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Canada Soccer

‘Caps contingent brings long history in Canada men’s national team program

The Gold Cup has begun with four Vancouver Whitecaps FC players at the helm for Canada: Goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau, centre backs Derek Cornelius and Doneil Henry, and midfielder Russell Teibert.

All four have accumulated their fair share of experience on the international stage. But when did they each start representing the Red & White?

Maxime Crépeau

Crépeau had a long youth history representing Canada. The goalkeeper was 15-years-old when he first played for Canada as the starting goalkeeper at the 2011 Concacaf U-17 Championships. He collected four clean sheets in five matches and led his team to make history by qualifying for the FIFA U-17 World Cup for the first time since 1995.

He continued to wear the Red & White jersey in 2013 when he earned the starting job at the Concacaf U-20 Championship tournament, where Doneil Henry started at centre back. In 2014, the young goalkeeper got his first chance to practice at a MNT camp and one year later, he made the roster for 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

From 2015 through 2016, the Québec native represented his nation with both the U-23 team and MNT.

To date, Crépeau has made two appearances at the MNT level, including his most recent cap in the 2017 Gold Cup, when he played the last 26 minutes in the 4-2 win against French Guiana.

Derek Cornelius

Cornelius was 15-years-old when he opened his Canada Soccer profile, participating in U-16 and U-17 youth camps, including the 2013 Torneo delle Nazioni in Trieste, Italy.

Following those youth camps, Cornelius returned to the Canadian national team set-up in January 2018, getting called into a U-23 national team camp.

The 21-year-old then earned his first senior MNT call-up in March of that year, joining a camp in Spain. From there, he made his mark with the U-21 squad at the famous Toulon Tournament, helping lead Canada to an undefeated group stage in which they conceded just one goal in matches versus Portugal, Turkey, and Japan. For his efforts he was named 2018 Canadian Youth International Player of the Year.

Cornelius earned his first senior cap and start in an 8-0 win over the US Virgin Islands this past September in Concacaf Nations League qualifiers. The centre back was paired with Henry in three of the four CNL qualifying matches in 2018.

So far in the Gold Cup, Cornelius has started both matches at the Gold Cup, including the second match with both Doneil Henry and Russell Teibert.

Doneil Henry

In his youth, Henry often played above his age group. His first youth experience was with Teibert on Canada’s U-20 MNT when he was only 17-years-old, starting in two of his three matches at the Concacaf Championship in 2011. 

At the end of 2012, Henry was named 2012 Canadian U-20 Player of the Year.

By the time Henry was 19-years-old, he had already been practicing on the Canadian U-23 team and even the senior men’s national team in various camps. In 2013, Henry competed in his second Concacaf U-20 Championship as a starting centre back, this time with Crépeau, who started in net.

Since then, Henry has been a consistent figure on the Canadian MNT.

Following his recent start versus Mexico, Henry has now collected 26 caps and just over 2,000 minutes in a Red & White jersey. He doesn’t have any goals yet at the senior level, but he has gotten two already this season with the ‘Caps.

Russell Teibert

Out of the four ‘Caps to be selected to Canada’s roster, Teibert has been representing Canada the longest, starting in the youth program when he was 15-years-old under coach Sean Fleming. 

The Niagara Falls native was named Canadian U-17 Player of the Year in both 2008 and 2009. During the latter year, Teibert was called up to compete at the Concacaf U-17 Championship, where he started in his first match and scored his first goal in a 1-1 draw against Honduras.

At the age of 17, Teibert was already practicing with Canada’s U-20 team and was called up once again to a Concacaf Championship in 2011, tallying two assists in two games.

Teibert was first called up to the senior men’s national team in 2012 and got his first taste of a Gold Cup in 2013, playing in one of Canada’s three matches. This year’s tournament is the midfielder’s fourth-straight Gold Cup after totaling six combined appearances in 2013, 2015, and 2017.

Counting his recent start against Mexico, Teibert has now made 25 appearances for Canada, starting in 10 of those matches and recording one goal and two assists.

Canada continue play at the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup on Sunday afternoon when they play their final Group A match against Cuba. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. PT, with the match broadcast live on TSN.