Canada Soccer continues investment in young Canadian content
Posted on 7 February 2017 in ↳ Men's EXCEL U-14 to U-17
As part of the Canada Soccer Pathway, the Men's EXCEL Program works in collaboration with the provincial and territory partners as well as the professional clubs and academies for their annual Boys' U-15 identification camps and U-15 showcase. This year, Canada Soccer will again host four events in an effort to identify exceptional players at an earlier age and ensure that they are supported through a competitive environment.
"Canada Soccer's EXCEL program identifies these young players and channels them into the best soccer environments to support each player's growth and development," said Tony Fonseca, Canada Soccer's Director of High Performance. "We work closely with our provincial and territorial partners as well as the five professional clubs and academies."
Since 2010, Canada Soccer has supported player development through more than 20,000 player days in the men's national youth program. That total includes more than 3,300 player days for U-14/U-15 players.
In that span of time, Canada Soccer has organised annual camps for the U-15 age group, with some of those youngest players like Fraser Aird and Michael Petrasso already breaking into the Men's National Team over the past two years. This year, identification camps will be held across the country with dates in February (Vaughan and Montréal) and March (Burnaby).
In 2015, the Men's EXCEL Program introduced the Canada Soccer U-15 Showcase, with the first edition in Toronto and the second edition in Montréal. This year, the 2017 Canada Soccer U-15 Showcase is scheduled in May in Toronto and will feature a five-team format for the first time: Canada Selects, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Toronto FC, Impact Montréal FC, and (for the first time) FC Edmonton. While the four clubs feature players from their respective academies, the Canada Selects team features players outside those four academies.
Canada Soccer's Men's EXCEL program emphasizes player development and provides accumulating experience through different age groups. As part of the program, Canada's best young teenagers compete in CONCACAF and FIFA competitions at the U-17 and U-20 levels on a biennial basis.
In 2017, the CONCACAF Men's Under-20 Championship runs 17 February to 5 March in Costa Rica while the CONCACAF Men's Under-17 Championship runs 21 April to 7 May. Also in 2017, Canada will compete in the CONCACAF Boys' Under-15 Championship for the first time this summer.
In 2017, more than 100 players born 2002 or later will take part in Canada Soccer's Boys' U-15 programs from February to May, including academy players from Vancouver Whitecaps FC, FC Edmonton, Toronto FC, and Impact Montréal that will participate at the Canada Soccer U-15 Showcase.
Canada Soccer’s Men’s EXCEL Program channels our nation’s exceptional players into the best soccer environments. The Canada Soccer Pathway works in collaboration with our provincial and territorial partners as well as the professional clubs and academies. For Canada’s elite players, the program emphasizes player development on the pathway to representing Canada’s Men’s National Team in international soccer.