The Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) announced today that nine members of Vancouver Whitecaps FC have been called up to Canada's U-17 and U-20 national team squads for training camps this month.
The U-17 squad are in the final stages of their preparations for the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, which takes later this month in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The four semifinalists in the tournament will join host Mexico at this summer's FIFA U-17 World Cup. The U-20 squad, meanwhile, are preparing for this April's CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Four teams from that tournament will qualify for this year's FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia.
Canadian U-17 national team coach Sean Fleming has selected six members of the current Residency squad in a 23-player squad for this final preparation camp. Defenders Adam Polakiewicz and Daniel Stanese will be joined in Sunrise, Florida, by the midfield trio of Bryce Alderson, Wesley Cain, and Matteo Pasquotti. Ethiopian-born Yassin Essa, meanwhile, is one of six strikers to be selected. Fleming will select his final 20-player squad for the CONCACAF U-17 Championship from this group of 23 players.
U-20 head coach Valerio Gazzola, meanwhile, has picked three Whitecaps FC players for his 21-man training squad. The Whitecaps FC Residency pair of midfielder Kevin Cobby and striker Coulton Jackson have been selected, as has Residency graduate Russell Teibert. The Niagara Falls, Ontario, native has been in preseason training with Vancouver's Major League Soccer squad, having scored a fine goal in a training match versus MLS rivals Real Salt Lake in Casa Grande, Arizona, on Tuesday.
These latest squad announcements come on the heels of last month's Canadian U-18 national team training camp, in which four Residency players took part. Goalkeeper Callum Irving, centre back Ben McKendry, defender Tim Hickson, and midfielder Ben Fisk were part of a 20-player squad that travelled to San Jose, Costa Rica, for the training camp in late January.