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World Cup Preview: Canada’s roster begins to take shape – Toronto Sun

Hardmann was terrified last Saturday when star winger Alphonso Davies came out with a hamstring injury in Bayern Munich’s 3-2 win over Hertha Berlin.

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Canadian men’s national football team head coach John Hardman will have some tough decisions to make regarding the roster for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

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Some choices have already been made for him, as injuries leading up to the tournament will prevent him from participating.

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Hardmann had a major scare last Saturday when star winger Alfonso Davies came out with a hamstring injury in Bayern Munich’s 3-2 win over Hertha Berlin.

Davis has suffered a hamstring strain and will be ruled out of the final two games before the winter break, but his participation in the World Cup is “not in jeopardy”, according to the German club.

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This was obviously good news for Hardman, who is currently in Bahrain.

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“Bayern Munich’s initial assessment suggests that his recovery could reach that marker (the World Cup),” Hardman told The Canadian Press. As long as everything goes according to plan, Alfonso hopes to play for the (Canadian) national team against Belgium, but this kind of injury you never know.

“It’s not always a straight line. I’m not going to count the chickens until Alphonso really shows up in the environment. He will remain at Bayern Munich and continue his full recovery at Bayern as long as necessary.”

Davis has dealt with a number of health issues over the past year. Last winter he was diagnosed with myocarditis after his bout with COVID-19 and was off the field until April. He missed a total of six World Cup qualifying games, including the clincher against Jamaica in March at BMO Field.

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Last month, Davis suffered a skull bruise after being kicked in the head by Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham in Germany’s Bundesliga match. Came back to play the second half. The match against Hertha Berlin was Davis’ second since returning from his head injury.

Davis looked set to represent Canada, but Hardman scratched back-up goaltender Maxim Crepeaux, who had a broken leg, in the MLS final to defeat Philadelphia Union striker Corey Burke.

Crepeau received a straight red card for the challenge and had to be forced off the field after a gruesome injury. Canada will also miss defender Scott Kennedy, who injured his shoulder in his second division game in Germany a little over a week ago when he played for SSV Jahn Regensburg.

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“I think everyone is devastated by the whole nature of how that[Clepaud injury]played out,” Hardman said. Losing , and how Max played out after that. It was a very sad moment, at the end of the game when we had to stretch ourselves out.”

Hardman is allowed to bring 26 players to Qatar and must submit the list by November 13. Players can be substituted up to 24 hours before the opening game.

Almost half of the players who helped qualify for the 32-team tournament in Qatar will not participate, as Canada used about 40 different players via Concacaf in the 19-game World Cup qualifiers.

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Below is the expected Canadian roster for Qatar.


Milan Boljan, Red Star Belgrade. Dane St. Clair of Minnesota United. James Panthemis, CF Montreal.

Boljan was a starter for Canada throughout World Cup qualifiers and last season propelled the Red Stars to national league champions.

Clair’s injury will likely move St. Clair into second place. He has made his only one international appearance for the Canadian national team, but he is coming to a close to a strong MLS season. Panthemis has yet to play for the Canadian national team, but after a solid season in Montreal, he was his third best choice in Canada.


Steven Vitória, Chavez (Portugal); Sam Adekbe, Hataispor (Turkey); Derek Cornelius, Panetolikos (Greece); Donil Henry, Toronto FC. Richie Laria of Toronto FC. Alistair Johnston, CF Montreal. Kamal Miller, CF Montreal, Zachary Braut-Guirard, CF Montreal.

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Four of the five MLS defenders are mainstays of Canada’s defense, appearing in a combined 131 international appearances. Johnston, who did not make his debut for the national team until March 2021, appeared in all his 19 matches for Canada during World Cup qualifiers. Brault-Guillard will likely benefit from Kennedy’s absence and go to Qatar.


Alphonso Davies, Bayern Munich (Germany); Stephen Eustaquio, Porto (Portugal); Atiba Hutchinson, Besiktas (Turkey). Tajon Buchanan, Club Brugge (Belgium); Junior Hoilet, Reading (England), Samuel Piette, CF Montreal. Jonathan Osorio of Toronto FC. Marc Anthony Kaye, Toronto FC. Ismael Kone, CF Montreal.

Hardman is expected to play in a five-man midfield where speedy wingers Buchanan and Davis present threats from both sides of the field. Eustaquio will pull the strings from the center-mid position and Hutchinson will be one of his two holding midfielders. Canada’s strength lies in the midfield, where the team needs to play very well to have any chance of breaking out of the group.

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Jonathan David, Lille (France); Cyle Larin, Club Brugge (Belgium); Liam Miller, Bassel (Switzerland); Ike Ugbo, Troyes (France); Theo Corbeanu, Blackpool (England); – Cavallini.

Larin has led Concacaf in scoring during qualifying but has struggled to find a regular spot in Bruges, Belgium. Attack tandems are offered. Miller and Hoilett also offer good alternatives. Given the chance, Ugbo could have a breakout performance at the World Cup.

Email: dvandiest@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @DerekVanDiest

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World Cup Preview: Canada’s roster begins to take shape – Toronto Sun

Source link World Cup Preview: Canada’s roster begins to take shape – Toronto Sun

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