Next Canada M20 group heads to Mexico for camp and international matches
Posted on 4 November 2015 in ↳ Men's EXCEL U-18 to U-20
Canada's Men's U-20 Coach Rob Gale will continue the development process with some of the nation's bright young players this month during a 10-day camp in Mexico. The camp will feature a pair of international friendly matches against their CONCACAF rivals, traditionally the toughest opponents in the region.
"It is important for this group to face opponents and experience conditions in CONCACAF, so there is no greater test than facing Mexico in Mexico at this stage," said Gale. "As a group, we will be developing our in-game tactics to both defend specific opponents as well as exploit their potential weaknesses."
Canada's squad features players born 1997 or later, which means they are all part of the development path to both the CONCACAF Men's Under-20 Championship and FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2017.
This marks coach Gale's ninth project with the 1997 age group since 2013. The group represents clubs in Canada, England, Scotland and Germany, with four players already in their 11th camp in the Canadian national youth system (Gabriel Boakye, Kadin Chung, Duwayne Ewart, and Ballou Tabla). Combined, the group has already benefited from more than 900 cumulative days in the program, with only one debutant in this particular group (Chelsea U-21 centre back Fikayo Tomori).
This 10-day camp runs from 9-18 November, with international matches against Mexico on 13 and 15 November in Mexico City. While these are friendly matches, it is tough to ignore Mexico's stunning record in official CONCACAF matches: their combined youth program is undefeated in CONCACAF men's youth tournaments (U-17 / U-20 / U-23) since a 2009 loss to Canada at the U-20 level.
"This is a chance for our group of players to go toe to toe with CONCACAF champions in their own backyard," said Gale. "These international matches provide us with the opportunity to get positive results and test our players."
This is the 18th Canadian men's national youth project this calendar year, from the U-15 (2000-born) to U-23 (1993-born) level. From CONCACAF competitions to youth identification camps, the program has featured more than 200 players in 2015.
GK- Philip Di Bennardo | CAN / Toronto FC II
GK- James Pantemis | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal
CB- Thomas Meilleur Giguère | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal
CB- Mateo Restrepo | GER / FC Ingolstadt 04
CB- Fikayo Tomori | ENG / Chelsea FC U-21
FB- Gabriel Boakye | CAN / Toronto FC II
FB- Kadin Chung | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
FB- Marcus Godinho | CAN / Toronto FC II
M- Tristan Borges | CAN / Toronto FC II
M- David Choinière | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal
M- Joshua Doughty | ENG / Manchester United FC U-21
M- Duwayne Ewart | CAN / Vaughan SC
M- Harrison Paton | ENG / Fulham FC U-18 Academy
M- Shamit Shome | CAN / University of Alberta
M- Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal
M- Luca Uccello | CAN / Toronto FC II
F- Dario Zanatta | SCO / Heats of Midlothian FC
UPDATE: Injured Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla was replaced by Rich Ennin (Toronto FC II)