined the Whitecaps FC Residency program and made his professional debut in 2010 when Vancouver were in the short-lived USSF Division 2. He most recently played with Huddersfield Town, but wasn’t offered a new contract when his previous deal expired in June.
James was drafted by the Montreal Impact first overall in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft, but never found a spot in the team and was let go at the end of last season.
Fresenga is still under contract with Uruguayan side Racing Club de Montevideo, telling Red Nation Online in December that if he sticks with Vancouver, it would be on a season-long loan deal.
Gavin Day covers the Canadian national team for MLSsoccer.com