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Canada’s men’s team calls up three uncapped players for Nations League matches

Canada coach John Herdman has included three uncapped players in his 23-man roster for CONCACAF Nations League matches against Curacao and Honduras later this month.

The three are goalkeeper Tom McGill, defender Dominick Zator and midfielder Victor Loturi.

The 22-year-old McGill, who was born in Belleville, Ont., but grew up in England, plays for Brighton’s under-21 side. McGill, who joined Brighton at the age of 14, has represented England at under-17 level.

Zator signed with Korona Kielce in Poland in December, after spending time with York United and Cavalry FC in the Canadian Premier League. The 28-year-old from Calgary was a nominee for the CPL Defender of the Year award in 2019.

Loturi, 21, left his hometown Cavalry FC last June to join Scotland’s Ross County.

Familiar faces in the Canada squad include Atiba Hutchinson, Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David, Cyle Larin, Jonathan Osorio, Stephen Eustaquio, Steven Vitoria and Milan Borjan. 

Six members of the Canadian roster ply their trade in MLS, with four from Toronto FC (Ayo Akinola, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Richie Laryea and Osorio) one from CF Montreal (Kamal Miller) and one from Minnesota United (Dayne St. Clair).

Canada, ranked 53rd in the world, plays at No. 86 Curacao on March 25 before hosting No. 81 Honduras on March 28 at Toronto’s BMO Field.

Herdman and fullback/wingback Alistair Johnston will have to sit out the Curacao game after being red-carded last June in a chaotic ending to a 2-1 loss in Honduras.

This month’s home match against Honduras comes a year and a day after the history-making 4-0 win over Jamaica at the lakefront stadium that sealed World Cup qualification.

Canada, Curacao and Honduras make up Group C, one of four pools in League A. Honduras (2-0-0) tops the group ahead of Canada (1-1-0) and Curacao (1-2-0).

The Canadian men opened League A play last June, blanking Curacao 4-0 in Vancouver before losing in Honduras. Those matches came amid turmoil in the Canada camp, with players refusing to take part in a planned July 5 friendly against Panama over ongoing labour talks.

Both the Canadian men’s and women’s teams are still embroiled in the labour dispute with Canada Soccer.

The March games are the first for the Canadian men since Dec. 2, when Herdman’s team wrapped up its first appearance at the World Cup in 36 years with a 2-1 loss to Morocco. 

The four group winners from League A will meet in June in a knockout format, featuring semifinals, third-place match and final.

The top two teams from each of League A’s groups automatically qualify for the 2023 Gold Cup, as do the four group winners from League B. The remaining four Cup berths will be decided in a playoff.

The CONCACAF Nations League features 41 teams from the confederation split into three tiers: League A (12 teams), B (16) and C (13).

There is promotion and relegation, with teams that finish bottom of their groups in Leagues A and B relegated and replaced by countries that win their groups in Leagues B and C.

The Canadian men are unbeaten in a record 15 matches at home, a run that includes seven straight wins. The Canadian men and women, meanwhile, have a combined 11-match undefeated streak at BMO Field since June 2017.

Canada finished atop the final round of World Cup qualifying in CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean. The Canadians finished with a 14-2-4 record over three rounds of qualifying.

Canada Roster

Goalkeepers: Milan Borjan, Red Star Belgrade (Serbia); Tom McGill, Brighton & Hove Albion U-21 (England); Dayne St. Clair, Minnesota United (MLS).

Defenders: Samuel Adekugbe, Galatasaray SK (Turkey); Derek Cornelius, Malmo FF (Sweden); Alistair Johnston, Celtic FC (Scotland); Scott Kennedy, SSV Jahn Regensburg (Germany); Richie Laryea Toronto FC (MLS); Kamal Miller, CF Montreal (MLS); Steven Vitoria, GD Chaves (Portugal); Dominick Zator, Korona Kielce (Poland).

Midfielders: Stephen Eustaquio, FC Porto (Portugal); Atiba Hutchinson, Besiktas JK (Turkey); Mark-Anthony Kaye, Toronto FC (MLS); Ismaël Kone, Watford FC (England); Victor Loturi, Ross County FC (Scotland); Jonathan Osorio, Toronto FC (MLS); 

Forwards: Ayo Akinola, Toronto FC (MLS); Charles-Andreas Brym, FC Eindhoven (the Netherlands); Tajon Buchanan, Club Brugge KV (Belgium); Jonathan David, Lille OSC (France); Alphonso Davies, Bayern Munich (Germany); Cyle Larin, Real Valladolid CF (Spain).


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