VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC confirmed today that Residency graduates Sam Adekugbe, Marco Bustos and Kianz Froese have been called up to the Canadian men's national team for the upcoming international friendly against Ghana in Washington, DC on Tuesday, October 13.
The fixture against the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finalists will be a chance for head coach Benito Floro's side to prepare for the fourth round of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying where they will meet Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador in Group A. Canada opens the third round of qualifying in Vancouver on Friday, November 13 against Honduras at BC Place. Tickets are now on sale at ticketmaster.ca.
Adekugbe, Bustos and Froese all figured in Canada's 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championships campaign in Jamaica last January, when each player registered on the score sheet. Adekugbe picked up an assist versus Haiti, while Bustos scored against Honduras and Froese scored against El Salvador.
Adekugbe, 20, recently made his first senior international cap in Canada's 1-1 draw in the second leg of the third round of FIFA World Cup qualifying versus Belize on September 8. The Calgary-raised defender was named to the MLS Team of the Week earlier this year after making his first start of the season against Chicago Fire. The third-year MLS player has started seven of his nine league appearances, and appeared in three CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) matches.
Bustos, 19, earns his first call-up to the senior men's national team. The attacking midfielder appeared in all three CCL matches for Whitecaps FC as a second-half substitute, while finishing the 2015 USL season with seven goals in 17 matches for Whitecaps FC 2, tied for the team-high. The Winnipeg-born midfielder earned three USL Team of the Week selections this year.
Froese, 19, is being called up to Canada's senior men's national team for the third time. The midfielder has had a productive year with Whitecaps FC, scoring match-winning goals at New York Red Bulls in MLS play on June 20, and versus C.D. Olimpia in CCL competition on September 16. In addition, Froese also recorded an assist in the first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship final at Montreal Impact on August 12. In total, Froese has played in 14 matches with the first team in all competitions this season.
Adekugbe, Bustos and Froese will leave after the October 3 match versus San Jose Earthquakes to join the national team in Orlando, Florida before flying to Washington, DC for the international friendly. They are expected to rejoin Whitecaps FC in time for the October 14 road match at FC Dallas.
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