Four Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency players have been called up to Canada’s U-17 national team for an upcoming camp and series of international matches. Included on Canada’s 20-player squad are Michael Baldisimo and Gabriel Escobar from Vancouver’s U-18 side as well as Jefferson Alade and Alessandro Hojabrpour from the U-16s.
The three-nation series features Canada, Mexico, and host Panama, who are also the host for next year's 2017 CONCACAF Men's Under-17 Championship.
Canada’s nine-day camp runs from September 10-18, with matches to be played on September 13 (Panama vs. Mexico), September 15 (Canada vs. Mexico), and September 17 (Panama vs. Canada).
“This is a great opportunity to play in Panama and to see what it will be like in April with the climate and the atmosphere,” said Paul Stalteri, Canada Soccer's men's national U-17 team coach. “This will be another good test for these players.”
This marks the third camp for the group in 2016, following an evaluation camp in February and a pair of international matches in April. From the group of 20 players invited to the September camp, four are new to the national youth program.
“This is another good opportunity to see where we stand (as well as) a big opportunity for the new kids that haven't been with us before.”
Canada's 20 players are all born 2000 or later, making them eligible for next year's CONCACAF and FIFA U-17 competitions. Many of the players in this group have been part of Canada Soccer's men's national youth program since 2014.
Next year's CONCACAF Men's Under-17 Championship runs from April 21 to May 7 in Panama. From 12 nations, the top four will qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 (dates yet to be announced).
In preparation for 2017, the Panama trip is one of two Canada camps organized this month in a CONCACAF host nation. Earlier this month, Canada's U-20 squad played in Costa Rica, host nation for the 2017 CONCACAF Men's Under-20 Championship.
Canada Soccer’s Men’s EXCEL Program channels our nation’s exceptional players into the best soccer environments. The Canada Soccer Pathway works in collaboration with our provincial and territorial partners as well as the professional clubs and academies. For Canada’s elite players, the program emphasizes player development on the pathway to representing Canada’s men’s national team in international soccer.
GK- Gianluca Catalano | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
GK- Sebastian Sgarbossa | CAN / Waterloo United
CB- Julian Dunn-Johnson | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
CB- Afram Gorgees | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
CB- Antonio Rocco Romeo | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
FB- Michael Baldisimo | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-18 Residency
FB- Gabriel Escobar | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-18 Residency
FB- Leekwon Kinghorn | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
M- Jordan Brooks | ENG / Portsmouth FC Academy
M- Jordan Faria | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
M- Benson Fazili | CAN / Ottawa Internationals SC
M- Alessandro Hojabrpour | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-16 Residency
M- Noble Okello | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
M- Sammy Tojaga | USA / Real Salt Lake Academy
F- Zakaria Abdi | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
F- Jefferson Alade | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-16 Residency
F- Olakunle Dada-Luke | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
F- Jonathan David | CAN / Ottawa Internationals SC
F- Terique Mohammed | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
F- Jean-Arnaud Tano | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal
Be a part of the best sporting atmosphere in Vancouver. Get 12 per cent off 2017 Whitecaps FC Full Season Tickets from Sept. 22 - Oct 3. Click here for more information.