13 Major League Soccer players have been called up to Canada’s 23-man roster for the 2021 Gold Cup.
Canada national team head coach John Herdman announced the list on Thursday morning with Toronto FC leading the way with three players. Canada will play in Group B of the tournament, alongside the United States, Martinique and a third team to be determined through preliminary phases in Miami from 2 July to 6 July.
“The Concacaf Gold Cup allows Canada to keep building on the momentum from the last six matches in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers,” said Herdman in a statement.
“We’ve missed the opportunity to play some of these big matches that come at a Concacaf Gold Cup, so every match counts to create that spirit and cohesion required to take this country to the next level. We need this dynamic group of players to keep growing and learning together and the Concacaf Gold Cup provides great experience to prepare us for FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.”
Major League Soccer midfielders Jonathan Osorio (Toronto FC) and Samuel Piette (Montreal CF) will participate in their fifth consecutive confederation championship since their debuts in 2013. The roster includes Toronto FC player Ayo Akinola, who just recently committed to Canada after appearing on several occasions for the youth national teams. The Vancouver Whitecaps are also heavily involved in the roster with two players called up.
The Canadian national team last won the Concacaf Gold Cup in 2000, previously triumphing in 1985. Since then, the team has struggled to maintain prestige and challenge regional competitors like the United States and Mexico. Les Rouges recently showed signs of improvement, successfully triumphing against rivals to reach the Octagonal and final stage of World Cup qualifiers.