Canada's men's U-23 national team won 5-1 over a young Guyana squad preparing for the next round of the 2016 Caribbean Cup. Whitecaps FC 2 (WFC2) right back Chris Serban was included in the starting lineup and first team midfielder Ben McKendry came on as a substitute, while former 'Caps Caleb Clarke and Ben Fisk were among the goalscorers.
Five different goalscorers - Clarke, Richie Laryea, Raheem Edwards, Fisk, and Jordan Hamilton - filled the net for the visiting Canadians.
The Sunday, May 15 victory at Providence Stadium in Georgetown, Guyana is part of a 10-day Canadian camp and Caribbean tour. Canada will next face Grenada at the National Athletic Stadium in St. George's on May 18, once again against a national "A" squad preparing for the 2016 Caribbean Cup.
"We were very pleased with the spirit of our group, especially given the environment," said Michael Findlay, Canada Soccer's U-23 Coach for this camp and regular men's national team assistant coach. "The first 15-20 minutes were a physical and emotional battle given that Guyana were celebrating their Jubilee 50th Anniversary."
Canada opened the scoring in the 24th minute following a deep Edwards run that was finished by Clarke. Five minutes later, Canada doubled their lead after Fisk and Edwards combined to feed Laryea who struck it across target into the net.
In the second half, Edwards made it 3-0 in the 53rd minute after a run by Fisk down the left side. Fisk centered the ball after which Edwards dropped his shoulder and fired a left-footed blast past the Guyana goalkeeper Alex Andrew Murray.
In the 68th minute, Hubert Pedro made it 3-1 after Pernell Schultz and Devon Millington moved the ball up the pitch for Guyana. Just four minutes later, however, Fisk made it 4-1 after scoring from an acute angle down the left side.
Jordan Hamilton, on a cross from Raheem Edwards, made it 5-1 in the 86th minute. Edwards, with one goal and three assists in a full 90-minute performance, was Canada's Star of the Match.
"When we were in position tonight, we were relatively clinical," said Findlay.
Canada will have little time to rest after the Guyana match with early Monday travel to Grenada. Canada's travel squad features 17 young professional players, all born 1993 or later and all working their way up to the Men's National Team. As part of Canada Soccer Men's EXCEL program, this camp ensures Canada's coaching staff can continue to advance player development in the physical, mental, technical/tactical, and social/emotional corners of the game.
Against Guyana, Findlay featured 16 of 17 players, with only goalkeeper Marco Carducci saved for the match against Grenada. Of note, Raheem Edwards (in his third match) and Richie Laryea (in his second match) both scored their first international goals in Canada colours. Mark-Anthony Kaye made his Canada youth debut, Jordan Murrell played his first Canada youth match since 2012, and both Laryea and McKendry played their first Canada youth matches since 2013.
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.