The Canadian Soccer Association announced today that four Vancouver Whitecaps FC players have been called up to the Canadian senior men’s national team for an upcoming training camp in Florida. Included on Canada’s 23-player squad are Whitecaps FC defender Sam Adekugbe, Whitecaps FC U-23 midfielder Ben Fisk, and Whitecaps FC U-18 Residency defender Jackson Farmer and midfielder Kianz Froese.
The team assembles on Sunday, January 12, in Sunrise, Florida and will train in the sunshine state until Wednesday, January 22.
These will be the second call-ups to the senior men’s national team for Adekugbe, Farmer, and Froese, who all took part in head coach Benito Floro’s first camp in August. Farmer went on to make his national team debut against Mauritania on September 8, 2013. Each of the three young players also took part in camps with Canada’s U-18 national team last year, while Froese represented Canada at the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
This will be the first senior national team call-up for Fisk, who is another graduate of Whitecaps FC’s Residency program and has previously represented Canada at the U-20 level. Joining the four current ‘Caps players on the roster is fellow Whitecaps FC Residency graduate Kyle Porter.
Adekugbe, 18, made his professional debut in the ‘Caps regular season finale this past season, playing the full 90 minutes in a 3-0 victory over Colorado Rapids. The resident of Calgary, Alberta, also made six starts in the MLS Reserve League, scoring one goal and recording one assist. In United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) action this season, Adekugbe has started 11 of his 12 appearances, scoring three goals.
Fisk, 20, is coming off a season on loan at United Soccer Leagues (USL) PRO club Charleston Battery, scoring two goals and recording three assists in eight appearances before missing time with a meniscus injury. The native of Vancouver, BC, was a member of the club's Residency program from 2009 to 2011.
Farmer, 18, is tied for the team lead on the U-18 Residency team with 13 starts in as many matches in the USSDA this season, while also contributing one goal. Last year, the native of Edmonton, Alberta, made two starts with Whitecaps FC in the MLS Reserve League.
Froese, 17, has started eight of his nine USSDA appearances this season, leading the team with six goals. In MLS Reserve League action last year, the resident of Brunkild, Manitoba, started all four of his appearances, recording one assist.
Entering his first full year in charge, Floro’s continuing his plan to develop Canada’s younger players, and develop depth in the program. In fact, 12 players in this camp – including all four from Whitecaps FC – will be eligible to represent Canada’s under-23 team that will attempt to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“My thought is always the same in every camp. (It’s) to teach and train players to improve our capacity defensively and offensively around the complete system of play,” said Floro. “(I want to) take advantage of the qualities of the Canadian footballer, who have good physical and technical qualities but need to be more competitive, this means to make hard presses and develop very good combined attack.”
GK- Lars Hirschfeld | NOR / Valerenga Fotball
GK- Kenny Stamatopoulos | SWE / A.I.K.
GK- Maxime Crépeau | CAN / Montreal Impact
D- Ashtone Morgan | CAN / Toronto FC
D- Luca Gasparotto | SCO / Rangers FC
D- Nana Attakora | USA / D.C. United
D- Doneil Henry | CAN / Toronto FC
D- Jackson Farmer | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
D- Karl Ouimette | CAN / Impact de Montréal
D- Andres Fresenga | CAN / Ottawa Fury FC
D- Sam Adekugbe | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
D- Elias Roubos | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
M- Kyle Bekker | CAN / Toronto FC
M- Kianz Froese | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
M- Manuel Aparicio | CAN / Toronto FC
M- Adam Straith | unattached / sans club
M- Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé | CAN / Académie Impact de Montréal
M- Ben Fisk | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23
M- Dylan Carreiro | ENG / Queen’s Park Rangers
F- Kyle Porter | USA / D.C. United
F- Frank Jonke | CAN / FC Edmonton
F- Jordan Hamilton | CAN / Toronto FC Academy