The Canadian Soccer Association announced on Wednesday that seven Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency players have been called up to Canada’s men’s U-18 national team for the upcoming 2013 COTIF U-20 Tournament set to take place from August 11 to 21 in l’Alcúdia, Spain.
Named to the 20-man roster are goalkeeper Nolan Wirth; defenders Sam Adekugbe, Quinton Duncan, and Jackson Farmer; midfielders Kianz Froese and Mitch Piraux; and striker Brody Huitema.
Huitema and Wirth are both former members of the BC Soccer Provincial Development program and the National Training Centre.
U-18 head coach Rob Gale will lead his side into the tournament in Spain where the young Canadians will come up against Japan, Argentina, Bulgaria and Belarus during the group stage.
“This high level of competition is going to be ideal for our boys,” said Gale ahead of the team’s depature for Europe.
“The overarching goal here is preparing this group of players for the next cycle of FIFA U-20 World Cup Qualifiers and this is the type of opposition we need to prove we can compete against.”
As has been a continuing theme for Canada’s youth program under the stewardship of technical director Tony Fonseca, Gale will ask his U-18s to continue to express themselves as creative footballers – even against some of the best youth sides in the world.
“We want to go into this tournament in a way that will continue to see us play the attacking brand of football we preach throughout our youth system,” said Gale.
Gale has selected a diverse group of players with talent being brought in from clubs across five countries.
“What’s promising is that there is an increasingly larger number of players playing day-in and day-out in professional environments,” said Gale.
“We will continue to offer opportunities to the players that are challenging themselves by fighting for professional contracts.
Queens Park Rangers midfield duo Dylan Carreiro and Michael Petrasso, who both featured with Canada’s U-20 team in earlier in 2013, have been named to the squad as they will again be eligible to feature in U-20 action in 2015.
Canadian defender Luca Gasparotto will also be eligible to join the U-20 team in 2015 – but he was not called in for the COTIF tournament as he continues to fight for a first-team place with Rangers FC in Scotland.
CANADA’s Men’s U-18 Team, 2013 COTIF U-20 Tournament
GK- Joseph Melong | USA / Shattuck-St. Mary’s
GK- Nolan Wirth | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
D- Samuel Adekugbe | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
D- Quinton Duncan | USA / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
D- Jackson Farmer | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
D- Enrique Garcea | BEL / Sporting de Charleroi
D- Brandon John | GER / AUE Erzigberge Reserves
D- Kevin Lafond | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal
M- Yacine Ait-Slimane | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal
M- Manuel Aparicio | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
M- Louis Béland-Goyette | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal
M- Dylan Carreiro | ENG / Queens Park Rangers
M- Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal
M- Kianz Froese | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
M- Michael Petrasso | ENG / Queens Park Rangers
M- Mitch Piraux | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
M- Dylan Sacramento | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
F- Calum Ferguson | SCO / Inverness Caledonian Thistle
F- Brody Huitema | USA / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
F- Bruno Zebie | CAN / FC Edmonton Academy