Canada announces roster for upcoming FIFA World Cup™ Qualifiers
29 September 2011
Men’s National Team Head Coach Stephen Hart has announced Canada’s roster for the upcoming matches against St. Lucia (in St. Lucia on 7 October) and Puerto Rico (in Toronto, ON on 11 October) in CONCACAF Round 2 of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ Qualifiers.
There are six changes to coach Hart’s 18-man roster from the last two FIFA World Cup™ Qualifiers in September. Amongst those changes are two new players earning their first call up to the national team, Joseph Di Chiara and Ashtone Morgan.
At just 19 years old, Di Chiara is the youngest player in the squad. The Thornhill, ON native is making his first appearance in a Canada camp at any level. Should Di Chiara feature in either of the matches, he will be the first teenager to appear for Canada in a FIFA World Cup Qualifier™ since Jaime Peters took part in Canada’s 1:0 win over Guatemala in 2004.
Di Chiara, a midfielder, plays professionally in the Russian Premier League for FC Krylia Sovetov Samara (the Soviet Wings). The youngster recently made his first-team debut for the club.
“We were informed about him a while back,” said Hart regarding Di Chiara. “We managed to take a look at some video material. He has looked comfortable on the ball and has a good work rate, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to take a look at him.”
Ashtone Morgan is likely more familiar to Canadian supporters as the 20-year-old Toronto-native plays his club football for Toronto FC in Major League Soccer.
“Ashtone has been playing consistently and playing quite well,” Hart stated. “I thought it would be a good opportunity for him to come in.”
Striker Olivier Occean and centreback Adam Straith return to the squad after a seven-game absence stretching back to Canada’s match in Greece in January 2011. Fullback Nik Ledgerwood rejoins Canada after missing out on the first two FIFA World Cup™ Qualifiers due to injury.
Finally, goalkeeper Kenny Stamatopoulos rejoins the Men’s National Team after a two-year absence. He steps in for Milan Borjan who is unavailable due to a minor injury.
Dwayne De Rosario is the most experienced player in the Canadian team. With 18 goals for Canada, he is also the team’s leading goal scorer. De Rosario needs only two more goals to surpass Dale Mitchell (19 goals) and become Canada’s all-time leader in goals scored.
Canada will head to St. Lucia next week on 5 October. The team will then return to Toronto on 8 October in advance of the 11 October match against Puerto Rico at BMO Field in Toronto at 19.00 (local kick-off).
Tickets to the 11 October match are available via Ticketmaster at ticketmaster.ca or 1-855-985-5000. Special group rates for the match are also available; please contact [email protected]
1- GK- Lars Hirschfeld | NOR / Vålerenga Fotball
2- FB- Nik Ledgerwood | GER / SV Wehen Wiesbaden
3- FB- Ashtone Morgan | CAN / Toronto FC
4- CB- Kevin McKenna | GER / FC Köln
5- CB- Adam Straith | GER / FC Energie Cottbus
6- M- Julian de Guzman | CAN / Toronto FC
7- F- Iain Hume | ENG / Preston North End FC
8- M- Will Johnson | USA / Real Salt Lake
9- F- Tosaint Ricketts | ROM / FC Politehnica Timişoara
10- F- Simeon Jackson | ENG / Norwich City FC
11- M- Josh Simpson | TUR / Manisaspor
12- M- Joseph Di Chiara | RUS / FC Krylia Sovetov Samara
13- FB- Ante Jazić | USA / Chivas USA
14- F- Dwayne De Rosario | USA / DC United
15- CB- David Edgar | ENG / Burnley FC
16- F- Olivier Occean | GER / SpVgg Greuther Fürth
17- M- Terry Dunfield | CAN / Toronto FC
22- GK- Kenny Stamatopoulos | SWE / AIK
Head of Delegation: Charlie Cuzzetto/Ron Smale
Head Coach: Stephen Hart
Assistant Coach: Tony Fonseca
Goalkeeper Coach: Paul Dolan
Video Coordinator: Victor Mendes
Video Coordinator: Les Meszaros
Team Manager: Morgan Quarry
Equipment Manager: Mike Moretto
Equipment Assistant: Ryan Bedic
Doctor: Dr. Mike Campbell
Physiotherapist: Paul Fenwick
Physiotherapist: Dave Foley