Three players from the Golden Horseshoe will be among the 33-man squad incoming Canadian coach Benito Floro has selected for his first Men’s National Team camp to take place in Valencia, Spain from Sept. 1-11.
Goalkeeper Milan Borgan from Hamilton, midfielder Kyle Bekker from Oakville, and midfielder/forward Russell Tiebert from Niagara Falls will take part in two international friendlies on Sept. 8 and 10 against Mauritania at the Oliva Nova complex near Valencia. Borgan plays in Turkey, Bekker plays for Toronto Football Club, and Tiebert is a member of the Vancouver Whitecaps.
For Floro, who will be taking charge of his first matches with the team, the camp will be an important first step in establishing a new tactical plan and relationship with the players.
“This first camp is important for us as we want to achieve our tactical structure as soon as possible,” said Floro.
“It will also be important to establish the relationship between the coaches and players.”
Floro has opted to call-in a blend of youth and experience for the camp with many regulars from Canada’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers and CONCACAF Gold Cup campaigns returning to the fold; but also with three players earning their first call-ups to the Men’s National Team.
“For me, the age of the player is not necessarily important,” said Floro.
“What is important is the tactical behaviour of the player on the pitch and the level of the player’s ability. I have brought in a number of young players because I like the level they are playing at – and if things progress well – we will be able to bring in more youth players in the coming years.”
Domestic players Samuel Adekugbe (D / Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Jackson Farmer (D / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency) and Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé (M / Académie Impact Montréal) will all be taking part in their first camps with the senior Canadian team after featuring at various levels of the youth national team setup.
Dwayne De Rosario is the most experienced player in the squad with 73 caps under his belt.