CSA & Whitecaps FC
Canada's U-20 men's national team continued their preparations for the CONCACAF U-20 Championship with a pair of friendly matches in Sunrise, Florida, this past weekend.
The squad, which includes seven Vancouver Whitecaps FC players, fell 1-0 to Jamaica U-20's on Friday before earning a goalless draw with USA's U-20 squad on Sunday. The two games were Canada's final tune-up games before heading to Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday for the upcoming CONCACAF tournament.
Led by former Whitecaps men's team head coach Tony Fonseca, Canada will open their campaign in Group B versus hosts Trinidad & Tobago on Saturday before facing Mexico next Monday. They conclude their group games on Wednesday, March 11, versus Costa Rica. The young Canadians will need to finish in the top two in order to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt later this year.
Friday's friendly with the U-20 Reggae Boyz was decided on the hour mark, as John-Ross Doyley volleyed home a Jamaica corner to give the Caribbean youngsters the win. Canada's starting line-up included recent men's team signing Marcus Haber and Residency centre back Adam Straith, who has been spending the 2008-09 season on loan with the youth set-up at German Bundesliga club FC Energie Cottbus. Residency midfielder Philippe Davies was also in the starting XI, while teammates Randy Edwini-Bonsu, Ethan Gage, Julien Latendresse-Lévesque, and Kyle Porter all appeared in the second half. Jamaica's U-20 squad, meanwhile, includes Whitecaps striker Dever Orgill.
Canada fared better in Sunday's 0-0 stalemate with Thomas Rongen's American squad, despite the match being played in unpleasant conditions in South Florida. Fonseca played an all-Residency pairing of Edwini-Bonsu and Porter in attack, while Straith and Davies earned starts at centre back and midfield respectively. Gage came into the contest on 62 minutes when he replaced Toronto FC defender Nana Attakora-Gyan.
The Canadians are looking to qualify for their fifth straight U-20 World Cup at Trinidad & Tobago 2009, having appeared in each of the last four finals since Argentina 2001. In all, Canada have participated in half of the 16 U-20 World Cup tournaments that have taken place since 1977.