Michael Baldisimo - Canada
Bob Frid/Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Four Whitecaps FC Residency players called up to Canada U-17 camp

Four Whitecaps FC Residency players have been called up for a six-day Canada U-17 men’s evaluation camp in Toronto, Ontario.

U-18 midfielder Michael Baldisimo and the U-16 trio of defender Jake Ruby, midfielder Alessandro Hojabrpour, and forward Jose Hernandez will be among the 23 players in the camp running from October 24 to 29.

Ruby will be one of six first-time national camp invitees, while Hernandez is set to attend his first national camp this year, after having previously been invited to a U-15 identification camp in October 2014.

"This is a very good opportunity with four days of intense work to see some of our players," said Canada U-17 head coach Paul Stalteri. "We also have a chance to look at some new players that we have watched but we have not worked with them before."

Baldisimo and Hojabrpour make their return after taking part in last month's nine-day national U-17 camp, which included international friendlies versus Panama and Mexico.

"Most of our core players are also taking part in this camp, so we will have a chance to work on a number of things as we continue to build momentum towards next year," said Stalteri.

The roster consists of players born 2000 or later, making them eligible for next year's CONCACAF and FIFA U-17 competitions. Many of the players have been part of the Canada Soccer national youth program since 2014.

Next year's CONCACAF Men's U-17 Championship runs from April 21 to May 7 in Panama. The top four teams of the 12-nation tournament qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017.

Canada Soccer’s Men’s EXCEL Program channels the nation’s exceptional players into the best soccer environments. The Canada Soccer Pathway works in collaboration with 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.