Theo Bair Canada 2018

Five 'Caps named to Canada's provisional list for Concacaf Men's Olympic Qualifying

Canada Soccer published their 50-player Provisional List for the upcoming 2020 Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship on Wednesday; from which the final 20-player roster will be announced on March 11. Canada’s pre-tournament camp is scheduled to open March 13 followed by up to five competitive matches from March 21 through April 1.

The 50-player list includes five members from the club's first team in keeper Thomas Hasal, centre back Derek Cornelius, central midfielder Patrick Metcalfe, winger/attacking midfielder Ryan Raposo, and winger/forward Theo Bair. Six former Whitecaps FC Academy players are also listed in fullback Kadin Chung (Pacific FC), midfielders Liam Fraser (Toronto FC), David Norman (Inter Miami CF), and Noah Verhoeven (Pacific FC), as well as forwards Terran Campbell (Pacific FC) and Dario Zanatta (Partick Thistle FC).

As an all-in-one qualifying campaign with both a pre-camp and pair of matches that fall just outside the FIFA window, several players may not be eligible for the official competition because they will not be released by their professional clubs. Nations will not have an opportunity to replace players once the squad is submitted (with the exception of injuries before March 20). Two players already confirmed as unavailable for the 2020 Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship are recent Canadian Players of the Year Jonathan David and former Whitecaps FC winger Alphonso Davies.

Building on the positive momentum from the men’s national team program, Canada will challenge their rivals for one of two Concacaf spots up for grabs to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Only players born 1997 or later are eligible for the 2020 qualifying tournament, whereas the Olympic Games may feature up to three overage players. Unlike previous qualifying campaigns, nations must name 17 outfield players (instead of 18) and three goalkeepers.

Unlike the last tournament in 2015, only two (not three) nations advance beyond the Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, so the Concacaf Semifinals on March 30 will be Canada’s one-and-only opportunity to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Canada have reached the Concacaf Semifinals in each of the last three cycles (2008, 2012, 2015), but have not qualified for the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament since Los Angeles 1984 when they reached the Quarterfinals (which at the time featured Canada’s full men’s national team). That same 1984 Canadian team qualified for the FIFA World Cup just a year later for Mexico 1986.

The Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship is an important next step for Canada’s young players on their journey to the men’s national team. Through an aligned men’s national team program, several of Canada’s young professional stars have already gained valuable experience with the men’s national team over the past few years. From Canada Soccer’s 50-player Provisional List for the Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, 19 of them have been called into men’s national team camps and 16 of them have one or more international “A” appearances on their record.

Also overlapping the Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, Canada Soccer’s men’s national team will play a pair of home international matches in Victoria as they chase for a top-six spot in Concacaf on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings in order to compete in the Concacaf Hex (nations 1-6) rather than a more demanding alternate qualifying route (nations 7-35).

As some players may only be released to the men’s national team during the FIFA window, the Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship will provide an opportunity for Canada Soccer to strengthen an expanded men’s national team squad. The selected U-23 players will earn valuable international experience against their Concacaf rivals.

Starting March 21, Canada will face El Salvador, Haiti (March 24) and Honduras (March 27) in Group B of the 2020 Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship. From the group phase, the top-two nations advance to the Concacaf Semifinals on Monday, March 30 (against either Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico or USA). The two nations that win their Concacaf Semifinals qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and advance to the Concacaf Final on Wednesday, April 1

MEN’S OLYMPIC FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT
The quadrennial Men’s Olympic Football Tournament runs July 23 to August 8 in six venues across Japan. Including two nations from Concacaf, the Tokyo 2020 Men’s Olympic Football Tournament will feature 16 nations from around the world.

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 territory 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.

In 2019, Canada reached the Quarter-finals of back-to-back Concacaf Gold Cups for the first time since 2009 and finished second in their group of the inaugural Concacaf Nations League A (tied on points with USA, but second on goals difference). Along with a historic 2:0 victory over USA in Toronto, Canada also qualified for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup and the next season of Concacaf Nations League A. At the youth level, Canada had top-four finishes at the Concacaf Men’s Under-17 Championship (after eliminating Costa Rica) and Concacaf Boys’ Under-15 Championship (after eliminating Mexico).

Canada Soccer's men's national youth teams have won two CONCACAF titles: both the 1986 and 1996 CONCACAF Men's Youth Championships. Canada have now qualified for 15 FIFA men's youth tournaments: eight editions of the FIFA U-20 World Cup and seven editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Canada most recently qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019.

Canada's 50-player Provisional List
GK- Sebastian Breza | ITA / SSD Potenza Calcio
GK- Thomas Hasal | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
GK- Matthew Nogueira | POR / CS Maritimo
GK- James Pantemis | CAN / Impact de Montréal
GK- Dayne St. Clair | USA / Minnesota United FC
CB- Robert Boskovic | CAN / Toronto FC II
CB- Derek Cornelius | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
CB- Julian Dunn | CAN / Toronto FC
CB- Yohan Le Bourhis | CAN / Winnipeg Valour FC
CB- Thomas Meilleur-Giguère | CAN / Pacific FC
CB- Kamal Miller | USA / Orlando City SC
CB- Callum Montgomery | USA / FC Dallas
CB- Antonio Rocco Romeo | CAN / Toronto FC
CB- Frank Sturing | NED / NEC Nijmegen
CB- Karifa Yao | CAN / Impact de Montréal
FB- Diyaeddine Abzi | CAN / York9 FC
FB- Zorhan Bassong | BEL / Cercle Brugge KSV
FB- Gabriel Boakye | GER / FC Köln II
FB- Zachary Brault-Guillard | CAN / Impact de Montréal
FB- Kadin Chung | CAN / Pacific FC
FB- Marcus Godinho | GER / FSV Zwickau
FB- Daniel Kinumbe | CAN / Halifax Wanderers FC
FB- Émile Legault | Unattached
FB- Terique Mohammed | CAN / Toronto FC II
M- Clément Bayiha | CAN / Impact de Montréal
M- Tristan Borges | BEL / Oud-Heverlee Leuven
M- Mathieu Choinière | CAN / Impact de Montréal
M- Aidan Daniels | USA / Colorado Switchbacks FC
M- Liam Fraser | CAN / Toronto FC
M- Patrick Metcalfe | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
M- David Norman | USA / Inter Miami CF
M- Noble Okello | CAN / Toronto FC
M- Harrison Paton | SCO / Ross County FC
M- Ryan Raposo | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
M- Shamit Shome | CAN / Impact de Montréal
M- Noah Verhoeven | CAN / Pacific FC
F- Theo Bair | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
F- Charles-Andreas Brym | FRA / Lille OSC B
F- Tajon Buchanan | USA / New England Revolution
F- Terran Campbell | CAN / Pacific FC
F- Malik Johnson | USA / Tampa Bay Rowdies
F- Aramis Kouzine | Unattached
F- Liam Millar | ENG / Liverpool FC
F- Jayden Nelson | CAN / Toronto FC
F- Easton Ongaro | CAN / FC Edmonton
F- Jordan Perruzza | CAN / Toronto FC
F- Jacob Shaffelburg | CAN / Toronto FC
F- Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla | CAN / Impact de Montréal
F- Kris Twardek | IRL / Bohemian FC
F- Dario Zanatta | SCO / Partick Thistle FC