Canada Soccer announced on Tuesday that five players from Vancouver Whitecaps FC have been called up for the upcoming Concacaf U-20 Championship tournament at the IMG Soccer Complex in Bradenton, Florida. The tournament will serve as qualifying for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.
The Canadian team will hold a preparation camp from October 23 to 31 in Orlando, Florida before the tournament takes place November 1 to 21. All of Canada's matches will be streamed live on concacafgo.com
Head coach Andrew Olivieri has called in goalkeeper Thomas Hasal,
midfielders Michael Baldisimo
and Noah Verhoeven
, and forwards Theo Bair
and José Hernández
. All five players have come through the Whitecaps FC Academy, with four players having recently spent time playing with the ‘Caps development group, including a trip to Mexico City earlier this month.
Hasal will be playing in his second Concacaf U-20 Championship tournament after starting all three matches for the Red and White during the 2017 edition in Costa Rica. So far this season the native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan has made two starts with the development group, including a match at USL affiliate Fresno FC and a match versus Cruz Azul’s U-20 team in Mexico.
Baldisimo – who signed an MLS Homegrown contract with Whitecaps FC in July – will represent the Red and White for the second time in 2018, having played under coach John Herdman at the Toulon Tournament in June. With the ‘Caps, Baldisimo has started four matches with the development group. At the U-19 level, the midfielder has started five of six appearances to start the new Development Academy season.
Verhoeven returns to the Canadian national team set-up after also playing at the Toulon Tournament in June, scoring a goal against Turkey. The academy graduate recently concluded his first full professional season with USL affiliate Fresno FC, recording one assist while starting 13 matches and making 23 appearances.
Bair – who has signed an MLS Homegrown contract for 2019 – will look to continue scoring for his country after tallying a goal versus Japan in the Toulon Tournament. For the ‘Caps, the 19-year-old recently scored for the development group against Club America’s U-20 side.
Hernández is back playing for Canada after last being called in for the 2017 Concacaf U-17 Championship. The 18-year-old has started each of his four matches with the development group, as well as scoring one goal in seven appearances with the U-19s in the Development Academy.
34 teams will begin the tournament, divided into four groups of six teams and two groups of five, with only the winner of each group advancing. Canada are in Group D and will play one match every two days:
Friday, November 2
Sunday, November 4
Tuesday, November 6
Thursday, November 8
vs. St. Kitts & Nevis
Saturday, November 10
The six group winners will then move into the classification stage, divided into two groups of three teams each. Classification games will take place on November 13, 16, and 19.
The top two teams from each group will qualify for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, with the top team from each group meeting in the final on Wednesday, November 21 to decide the Concacaf U-20 champion. The tournament will also be used to determine qualifiers for the 2019 Pan American Games.
1- GK- Alessandro Busti | ITA / Juventus FC U-23
2- FB- Émile Legault | Unattached
3- FB- Daniel Kinumbe | CAN / Ottawa Fury FC
4- M / FB- Michael Baldisimo | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
5- CB- Julian Dunn | CAN / Toronto FC II
6- CM / CB- Yohan Le Bourhis | CAN / Académie Impact de Montréal
7- M- Clément Bayiha | CAN / Ottawa Fury FC
8- M- Noble Okello | CAN / Toronto FC II
9- F- Theo Bair | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
10- M- Mathieu Choinière | CAN / Impact de Montréal
11- M- Noah Verhoeven | USA / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Academy
12- CM / CB- Dante Campbell | CAN / Toronto FC II
13- FB- Terique Mohammed | CAN / Toronto FC II
14- CM- Benson Fazili | LTV / FK Metta
15- F- José Hernández | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Academy
16- CB- Antonio Rocco Romeo | CAN / Toronto FC II
17- F- Adonijah Reid | USA / FC Dallas
18- GK- Thomas Hasal | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Academy
19- F- Jordan Perruzza | CAN / Toronto FC II
20- M- Steffen Yeates | USA / University of Connecticut