Forward Cyle Larin (red jersey), shown in a World Cup qualifier against visiting Belize on September 4, 2015, has three goals in 12 all-time appearances for Canada. (Photo courtesy of Canada Soccer)
VANCOUVER – Canada unveiled Friday the names of the 23 players selected for a pair of World Cup qualifiers with an interactive event that gave fans an opportunity to pose for pictures in front of a moving roster display.
While the unique promotional approach in downtown Vancouver created fun and a buzz about the announcement, head coach Benito Floro is serious about getting off to a good start in the fourth-round opener against visiting Honduras on November 13 at BC Place.
"We want the stadium to be full of Canadian supporters who understand how important they can be to help the team," said the 63-year-old Spaniard, a former Real Madrid manager. "We need that Canadian support to help guide the team to victory."
The selection is highlighted by the inclusion forward Cyle Larin, 20, who scored 17 goals in 27 Major League Soccer encounters this season, the first of his first professional career with Orlando City SC.
Also meriting a call-up is veteran Atiba Hutchinson. Currently in his fourth qualifying cycle, the 32-year old midfielder has appeared in 21 pre-World Cup matches and scored two goals. He has played in four UEFA Europa League games this season with Turkey’s Besiktas.
"We believe in this group of players," Floro added. "We want our best roster, so we are always in review of the performances of our players with their professional clubs and make our selection in consideration of the matches we will play."
Four days after taking on the Hondurans, Canada will face host El Salvador in the second Group A match for each.
(World Cup Qualifying: November 13, 2015, home v Honduras; November 17, 2015, away v El Salvador)
GOALKEEPERS: Milan Borjan (Ludogorets Razgrad/Bulgaria), Kenny Stamatopoulos (AIK/Sweden), Simon Thomas (Strømmen/Norway)
DEFENDERS: Samuel Adekugbe (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Fraser Aird (Rangers/Scotland), Marcel De Jong (Sporting Kansas City/USA), David Edgar (Sheffield United/England), Kianz Froese (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Andre Hainault (Magdeburg/Germany), Atiba Hutchinson (Besiktas/Turkey), Dejan Jakovic (Shimizu S-Pulse/Japan), Wandrille Lefevre (Impact de Montreal), Karl W. Ouimette (New York Red Bulls/USA), Adam Straith (Fredrikstad/Norway)
MIDFIELDERS: Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas/USA), Julian de Guzman (Ottawa Fury), Junior Hoilett (Queens Park Rangers/England), Will Johnson (Portland Timbers/Canada), Samuel Piette (Deportivo La Coruña/Spain), Tosaint Ricketts (Boluspor/Turkey), Russell Teibert (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
FORWARDS: Lucas Cavallini (Fenix/Uruguay), Cyle Larin (Orlando City SC/USA)