Vancouver Whitecaps FC, in conjunction with the Canadian Soccer Association, announced today that striker Charles Gbeke has been called up to Canada’s men’s national team for the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Gbeke is included in Stephen Hart’s squad, as Canada begins their Gold Cup campaign against Jamaica in Los Angeles, California, on Friday, July 3. The call-up comes after Gbeke earned two caps during 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying last year. The six-foot-two, 210-pound striker came on as a substitute in time added on during a 2-2 draw with Mexico in Edmonton, Alberta on October 15. He then played a full 90 minutes in Canada’s 3-0 away defeat to Jamaica on November 19.
Gbeke made his international debut for Canada in a 1-0 away victory over Martinique on January 30, 2008. He also started and scored for Canada in a 2-0 friendly win over Danish club Vejle Boldklub on February 3, 2008.
Born in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, and raised in Longueil, Quebec, Gbeke is in his ninth season in the United Soccer Leagues First Division. This season, Gbeke has scored four goals and added two assists in 14 matches played for the Whitecaps.
Canada roster also includes three former Whitecaps in Adrian Cann (2006 – 08), Kevin Harmse (2005 – 06), and Chris Pozniak (2008).
The biennial confederation championship runs from July 3 to 26 across 13 cities in the United States. Canada’s first three matches are July 3 against Jamaica (Los Angeles, CA), July 7 against El Salvador (Columbus, OH), and July 10 against Costa Rica (Miami, FL).
The Whitecaps next match is tomorrow at 4 p.m. PDT (USLlive.com) in Bedford, Ohio, versus Cleveland City Stars. The Whitecaps next home match at Swangard Stadium is on July 9 against Minnesota Thunder. Whitecaps individual match tickets start at just $18 and are available at all Ticketmaster Ticket Centres, online at ticketmaster.ca, and by phone at 604.280.4400 or 1.800.663.9311. Visit whitecapsfc.com for information on match tickets.